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Car Review

McLaren Senna review

Published: 26 Jun 2018


What is it like on the inside?

Lots of cars have doors that open upwards. Very few have doors that feel as light in the hand as these. Or that the gravel tinkles out as the 9kg weight (less than half the mass of a P1 door) is pushed up on unique hydraulic struts. Yep, the air channels in the panels are a great gathering point for road debris thrown up by the front wheels.

Moving on. Fixed back carbon shelled seats, each weighing a mere 8kg, are not the most cosseting, but depending on your - ahem - build, can be had in one of two widths. Once harnessed in you feel much more in tune with the car, it feels right that getting ready involves more than just clipping in a single seatbelt. Visibility is good on the whole, with narrow A-pillars and good separation between them and the exterior mirrors, and can I urge you to opt for the extra glass panels in the roof and doors, if only for the extra light they let in.

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The cabin itself strikes a fine balance between stripped-out racer and modestly equipped road racer. There is a margin in there somewhere. The Senna comes across as very purposeful, thinly padded and bare of carbon, but with all the equipment necessary to at least be tolerable on the road.

And it feels like an event. You don’t have much opportunity to look out the lower glass panels when you’re driving, but they nevertheless manage to add something to the experience. So to does having the starter button in the roof panel (also up there are the switches for the windows and door releases), and the sensation that the engine is bolted direct to the frame. It’s all a reminder that the Senna is not your standard run-of-the-mill hypercar, but something with a very specific mindset.

There’s plenty more evidence for that when you delve into the infotainment system. Not only does the Senna have the nifty flip-up dash display a la 720S, but also a specific track app. McLaren Track Telemetry (MTT) is an option that not only captures data from each lap, but also can - for a further additional cost - come with three cameras: one looking forward from the windscreen, one backwards from the tail and the last mounted between the seats. Suspect that’ll be a more costly option than a regular dashcam.

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