• Watch a McLaren Senna Almost Take Flight on an Old Space Shuttle Runway

The sound it makes during the run is unbelievable

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From the first time it surfaced online to the present day, the McLaren Senna has been the subject of numerous track battles, road trips, and standalone reviews. They’re all well-documented through articles or videos, but there’s never been an instance where the supercar is let to stretch its legs freely and make the most out of its V-8. Or should we say… spread its wings and take off?

Someone took a Senna for a standing mile top speed test at the Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds runway to see if the McLaren-declared top speed of 208 mph is indeed attainable in real life.

Turns out the Senna needs more than one straight mile to reach its top speed


Packing a mid-mounted 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 with an arsenal made of 789 horsepower and 800 Newton-meters (590 pound-feet) of torque bolted to a seven-speed Seamless Shift gearbox, the McLaren Senna is, first and foremost, a track-oriented, high-precision machine.

Its body kit, including the massive rear wing, is responsible for generating up to 800 kilos (1,764 pounds) of downforce, keeping all four wheels glued to the asphalt and squeezing every drop of available grip during high-speed cornering.

Watch a McLaren Senna Almost Take Flight on an Old Space Shuttle Runway
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In a straight line, however, the equation is a bit different. According to McLaren, the 2,886-pound Senna (that’s the kerb weight, by the way) needs 2.8 seconds to zip from 0 to 62 mph and four more seconds to hit 124 mph. Those figures are nothing short of impressive, but when you limit the sprint playground to just one mile, things get complicated, for a couple of reasons.

The main one has to do with the Senna’s purpose. As we mentioned before, it’s built for track use before anything else, so the same downforce that helps it cut corners like a scalpel works against the main goal during a straight-line run, where a streamlined design is desired for superior air-cutting capabilities.

Another aspect is safety. Ideally, you want enough runway left to safely draw to a halt after you’ve hit the maximum velocity point, which in this case, doesn’t coincide with the Senna’s 208-mph top speed.

Watch a McLaren Senna Almost Take Flight on an Old Space Shuttle Runway
- image 886643

As you’re about to see in the video below, the supercar “only” managed to hit 187.2 mph before the driver was forced to hit the brakes and start decelerating before running out of concrete. Nevertheless, the sound the Macca makes as it eats up yard after yard of runway should be enough to make you replay the short clip several times.

2019 McLaren Senna specifications
Engine 4.0-liter V-8
Horsepower 789 HP
Torque 590 LB-FT
Transmission Dual-clutch, seven-speed transmission
Weight 2,641 LBS
0 to 60 mph 2.7 seconds
Top Speed 211 mph
Tudor Rus
Tudor Rus
Assistant Content Manager - Automotive Expert - tudor@topspeed.com
Tudor’s first encounter with cars took place when he was only a child. Back then, his father brought home a Trabant 601 Kombi and a few years later, a Wartburg 353. At that time, he was too young to know how they worked and way too young to drive them, but he could see one thing – each of them had a different ethos and their own unique personality. As time went on, he started seeing that in other cars as well, and his love for the automobile was born.  Read full bio
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