• It showcases a bare carbon-fiber body
  • With Sexy Yellow Highlights
  • On the hood
  • Front fascia, and side skirts too
  • It even gets hybrid carbon wheels
  • The interior is done up in carbon fiber too
  • With yellow stitching throughout
  • It really accents the dark Alcantara
  • Green door gas struts throw in some extra contrast
  • It's powered by a twin-turbo 4-liter V-8
  • With 789 horsepower
  • and 590 pound-feet of torque
  • Not a bad setup for this beauty, huh?

Bare carbon-fiber goodness

Unveiled in late 2017, the Senna is the most radical supercar McLaren has built to date. Although it’s a bit less powerful than the P1, mostly because it doesn’t have an electric motor, the Senna surpasses everything the British firm has launched so far thanks to its extreme aerodynamics. And, it’s not just a benchmark for McLaren; it’s a big step forward for the entire supercar industry. The vehicle was named accordingly too, wearing the name of Formula One’s greatest driver, Ayrton Senna. With the Senna barely in production as of March 2018, McLaren has launched a limited-edition model called Carbon Theme.

Developed by McLaren Special Operations as part of five individual themes, the Carbon Theme is pretty much a bare carbon-fiber Senna. While this isn’t exactly new — the Senna itself is made of carbon-fiber almost entirely — this vehicle shows off its lightweight, composite construction with a transparent finish. The Carbon Theme also introduces the company’s new Hybrid Carbon Fiber wheels, which are made from forged aluminum and carbon-fiber, a design that makes them 10 percent lighter than the standard Senna wheels. Let’s find out more about it below.

Continue reading to learn more about the McLaren Senna Carbon Theme by MSO.

  • 2018 McLaren Senna ’Carbon Theme’
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
  • Torque @ RPM:
  • Displacement:
    4.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    2.7 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    211 mph
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • size:
  • Purpose:
  • body style:

What Makes the McLaren Senna Carbon Theme Special?

  • Bare carbon-fiber body
  • Solar Yellow highlights
  • Laurel Green calipers
  • Hybrid carbon wheels
  • Carbon-fiber interior
  • Dark Alcantara
  • Yellow stitching
  • Green door gas struts
  • Twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8
  • 789 horsepower
  • 590 pound-feet of torque
2018 McLaren Senna 'Carbon Theme' Exterior
- image 770969
With Sexy Yellow Highlights
Comprising 67 individual parts, the body sports a glossy transparent finish that allows the carbon-fiber weave to shine through

Although there aren’t significant body modifications to talk about, the Carbon Theme model looks significantly different thanks to its exposed carbon-fiber body. Comprising 67 individual parts, the body sports a glossy transparent finish that allows the carbon-fiber weave to shine through. Putting this carbon body set together takes almost 1,000 hours, which explains why McLaren isn’t making too many.

For a striking contrast, McLaren added Solar Yellow highlights on various panels. Up front, they are visible in front of the headlamps and on the inner sides of the fenders, the active aero blades, as well as inside the front hood vents. The side sills are also finished in yellow, as are elements of the rear fascia and the massive rear wing. Painting these elements took almost 250 hours to make, so that’s nearly 1,250 hours spent by MSO on this exterior.

2018 McLaren Senna 'Carbon Theme' Exterior
- image 770964
It even gets hybrid carbon wheels
Using a center-lock wheel from forged aluminum and carbon-fiber, the new design is up to 10 percent lighter than the standard Senna rim

The Laurel Green brake calipers add another splash of color to the gray exterior, alongside the blue wheel locking nuts. The green calipers are obviously a tribute to the helmet colors of Formula 1 legend Ayrton Senna. Another cool touch are the "S" letters on the end plates of the wing. While they may look simple, they are actually the result of special process that sees each matte-finished logo embedded into the gloss carbon fibre panel.

Finally, McLaren is using the Carbon Theme model to introduce its new seven-spoke Hybrid Carbon Fiber wheel. Using a center-lock wheel made of forged aluminum and carbon-fiber, the design is up to 10 percent lighter than the standard Senna rim, tipping the scales at 7.5 kg without a tire fitted. On top of being lighter, it also offers a 10- to 16-percent reduction in rotating inertia, thus improving acceleration, braking, and steering responses. The new wheels are available in Diamond Cut or Stealth finish and with Memphis Red and Vega Blue center locking nuts fitted on the left and right sides, respectively.

2018 McLaren Senna 'Carbon Theme' Interior
- image 770959
With yellow stitching throughout
The exterior theme continues inside the cabin with loads of exposed carbon-fiber parts and Carbon Black Alcantara

The theme continues inside the cabin with loads of exposed carbon-fiber parts and Carbon Black Alcantara that matches the hue of the lightweight composite. There’s Solar Yellow stitching on the seats and a matching 12 o’clock mark on the steering wheel. The same Laurel Green seen on the brake calipers was used on the door gas struts. The bespoke cabin is rounded off by "S" letters on the seat headrests.

The Carbon Theme package doesn’t affect the Senna’s drivetrain, so this special edition model carries over with the standard engine. The unit in question is the twin-turbo, 4.0-liter, V-8 that McLaren introduced with the 720S and upgraded for the Senna. The mill cranks out 789 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque, which accounts for a 79-horsepower and 22-pound-foot increase over the P1 (sans the electric motor). The Carbon Theme is a tad lighter than the standard model thanks to its carbon wheels, but the reduction shouldn’t change much in the performance department. The 0-to-60 mph sprint should take the same 2.7 seconds, while top speed is rated at 211 mph.

There’s no specific word as to how many are being made. The only thing we know so far is that the Carbon Theme is "one of five themes developed by MSO" for the Senna. It could be just the one. And it’s probably a lot more expensive than the regular supercar, which starts from £750,000 in the United Kingdom.


McLaren Senna

Meet the 2019 McLaren Senna – Track-Going Evil With a Hunger For the Road Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Will Debut at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show

Read our full review on the 2019 McLaren Senna.

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Read more McLaren news.

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Read more Geneva Motor Show news.

Ciprian Florea
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read full bio
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Press release

The new McLaren Senna is set to raise heartrates at the 88th Geneva Motor Show as it bares all to appear in Visual Carbon Fibre. The McLaren Senna Carbon Theme by McLaren Special Operations (MSO) is one of five themes* developed by MSO for a car that has been the centre of attention since the first images were released in December.

The Visual Carbon Fibre exterior is the most obvious individual feature of the McLaren Senna Carbon Theme by MSO. Comprising 67 parts, the full body set takes almost 1,000 hours to produce. Solar Yellow detailing on the sill exteriors, rear wing and front active aero blades – a process that accounted for almost 250 hours of MSO time – combines with Laurel Green brake calipers in recognition of the helmet colours of the legendary Brazilian Formula 1 racing driver.

The colours are carried through to the interior of the car, with the door gas strut in Laurel Green and the contrast stitching on the Carbon Black Alcantara® trim on seats, door inners and facia. The steering wheel also has a leather centre band in a similar yellow hue.

Both seats feature a Senna ‘S’ on the headrest and the same detail is repeated in satin finish Visual Carbon Fibre on the end plates of the rear wing, a result achieved using a highly specialised process that sees each matt-finished logo embedded into the gloss carbon fibre panel. One of the front fenders proudly displays the Senna brand.

“The McLaren Senna customers in the process of specifying their own, personalised cars are almost without exception commissioning an elevated level of MSO content, so we are definitely appealing to our target audience,” explained Ansar Ali, Managing Director, McLaren Special Operations. “With the car having generated so much interest since its unveiling in December, we knew we needed to produce something very special in order to showcase the unique talents of McLaren Special Operations; the McLaren Senna Carbon Theme by MSO at the Geneva Motor Show is exactly the kind of project we thrive on delivering and once customers have had the opportunity to view it in person, I would not be at all surprised to see a rise in expressions of interest for MSO Visual Carbon Fibre cars similar to this one.”

McLaren Special Operations is also taking the opportunity to introduce a new McLaren Senna wheel option in Geneva. The standard wheel is available in three finishes, but the new MSO 7-Spoke, Hybrid Carbon Fibre Wheel is the only alternative design available from McLaren for the car. The centre-lock wheel is a forged aluminium/carbon fibre rim component that at 7.5kg (front wheel) without a tyre fitted, is up to 10 per cent lighter than the standard-fit wheel.

Benefitting dynamic performance by reducing unsprung weight, the carbon fibre hybrid wheels offer a 10-15 per cent reduction in rotating inertia, improving acceleration, braking and steering responses.

The MSO 7-Spoke Hybrid Carbon Fibre Wheel, which also offers McLaren Senna customers a further opportunity to personalise their purchase, is a retailer-fit only option that will be available to order soon in either Diamond Cut or Stealth finish. The Memphis Red and Vega Blue satin finish centre lock wheel nuts fitted to respectively the left- and right-hand sides of the McLaren Senna Carbon Theme car are available now to MSO Bespoke order.

Legalised for road use, but not sanitised to suit it, the new McLaren Senna was designed and developed from the outset to excel on a circuit and as a result has an uncompromised performance focus that is reflected in its appearance. The aggressive looks are the strongest expression yet of McLaren’s ‘form follows function’ philosophy and McLaren Special Operations is already seeing significant interest from McLaren Senna buyers wanting to make their cars even more distinctive.

Just 500 examples of the McLaren Senna will be produced and all are already assigned. Each vehicle is priced at £750,000 and will be hand-assembled by specialists at the McLaren Production Centre in Woking, Surrey, England, in a process taking close to 300 hours. Cars commissioned from McLaren Special Operations will take considerably longer to build and carry a financial premium; the bespoke personalisation carried out on the McLaren Senna Carbon Theme by MSO, for example, adds a little under £300,000 to the price.

McLaren Automotive will hold a press conference at the Geneva International Motor Show at 10:45 CET on Tuesday March 6, introducing the McLaren Senna and detailing corporate developments and a surprise announcement…

View the full press release Hide press release
Press release

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