2018 McLaren Senna first drive: Living up to a legend

At the tail end of last year we were invited by McLaren to a Top Secret Location in London to get an early look at something rather special. Lurking in a darkened studio was a razor-sharp silhouette unlike anything in the brand’s portfolio to date. As the lights came up and the polarising McLaren Senna was revealed, a feverish excitement filled the air. Sat before this small collection of journalists was not only the most extreme McLaren road car ever made, but also one deemed worthy of the Senna name. McLaren was clearly confident in its latest creation's abilities.

As the months ticked by we got up close and personal with the £750,000 supercar and even had the chance to drive a validation prototype at Silverstone – but today is the day we pass judgment on the finished article. This 789bhp hypercar awaits at the famed Estoril F1 circuit in Portugal, home of Ayrton Senna’s first grand prix victory.

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2018 McLaren Senna production version

First impressions

The McLaren Senna isn’t a pretty car – at least not in the conventional sense. It’s not curvaceous or pebble-like in design, nor particularly elegant. The equation of form and function is not a balanced one in this case and that’s because the Senna was given one undiluted mission: become the fastest road legal car the company has ever made. This dedication to its cause results in one of the most striking cars to ever grace the asphalt.