How I learned to love the McLaren SennaApr 1st, 2019
Words from Jimmy Vervitas.
So it’s been well over a year since the unveiling of McLaren’s latest ultimate series car and the Senna has found a home for me amongst the greatest hypercars in history.
The days before its unveiling, McLaren suggested we should be prepared for what would be a brutal-looking car. Designed and engineered to perform every exercise at the highest level, I had imagined in my head how crazy it would look, but the path of design, looks, and character I had imagined could not be further from what it actually is. Not even in the same hemisphere. My first actual impression was less than polite and I was trying desperately to understand it.
As the ordering guides hit our stores, and all the Instagram livery gurus hand their hand with it, the car slowly started taking on a new form. Slowly, as you discover how intricate it is, the details started changing things for me.
It all got really exciting when it came time to spec our own car. Going through that process with MSO felt very special. We were able to learn about the car even more intimately. We saw how it’s put together. We saw where we could add a personalized touch to details. I was falling in love with the possibilities – and I think we pulled off a nice car to boot!
When the first ones landed, I was on hiatus but found time to visit the store and see the car in person. I was amazed at how much detail I didn’t pick up on – even during the speccing process. It is so intricate but flows so beautifully. You see function all over it; every little thing matters. Every bit of its existence is meant to aid the car in something that it does. I was enamored by it.
But all of what I just said isn’t even really the reason It finds itself amongst hypercar royalty.
It’s inevitable you’ll compare the Senna to the LaFerrari, P1 and Porsche 918. For me, the Senna is more important than all three of those cars. While the P1, LaFerrari and 918 pushed the boundaries of road car power units, they were also not the lightest – and really not all that much about aerodynamics.
Beauty was also a big part of their DNA. All these things make for a great car. McLaren said from the start the P1 was to be the ultimate road car, while the Senna is the ultimate track car – reverse engineered to be legal for the road and within an inch of the law.
It represents the best of how we know how to do things the old way – if that makes sense.
Internal combustion, active suspension, active aero and the lightest weight materials this earth has to offer. It’s the max of what we know. It reminds me so much of the very car I thought was next level growing up as a child. A car that shares its twin-turbo V8 powerplant, its lightweight-material build, and its obvious hand-built nature.
It is the modern day F40 to me – it shares its philosophy, its heart, and its soul. And because of that, the Senna is legendary.