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McLaren Senna GTR unleashed at Goodwood

Published: 08 April 2019

► Production GTR revealed
► 814bhp from V8
► 1000kg peak downforce 

The first GTR version of the Senna, unveiled a year ago, was a concept. It served as confirmation McLaren was working on its most extreme track car yet, while reserving the right to change things a little ahead of the real deal.

Now the production-spec Senna GTR is with us, complete with 814bhp, 1000kg of peak downforce and the kind of no-compromise, race-developed aero you’d expect given McLaren’s pedigree in the field. 

McLaren first revealed the Senna GTR with super-polished studio shots or renders, but now the car's snapped in real life. At Goodwood's 77th Members' Meeting, McLaren let the Senna GTR lose on the track with other notable Maccas, so now you can see exactly what it looks like in the carbonfibre. 

Race-ready aero on the McLaren Senna GTR

McLaren Senna GTR: what you need to know

Just as the P1 GTR stripped the P1 of its road legality while ramping up its performance, so the Senna GTR does the same for the already pretty spicy Senna. Weight’s been reduced to 1188kg dry and the twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 pushed to 814bhp (25bhp up on the Senna, achieved by clearing the exhaust of its secondary catalyst and re-calibrating the ECU).

But it’s with regard the aerodynamics that McLaren’s design and engineering teams have taken full advantage of the extra freedom afforded by the GTR’s track-only remit. 

This is how McLaren Senna GTR makes a tonne of downforce

Peak downforce is up 200kg to 1000kg. More importantly, the Senna’s grip-boosting push is stronger sooner, giving a tangible helping hand at lower speeds. It’s on this attribute that McLaren bases its claim that, despite its searing speed, the Senna GTR will be exploitable for 95% of those fortunate enough to occupy the FIA-approved driver’s seat. 

The GTR generates the same downforce as the Senna at speeds 15% lower, meaning the Senna’s spooky high-speed grip, stability and composure will also be felt in medium- and low-speed corners in the GTR. Handy. 

McLaren Senna GTR

Over the concept, the production-ready GTR gets a re-designed diffuser (fed by a front end that now lets more air under the car) and front splitter, new dive planes and vortex generators on the nose and a striking new rear wing, complete with serious-looking LMP1-style wing endplates. 

Wingin' it

The Senna GTR sits lower than the standard car and runs wider rubber and broader track widths (by 77mm at the front and 68mm at the rear). 19-inch wheels house brakes bigger even than those of the 720S GT3 racer. 

Inside, the left-hand drive only GTR trades the standard car’s infotainment and driver’s display for race-spec instrumentation, a GT3-style quick-release steering wheel and a screen for the front- and rear-facing cameras. Additional go-faster functionality includes a pit radio, air jacks, a fire extinguisher and a Racelogic data-logger. There’s also a pit-lane speed limiter, to help placate marshals grumpy about your McLaren’s outrageous turn of speed. 

75 GTRs will be built, with first deliveries in August.

By Ben Miller

The editor of CAR magazine, story-teller, average wheel count of three

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