After close to two years, our McLaren Senna has finally landed. By chassis number, it’s one of the last 25 to be built. The upside of asking for a very late production car is many of the issues that emerge in the early cars are long solved, the downside is the long wait. By the time I drive our Senna for the first time, many owners will have had their cars for over a year. Is the wait worth it? Past experience with both Ferrari and McLaren would indicate it is and reports from a few friends who got very early production cars would back this up. Given its roots in Formula 1, McLaren is very much a learning organization. By ingrained habit, McLaren will continuously improve at anything it does repeatedly over a period of time.
So far, I have seen our Senna, sat in our Senna, and fired it up once. The spec turned out exactly like I hoped it would. I think it is about as subtle as something this focused gets without resorting to spec that simply tries to obscure all the intricate design elements. During the pre-delivery meeting, we did the seat adjustments and I did get to start it up once. My first impression sitting behind the wheel, it’s significantly more focused that even the 675LT. You sit very low in the tub, in fact lower than any other car we have owned. Placing the front end on the road will take practice. The sight lines from behind the wheel are very different vs. all the other McLarens. Most of the controls are in slightly different locations from either the 675LT or the 720S so that will take a bit of getting used to. Overall the interior layout is logical with the acres of carbon fiber reinforcing the Senna’s intended purpose.
After spending the better part of a hour around the Senna, so far it’s the Ferrari F40 ( F40 Driver’s Seat) that it reminds me of the most. While the Senna’s build is far more polished than the “its held together with green gel toothpaste” look of the F40, they both are uncompromising focused, twin turbo V8s, that set new benchmarks for road car performance. While the Senna may share a significant amount of its DNA with the P1, I do see them as very different cars created off of significantly different briefs.
As next steps, our Senna will now go through the pre-delivery process and get full paint protection film treatment. Together this will take the better part of two weeks to complete. I’m still debating if it’s worth having a radar detector installed. The radar detector would still need to be windshield mounted so I am not sure it’s worth the effort of putting in a hard wired power supply for the number of times I would actually use it. Once all the work is completed, we will have the formal handover and the long wait will end. More to follow in a few weeks…….
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