McLaren Unleashes the Senna to Christen New Tech Center
Now that the Detroit Auto Show is safely in our rearview mirrors, we can now go back to our regularly scheduled programming. To mark our return to the real world, McLaren threw itself a little housewarming party after the opening of its Carbon Composites Technology Centre in the UK. The special guest-of-honor was none other than the McLaren Senna, and in true form, the Senna did more than just show up and wave to the gathered masses, it actually performed a series of donuts in the company of a 1989 McLaren Formula One race car, the same car that was driven by Ayrton Senna, for which the car was named after.
The Senna’s presence inside the Carbon Composites Technology Centre wasn’t by accident, but a choreographed event by McLaren to use the supercar to leave a trail of fresh Pirelli tire rubber on the center’s new floor. It was, in the automaker’s words, a way to “christen it — McLaren style.” The company even recorded part of the Senna’s performance on video, and it is as glorious as it sounds.
To be clear, the Carbon Composites Technology Centre isn’t open yet. Nevertheless, the doors were opened to a select group of attendees with the intention of showing what the place will look like once it’s fully operational. For those who don’t know, the center will serve as ground zero for McLaren’s future carbon fiber tubs. This will be the place where they’ll be built beginning in 2019.
But that’s a story for another time. For now, check out the McLaren Senna getting its first public workout. By the looks of it, the supercar is all set to unleash its wrath into the world.
Video: Production Version of the New McLaren Senna Caught in the Wild!
McLaren revealed the Senna hypercar last month to generally mixed reviews. Nobody was complaining about its power and performance capabilities because 789 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque usually come with “oohs” and “ahhs” along the way. What got people talking about the Senna in less-glorious terms was the car’s design. Some people loved it while others hated it. Well, if it helps, new photos of a black McLaren Senna has found its way into the Interwebs, and those concerns about McLaren being too cute with the Senna’s design can now be put to bed.
It’s true that a car’s color can mask certain design elements that would otherwise pop when combined with a flashy shade. That appears to be the case with the Senna. When it debuted in December, McLaren decided to use a red-orange paint scheme on the Senna. It’s not uncommon for McLaren to use this color — it’s done so to great success in the past — but using it did make the black elements on the body pop up, including the split hood that divides the two cooling vents. Some people thought it was an awkward look to a car that’s supposed to be all about radical aggressiveness.
The narrative changes dramatically when the Senna is dressed up in black, just like the first-production model that was recently spotted in the wild, and talked about by car personality Shmee in his YouTube channel. The all-black treatment blends everything together. Instead of seeing the Senna as a car with multiple panels and aerodynamic components, the whole body is streamlined in one color, making it look meaner, sexier, and far more aggressive than the red-orange unit that was used in the model’s debut.
I will admit that I’m still on the fence about the massive rear wing. I get the fact that its size is largely due to McLaren’s goal of making it aerodynamically quick as possible, but does it really have to sit that far out of the rear? I know McLaren did that to clear room for the Senna’s funky exhaust configuration. While I’m at it, McLaren didn’t need too cute with that design either.
In any case, the black McLaren Senna looks far better than the red-orange version. That much, I think, we can all agree on.
McLaren F1 GTR Is More Than Just a Supercar, It’s Also a Christmas Tree Transporter
The McLaren F1 GTR is one of the most eye-catching supercars of all time. It’s a magnet for attention, and it’s capable of unfiltered viciousness on the race track. Apparently, it also makes for a handy car during the holiday season, as the owner of the UK’s most recognizable F1 GTR, Andy74b on Instagram, showed us in a recent video.
McLaren F1 Ownership Doesn’t come Cheap: Video
In a video released by VineWiki Previous F1 owner, Bruce Weiner, goes into the detail of the maintenance costs associated with ownership. Now, naturally, you would have to expect that owning a supercar – especially one of the F1’s caliber at that time – would be costly, but we’re talking about the kind of money that fuels divorce, among other things. In the video, Weiner explains that something like replacing the fuel cell, which needs to be done every five years, will set you back roughly $100,000 – a price tag that doesn’t even include transport or specifics. The clutch? Well, that needs to be replaced every few years or at about 3,000 miles and even changing the tires will set you back $50,000. Of course, that money gets you all the bits and pieces that go along with tire changing on a race car – a day at the track, a driver, the mechanics on site, various insurances, and the necessary suspension tuning and balancing.
Now, whether or not it really is so expensive, really remains to be seen. Weiner paid out $1.2 million for his legendary beast. The owner before him had just paid about $300,000 to have it painted Volcano Orange (a nice choice if we do say so ourselves,) but what really raises the question is how well Mr. Weiner actually knew the car. After all, in the video, he says there were 63 road-going examples when there were really 64, and, in case you didn’t notice, that 6.1-liter V-12 built by BMW wasn’t an “off-the-shelf” engine. Sorry, Weiner, but that engine was built specifically for the F1 and wasn’t used in any other car.
With that in mind, even if it did cost that much to own, what can you expect. It was once the fastest car in the world, and its engine bay is lined in gold. This isn’t your wife’s Mercedes, and it’s not your every day BMW 6 Series. We’re talking about a race car built for the road. Nothing about it was going to be cheap. It’s too bad he let the cost of owning such a fine piece of automotive history ruin the fact that he was sitting on top of one of the greatest cars ever built. Check out the video for yourself below!
Car Throttle Drives Triple Turbo McLaren, Expletives Are Uttered
What do you get when you hand a supercar and lots of money over to a competent tuner? The answer should be obvious – pure, unadulterated automotive excess. Indeed, that’s exactly what our friends over at Car Throttle encountered after getting behind the wheel of this McLaren from HyperCar Development. Based out of Southern California, HyperCar Development specializes in turning your everyday McLaren supercar into some kind of mad, otherworldly mega machine, as evidenced by the triple-boosted 12C featured in the above 6-minute video.
In case you were wondering, “triple-boosted” is a reference to the third turbocharger HyperCar Development added to the stock twin-turbo 3.8-liter V-8. The trio of snails combine to produce as much as 1,200 horsepower and 800 pound-feet of torque, good enough for a 2.4-second run to 60 mph, 3.5 seconds to 100 mph, and a quarter mile time in the low 8’s. Top speed is electronically limited to 270 mph. Pricing for the package is set at $129,900, but if you’re still craving more power, the tuner says it has a 1,500-horsepower package coming soon, with the goal being a whopping 300 mph at the top end. Because of course. You can check out HyperCar Development’s website here, but in the meantime, check out the vid to see the triple-boosted 12C out in the canyons of Los Angeles.
Oops: Newly Wed Couple Crash a Rented McLaren 650S
A wedding is supposed to be one of the happiest days in a person’s life. It’s especially important for the bride and groom, though I can argue that guests can have their own version of fun at these events. Unfortunately, things can still go awry, as one person will attest after crashing a rented McLaren 650S into a tree in what could very well be one of the most ill-timed and expensive attempts at showing off.
Specific details on what happened are still unclear, but the end result is as crystal as they come. The rented McLaren 650S incurred significant damage because the driver thought it was a good idea to mess around with the supercar’s launch control figure. I’m not sure if the driver didn’t know the purpose of launch control or he just made a mistake in engaging it; it doesn’t matter now either way. The point is that because of his tomfoolery, the 650S’ front end is barely recognizable after smooching with the tree. The hood looks like a crumpled piece of paper and both air bags actually deployed. All of that means that the 650S probably launched close to where the tree was and the suddenness of the car’s acceleration startled the driver, leaving him with precious little time to correct his error to at least avoid hitting the tree.
I don’t know who’s going to have to foot the bill for the supercar’s repairs, but I can tell you that given its state, I wouldn’t be surprised if the cost of repairs goes up to six figures. Lesson learned, folks. There’s no harm in renting a McLaren 650S for a wedding and then proudly show it off to all the other guests. Just make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into. And don’t forget to purchase the best insurance policy at the rental counter.
Bruce McLaren Documentary Is A Must-Watch
We all know the names Enzo Ferrari, Ferruccio Lamborghini, and Ferdinand Porsche. They’re all titans of the industry and their legacies remain to this day in the manufacturers that still bear their name. One name who doesn’t get as much shine as he should is Bruce McLaren, the New Zealand-born driver, engineer, and inventor who founded McLaren. Well, if anybody wants to know more about McLaren and his impact on the history of motorsports, now’s your chance because a special documentary covering his life will be shown in the U.S. by video-on-demand next month.
Aptly titled “McLaren,” the documentary covers McLaren’s whole life, beginning with his childhood in New Zealand all the way up to the tragic crash that claimed his life at Goodwood. It’s a little hard to believe that McLaren was only 32 years old when he died, but in the short time that he was alive, he managed to found a company and racing outfit that would go on to win 12 Formula One driver’s championships and eight constructor’s titles. Today, we know of McLaren both from its exploits in Formula One and the supercar division that has given us exotic beauties like the P1, 720S, and the grandfathered yet still iconic F1 supercar. All of it started with Bruce McLaren, who lived long enough to create a lasting legacy of his name. Now we have a chance to see the man in ways we probably never have before.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
Ride Shotgun in the McLaren F1 During its Record-Breaking Run in 1998
The McLaren F1 is the legend of legends and is still considered by some to be the best car ever made. It was engineered by a team of hand-picked masterminds with a focus on reduced drag, increased downforce, and mind shattering performance all wrapped up into one sexy package that effectively raised the bar for all supercars that came after it. Not only was it pleasing to look at, but the design itself was pure genius as it accommodates enough downforce that there was no need for a big, bulky spoiler or wing on struts in the rear. With a curb weight of around 2,500 pounds and a 6.1-liter, BMW, V-12 that had 627 horsepower and 480 pound-feet of torque, the McLaren F1 took a dominating toll on the record books in the early 1990s. And that folks, is what brings me to the topic at hand: the F1’s crazy top speed record of 240.1 mph.
To this day, the F1 is still the fastest naturally aspirated road car ever built and is still one of the most exclusive cars in the world. It’s top speed record has since been beaten, but a recently revealed video of the F1s record-breaking speed run comes to remind us of just how amazingly fast the F1 was in a time where fast didn’t come quite as easy as it does today. In the video you’re about to watch, you’ll see Le Mans winner Andy Wallace make several passes at the Ehra-Lessien proving ground, eventually pushing the F1 to the very threshold of its limits. All told the F1 actually hit 391 km, which is 242.956 mph, but because records average out two runs in opposing directions, the record was officially set at 240.1 mph.
In the video, you’ll see the in-car footage of this crazy record being set and can even hear everything Wallace had to say during the process. Once the car creeps over the 220 mph mark, you’ll finally get to see just how scary it really was for Wallace as the car was quite literally ready to take flight and even the slightest wrong move would have ended in disaster. But, that didn’t happen, and now we have the glory of sharing that experience with the man who pushed the F1 and himself to the limit. Click play and enjoy!
Lanzante, the company that converted the track-only P1 GTR into the road-legal, but still extreme P1 LM, has announced plans to attempt a new Nurburgring lap record later this year. It wouldn’t be surprising for Lanzante to achieve its goal, but until McLaren has the opportunity to brag about a new record, we’ll just have a look at its previous record setting machine thanks to a video from the 2016 Monterey Motorsports Reunion at Laguna Seca.
The footage, which surfaced the Interwebz courtesy of YouTube’s "The Race Channel," shows a visor cam of Bill Auberlen driving a 1996 McLaren F1 GTR on one of America’s most legendary race tracks. The car in question is none other than the first-generation F1 GTR, which unlike the P1 GTR, saw some serious track action and won several races, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1995.
Essentially a slightly beefed-up version of the road car, the F1 GTR used the same 6.0-liter V-12 engine developed by BMW, and as you can see in the video, it gives the car an amazing exhaust note that only large-displacement, naturally aspirated powerplants can offer. Not just noisy, the F1 GTR is also incredibly fast, and laps the Laguna Seca while zooming past other race cars present at the classic car event.
Making the video that much more entertaining is the fact that Auberlen pushes the F1 GTR to the limit, racing it like it’s the mid-1990s and the race car just came from the factory. Hit play and enjoy!
Auto Express Lines Up The McLaren 570S Against The Audi R8 V10 Plus And The Porsche 911 Turbo S: Video
Picking among the McLaren 570S, Audi R8 V10 Plus, and the Porsche 911 Turbo S is like picking which of the Avengers would win if they faced each other. There aren’t any wrong choices, just a lot of different preferences. That’s what it really boils down to among these three supercars. You could pick the 570S for its overflowing technological credentials and everyday appeal. You could pick the R8 V10 S for its all-around power and versatility. Or you could pick the 911 Turbo S because, well, it’s the 911 Turbo S.
That said, these three exotics also provide something unique to the table relative to its competitors. Steve Sutcliffe of Auto Express sought to find out exactly what those differences are when he had a chance to take all three exotics for some fun times around a racetrack. Like I said, there are no wrong choices here and Sutcliffe, while ultimately picking one car over the two, will likely have no problems going home with the two he didn’t end up choosing.
Put yourselves in his position having all three right in front of you. Believe me, all of you will have different choices and all of you will be justified for doing so. That’s how incredible all three supercars are, and if you need more convincing, go ahead and watch the episode.
Kenny Brack’s Blistering Lap Time Around Goodwood With The McLaren P1 LM: Video
The McLaren P1 LM is just days removed from its official debut at the 2016 Goodwood Festival of Speed and it’s already made a ridiculous impression by destroying the Goodwood hill climb record for a road-legal car with a lap time of 47.07 seconds.
Piloted by former Indy 500 driver Kenny Brack, the road-legal Lazante McLaren P1 GTR set a blistering lap despite clear evidence that Brack was struggling to get control of the road-legal beast throughout the lap. From the start of his lap, Brack immediately oversteered the car in the first right-hand turn before spending a majority of the lap bucking and dancing around. Through it all, he manages to extend his lead in each section of the track over Mike Skinner’s at-that-time fastest lap before crossing the line in scintillating fashion.
While it’s true that Olly Clark’s Subaru WRX STI “Gobstopper II” posted the quickest lap with an incredible time of 46.29 seconds, he did it with a race car as opposed to Brack’s “heavily modified” road-legal hypercar. A lot of impressive times were posted in Goodwood this year, but an argument can be made of Brack’s insane lap time of the P1 LM. At the very least, it’s going to be the time-to-beat when other production cars make a run atop the Goodwood hill climb in the future.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
McLaren 650S Takes On Lamborghini Huracán: Video
When you’re lining up a drag race between two supercars, it’s always best to have both cars be equal in terms of their power and performance numbers. Not only does it make for an even race, but it also helps answer questions on which car is faster to 60 mph or which car is faster to get to its top speed. In the case of this race between the McLaren 650S Spider and the Lamborghini Huracán, all the variables are there, except for the fact that the McLaren doesn’t have a roof.
Still, the two cars are considered direct rivals, and the while the McLaren has to make do with a retractable roof, it makes up for it by having more power than the Huracán. The 650S has 640 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque whereas the Huracán has 610 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of twist. Based on these numbers, the 650S has the advantage. That said, the Huracán is all-wheel drive whereas the 650S is rear-wheel drive. That helps the Lamborghini launch off the line quicker than the McLaren. It’s a clean and even race through and through, right?
Well, check out the video to see how the actual race unfolded. I’m not going to spill the details on who won, but based on the details about both cars, don’t be surprised to see, well, a few surprises. In the end, it really doesn’t matter because both the McLaren 650S and the Lamborghini Huracán are awesome supercars. You could pick one and I’d be happy with the other. It’s just that sometimes, there’s a need for bragging rights and in this case, the winner certainly deserved it.
McLaren 650S Drives Along Japan’s Scenic Hakone Turnpike: Video
Some have called the Hakone Turnpike in Japan as one of the most scenic and beautiful roads in the world. It rests on the base of the Izu Peninsula and winds up to almost 3,300 feet from sea level, cutting through a breathtaking scenery of woodlands and Japense cherry blossoms. The road is smooth with plenty of sweeping curves that make for an incredible joyride atop the summit. Recently, McLaren brought a 650S Spider to the Hakode Turnpike to film a glorious video of the British supercar driving up one of the Japan’s most famous roads.
Mere descriptions of the car driving along the Hakone Turnpike don’t do justice to what you’re about to see. Suffice to say, it’s probably one of the best and most relaxing car videos we’ve seen all year. It features the glorious sound of the 650S Spider’s 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 engine piercing the tranquil scenery and joined by a soft yet effective background music that highlights the road and views ahead.
In a country dominated by its own lineup of sports cars and performance cars, watching a McLaren 650S Spider conquering the Hakone Turnpike might be a little jarring to some. But give it a chance. Crank up the speakers, sit back, and watch the video. There’s a lot to be said for something that can take your mind away from the stress of everyday life. So trust me when I say that the video you’re about to see is one of those times.
Enjoy it for what it’s worth because it’s hard to piece together a ride as inspiring as this one.