Performance car manufacturers are always pushing boundaries when it comes to giving their latest creation a competitive edge.
We are currently in an age of extreme hypercars that blur the lines between road and track, but no matter how impressive, they are still ultimately restricted by the laws of the land. The McLaren Senna and Aston Martin Valkyrie are two such cars, but now each manufacturer has decided burn the rule book and set the cars free via track-only specials.
Both are feather weights, both fuelled by F1 technology, both gunning for the ultimate lap times. At this point in time they are also both concept cars, but in a theoretical showdown, which would take the top step of the podium? Here’s what we know so far.
|McLaren Senna GTR||Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro|
|Engine||Twin-turbocharged 4-litre V8||6.5-litre V12 hybrid|
|Power||At least 813bhp||At least 1,100bhp|
|0-62mph||Less than 2.8 seconds||N/A|
|Top speed||Around 211mph||225mph|
|Weight||Less than 1,198kg||Less than 1,000kg|
The McLaren Senna GTR wields a developed variant of the 4-litre V8 found in the 720S. Being twin-turbocharged means there should be a good slug of torque available to the driver when exiting slow corners. This engine might be viewed as conventional next to hybrid powertrains, but it’s a significantly lighter solution than lugging a battery around. Moreover, a depleted battery is simply dead weight in a track car.
Nestled in the middle of the Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro is a naturally aspirated 6.5-litre V12 engine that’s guaranteed to sound spectacular. It’s supported by a battery system that harvests energy under braking and uses it to boost the engine. It’s total output is nearly 300bhp more than the Senna, but as previously mentioned, once the battery is empty you’re at the mercy of the track for enough hard braking zones to recharge.
It’s no surprise that the McLaren, with all of the brand’s Formula 1 heritage, is clocking a four-digit downforce figure – mighty impressive. However, it’s also clear to see that Aston is benefiting from its partnership with Red Bull Racing by matching the Senna in that department.
Each features active aerodynamics that trim and channel air according to what the car requires in realtime. The Senna GTR makes the most of a huge rear wing, expansive splitter and diffuser setup to maximise downforce and create a vacuum under the car known as ground effect. Aston’s effort is visually more extreme and appears to make greater use of underbody aerodynamics surfaces, hence the huge void beneath the Valkyrie, as opposed to complex wing elements on top of the car.
Regardless of which school of thought you prefer, both have managed to net the same 1,000kg of downforce.
Price and exclusivity
The McLaren Senna road car is a relative bargain delivering P1 surpassing performance for £750,000 and the same could be said for the track car. Around £1 million will get you one of 75 GTRs. That’s half the cost of a P1 GTR...
The Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro will be rarer, numbering only 25. That said, you will be paying £2-3million for the privilege.
We are itching to find out which car will win out in this ultimate battle of the Brits.