Here’s Why The McLaren Senna Is Named After The Legendary Racer


Naming a hypercar after one of the greatest racing drivers who ever lived was a bold decision, to say the least.

Naming a car after one of the greatest racing drivers that ever lived automatically sets expectations astronomically high. Such is the case with the McLaren Senna, a track-focused hypercar that really doesn’t look like it should be road legal. Named after the late Ayrton Senna, the legendary Formula One driver who was tragically killed during a race in 1994, it may not be the prettiest car McLaren has ever made thanks to its ungainly looks, but it’s easily one of the most brutal.

Power is provided by a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 producing 789 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque, and just about every part of the extreme exterior is designed to enhance the car’s aerodynamics. Some may argue the hypercar’s polarizing looks doesn’t do the late racing driver justice and accuse McLaren of capitalizing on Senna’s legacy.

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McLaren has released a new video explaining why it decided to name its new hypercar after the legendary racing driver. Senna raced for McLaren from 1988 to 1993, securing three Formula One championships. “His values, and his drive and determination, and his quest for excellence influenced not only his life, but the way we do cars in McLaren,” Dan Parry-Williams, McLaren’s engineering design director said. “There’s the famous recording of him saying, when you think you’ve done the most you possibly can, you can reach a little higher, go a little further. That does exemplify our approach to this car with pushing boundaries we’ve not pushed before. It’s going to be the most engaging of any car we’ve done so far.”

“Ayrton stood for that kind of obsessions with detail, that desire to go fast,” added Marcus Waite, chief engineer. “His focus, his unwavering determination to go beyond the limit, that in itself then becomes an inspiration,” Richard Farquhar, powertrain and vehicle engineering director, also added. “He was utterly focused to be the best he could be to achieve the highest levels in his sport.” Clearly, Senna’s drive and determination to push beyond the limit has had a profound effect on the company and encapsulates how McLaren is approaching the design of its latest hypercar. Production of the McLaren Senna is limited to just 500 examples – and every car has already been sold for $1 million each.

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