The Track-Bound McLaren Senna GTR Will Deliver a Pavement Torturing 2,205-Pounds of Downforce
The production version is in the works and it would make Senna happyby Michael Fira, on
McLaren’s on an absolute monster roll. The British manufacturer barely let the dust rest on the newly-unveiled Speedtail and now they’ve released the first tidbits of information about the production version of the ludicrous Senna GTR, the track-only iteration of the already mind-boggling McLaren Senna.
We’ve just gotten over the rush caused by McLaren’s new 3-seater Speedtail model. Just as we’re rounding out talking about every inch of the Speedtail, McLaren kindly offers us more. Wait, what? Well, McLaren released today the first details on the McLaren Senna GTR which was first previewed via a flashy prototype at this year’s Geneva Auto Show.
That’s right, we now know a bit more about the car which will, as we can guess from a sketch you’re looking at, be slightly different to the Senna GTR concept. I’ll explain why that is down below so you should keep on reading if you want to find out what the GTR’s numbers are as well.
You can’t name a car after Ayrton Senna and not make a circuit-only version of it
Back in March, McLaren stormed at the Geneva Auto Show with race-spec Senna concept car. It had all the right things in the right places: a big swan-neck wing at the back, huge diffuser, protruding splitter, leader lights on the side panels and a fittingly dazzling livery which combined the classic orange with white and black.
At the time, McLaren’s CEO, Mike Flewitt, stated that "the track-only McLaren Senna GTR will have more power, more grip, and more downforce – up to 2,204 pounds – than the McLaren Senna and post even faster lap times." He went on to say that "the very limited number of customers who secure this car will be buying the closest experience you can get to a race car without actually lining up on a circuit grid."
Now, we know that only 75 Senna GTRs will be built and all of them have been reserved.
And we also know it won’t quite look like the concept shown in Switzerland, which is why McLaren released a rough sketch of the production version along with their announcement of the car’s specifications. That’s because what we saw at Geneva was a bit more than just a concept.
Many argued that a track day-only car needs not to come with leader lights which are only needed so that those on the pit wall know whether or not the car is within the top 3 in its class in an actual race. This leads us to believe that the Senna GTR concept was actually a modified version of McLaren’s canceled GTE-class Le Mans racer. Back in March, sports car racing news outlet Sportscar365.com informed that the British constructor was on the verge of launching a new GTE program that would include a full-on assault on the FIA World Endurance Championship. Those plans never materialized and, seemingly, we won’t see McLaren in the new top hypercar prototype class in 2020.
But the concept survived and was restyled as the Senna GTR for the Geneva Auto Show.
It still gives us more than a clue about how the production car will look like.
And now we know what figures it will bring to the table of the ludicrous hypercars made for the track alone; The Ferrari FXX-K, the Aston Martin Vulcan and others alike will surely be baits for the ’Macca’.
For starters, it will be based around a modified version of the Senna’s chassis with a wider track up front and at the back. The body that will cover the ’Mclaren Monocage’ will be made out of carbon fiber and it will have wider fenders, a larger diffuser, and splitter while the active wing will be slightly repositioned. McLaren says that "by ‘coupling’ the wing to the airflow from the diffuser, it enables greater – and more accessible – downforce at lower speeds". As the speed will rise, the GTR will stick to the ground more and more, developing 2,205 pounds of downforce while blitzing down the straight of a track like Yas Marina in Abu Dhabi.
Power will come via the 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine which will put out 816 horsepower behind the seats of the Senna GTR, 26 more than on the road-going Senna. The torque is rated at 590 pound-feet.
Mclaren adds that, under the skin, "the car has conventional double wishbone suspension, with the geometry, springs, dampers and anti-roll bars having been developed from the system engineered for McLaren’s GT3 customer racing program".
Indeed, McLaren will debut next year a new GT3 racer based on the 720 so more tech will trickle down to McLaren’s upcoming models.
The Woking-based manufacturer will kick-off testing a number of mules based on the regular Senna this month. However, the lucky and wealthy future owners will only start receiving their cars next Autumn after the Senna’s production cycle comes to an end.
Read our full review on the 2019 McLaren Senna.
Read our full review on the 2018 McLaren Senna GTR Concept.
Read our full review on the 2016 McLaren P1 GTR.