5 Cool Facts About the McLaren Senna
The Senna may be 300 pounds heavier than McLaren’s iconic F1, but that’s as far as the advantages of the latter goes. Built in 1992, the F1 was considered a back-to-basics car which misses on traction control, anti-lock brakes, or power steering just to reduce the weight. The Senna has all of those down but also brings in tougher crash safety standards. Here’s how McLaren achieved the feat.
The Carbon Fiber
McLaren knows its way around carbon fiber. It’s an important part of the whole construction, even up to the chassis in 1981. In the Senna, McLaren takes that knowledge to get to F1 levels of lightweighting. The single skin door is just 21.6 pounds which is a lot lighter than the 41.9-pound door of a 720S. The front fender clocks in at 1.5 pounds, a level up from the 570’s 4.9-pound fender. The seats only weigh around 7.4 pounds. The rear wing, even if it looks imposing, weighs 10.7 pounds only and can deliver over 100 times that in downforce on the rear axle at 155 mph.
It takes seven months to make each of the Senna’s race-spec CCM-R carbon ceramic brake rotors. That’s more time-consuming than creating a normal carbon disc, but it packs four times the thermal efficiency and are stronger by at least 60 percent, allowing superior performance in a tiny package. That means it becomes even lighter, so there’s that perk as well.
The Senna sports massive intake vents ahead of the rear wheels, up to the rear fenders that allows air to just slide through and even act on the temperature of the radiators. Because of this, it allows the car to have a smaller engine without worrying about overheating.
Air conditioning comes as a standard package, but it can be removed without any cost tied to it, freeing up 37 pounds. There is also an optional lightweight paint exclusively for the Senna called Caliber Black, which helps reduce the volume of liquid needed to provide coverage.
The Detail Stuff
The new high-flow fuel pumps are so effective the Senna doesn’t need more than two, which is one less than that of the P1 engine. The half-drop side windows requires power from smaller, lighter electric motors than usual. The passenger seating position is fixed, which is another way to remove any weighty adjustment mechanism.