The pioneering active front aero blades and the active rear wing harness the airflow, optimise the vehicle balance and keep the aerodynamic window as broad as possible.
These elements are key in the driver accessing – and exploiting – the absolute performance of the McLaren Senna. The extensive use of carbon fibre ensures the McLaren Senna is the lightest road car we have built since the iconic F1.
With revolutionary suspension technology developed from the McLaren P1™, we have created a vehicle that generates race car-beating levels of downforce, and a chassis that communicates so vividly with the driver that they can truly exploit the performance potential.
The McLaren Senna produces up to 800kg of downforce – 200kg more than the McLaren P1™ – and active front aero blades and an active rear wing are key to unlocking such aerodynamic performance. The innovative active aero harnesses the airflow, optimises vehicle balance and keeps the aerodynamic window as broad as possible. This opens up the potential of the McLaren Senna and lets the driver push closer and closer to limits that push higher and higher with an increase in speed. The driver’s confidence grows, allowing them to brake later, carry more speed into corners and apply the throttle earlier.
The McLaren Senna combines all of McLaren’s knowledge to create the next generation of world-beating suspension: RaceActive Chassis Control II (RCC II). The cutting-edge suspension system has been designed to both generate and manage incredible aerodynamic loads, and create uncompromising track performance. RCC II allows the McLaren Senna to be driven on the road in relative comfort; however, select Race mode and the McLaren Senna can deliver a truly incredible lap time, with levels of downforce never seen before on a road car, and roll stiffness that is comparable to a GT3-specification race car. Quite simply, it is a ‘no compromise’ set-up.
The all-carbon fibre body is incredibly light and has the immense structural rigidity needed to support the aerodynamic forces it is subjected to at high speeds on a racetrack. At 150mph, and under huge aero loads, the front splitter of the McLaren Senna deflects less than 10mm. The rear wing assembly is equally impressive and the carbon fibre construction allows it to support more than 100 times its own weight in downforce. Both the roof-mounted ‘snorkel’ intake and the intake plenum atop the twin-turbo engine are constructed in carbon fibre, serving to lower the centre of gravity.
Weighed together, the total mass of every single interior component is less than 60kg. Each individual Super-Lightweight carbon fibre racing bucket has been constructed using a double-skin shell technology, and the hollow structure creates a seat that is both stiffer and lighter. At 3.35kg, McLaren’s engineers were able to deliver a 33 per cent weight reduction compared with the same seat shell manufactured using conventional carbon fibre processes. An additional 475g was saved per seat as a result of using seven individual seat paddings on high pressure points instead of a complete foam layup.
McLaren’s commitment to weight reduction is manifest in a colour unique to the McLaren Senna: Calibre Black, a lightweight paint specially formulated to reduce the volume of liquid needed. Even parts often taken for granted have been re-evaluated and reassessed. Befitting the nature and intention of the McLaren Senna, the licence plate plinth can be specified with a quick-release option that attaches to the front of the car using lightweight magnets. This reduces the number of fixings and requires no tools for easy removal at a racetrack. A lightweight lithium-ion battery is standard.
The drive of the team behind the McLaren Senna has been incredible. Having met their weight targets, the engineers committed to a further five per cent reduction, chasing and hunting out every last gram of possible savings. The doors on the McLaren Senna are less than one third of the weight of the dihedral doors on the McLaren Super Series. An individual rear fender panel weighs a mere 2.87kg, with a panel thickness of just 1mm. Benchmarked against the first Ultimate Series, the weight of an individual rear light has been reduced by 50 per cent to a single kilogram.
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