McLaren Senna GTR: Geneva update

UPDATE: 7/3/18
Get 'em while they're hot, the old adage goes. Well, that applies doubly to cars and apparently thrice to McLaren, which has confidently predicted - less than 12 hours from launch - that all examples of the Senna GTR will likely be gone by close of play on the second day of the Geneva show.

The firm's Executive Director for Global Sales, Jolyon Nash, had previously suggested to PH that the Swiss event had proven to be a success in terms of sales enquiries, and evidently that scenario has played out again following the introduction of Woking's most extreme track car on Tuesday morning.

Of course the modest total volume of 'up to' 75 examples will have played its part, as will the stellar reputation of McLaren's past GTR variants - nevertheless, prospectively selling out the entire production run of a million pound-car while still in the 'concept' phase reiterates Woking's privileged position in an extremely busy hypercar segment.

The standard Senna - dubbed McLaren's fastest road-legal track car - had already set a notable benchmark for its more expensive sibling; selling out before a single customer had seen the 800hp model in the flesh. At least those approaching the stand in Geneva can claim that advantage - although latecomers will be no less disappointed.

The rumours were true, then: McLaren is going to make an even faster, track-only version of the Senna. Which is already the fastest McLaren around a circuit. Some millionaires are never happy, are they? Previewed at Geneva with this concept, the Senna GTR is expected to go into production next year.

So what's changed? Well, as you can see from the pictures, being freed from the strictures of road-legal status has allowed McLaren to seriously push the envelope when it comes to the car's aerodynamic performance. The rear diffuser - already vast - is now phenomenally big, as is the front splitter. The door skins are pushed in to improve airflow and the wings are new to accommodate a wider track. Dare it be said the "because race car" look actually works better when it's a dedicated track variant? It's certainly got presence.

It'll be lighter than the road-going variant, too. Given the early stages of development, McLaren is understandably light on technical detail, but a number of features - the side exit exhausts, the polycarbonate windows, the usual jettisoning of road car paraphernalia - suggest that Woking will manage to subtract another 50kg or so from its kerbweight.

Combined with a power output that will be 'at least' 825hp and a "race-style transmission" (a sequential gearbox, perhaps?), its maker is confident enough to predict that - even without having properly run the car in its new aero package - it will post the quickest McLaren lap times outside Formula 1. With a revised suspension setup, downforce now up to 1,000kg and Pirelli slicks to push down on, it's hard to find fault with that statement from the edge of a show stand.

Certainly it's the thought of it which has driven Woking into revealing the GTR (or a working approximation of it) so close to the launch of the Senna. While a track special variant was always said to be in McLaren's game plan, it is apparently fervent buyer demand which is at the root of the car's appearance at Geneva. The firm certainly expects the customer base to be made up of broadly the same people - although you won't actually need to own a road-legal Senna to buy the GTR.

CEO Mike Flewitt said of the new model: "The very limited number of customers who secure this car will be buying the closest experience you can get to a race car without actually lining up on a circuit grid." Furthermore, should McLaren buyers still want to actually line up on a circuit grid, 2018 sees the launch of a one-make McLaren championship - the Pure McLaren GT Series - giving customers the chance to compete in 'arrive and drive' events with the 570S GT4.

As for the Senna GTR, McLaren says to expect complete technical details later in 2018, by which time a full production number should have been confirmed too, with delivery expected next year. It's worth reiterating that the track car is actually available to buy, whereas the standard model was sold out before its buyers even got to see it in the flesh. Don't expect that situation to last for long though; the firm will happily accept deposits at Geneva. And expects to do so.









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Comments (115) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Maldini35 06 Mar 2018


  • E65Ross 06 Mar 2018

    Blimey! The rear diffuser and front splitter are mad!

    No doubt people will moan saying "it's a track version of basically a track car" rolleyes

  • jonosterman 06 Mar 2018

    I know that form follows function and all that, but it's still a crushing shame when the performance requirements generate something just so... ungainly.

    The rear diffuser that looks like it's being slowly sh@ out of the back end, the dinner tray at the front added to all the same styling issues of the non-GTR model really don't do it any favours (IMHO, obviously).

    It seems to be doubly a shame as I think it is possible to have something designed for speed that looks good too, e.g. the MP4/4, 812 Superfast, even something like the Aston Valkyrie looks better than this.

  • anniesdad 06 Mar 2018

    Well...that's the side on view fully resolved. Looks like it will go very quickly round a circuit. yikes

  • isaldiri 06 Mar 2018

    Can anyone read off the front tyre size markings on the sidewall?

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