McLaren Senna Designers Explain The Thinking Behind Its Styling

The controversial design of the McLaren Senna won’t win it any beauty contests, but that’s OK with its creators, as their sole focus was on performance.

In fact, this is McLaren’s most extreme and aggressive creation yet, and every component “delivers very high levels of performance”, according to the brand’s design officials.

Design Director Rob Melville and Senior Designer Esteban Pallazo, the two men behind the styling of the Senna, took it to YouTube to explain why the hypercar looks the way it does. They say that it’s a huge departure from the usual design language, created to take “everything to a new level”.

It may not be to everyone’s taste at the moment, especially since it bears the name of one of the greatest F1 drivers ever, but the McLaren Senna is an absolute beast. With 2.8sec for the 0-100km/h (0-62mph) acceleration, it’s just as fast as the McLaren P1.

At high-speed cornering, everything changes, though, as according to the Woking-based manufacturer, the Senna is quicker not only than the P1, but the much more powerful, 986 HP (1,000 PS) P1 GTR, too. The Senna has 800PS (789hp) and 800Nm (590lb-ft) of torque, generated by the 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 and flat-out, it will do 340km/h (211mph), or 10km/h (6mph) less compared to the road-legal P1.

The two designers claim that the main idea behind the Senna is to make everyone want to drive it, but getting one is going to be a challenge, given that only 500 units will be made and all of them have already been spoken for.


    I can live with its looks. It’s not butt ugly but it’s not pretty either and from the right angle it’s not that bad; at least in my eyes anyway. Now if only I can say that about the Civic Type-R.

    • Bo Hanan

      I wish they would NOT explain the car. The people purchasing this vehicle already know.

  • Ary Wisesa

    It looks very nice in black.

  • Grumpy

    All i can hope is that the name fits the drug.

  • izzey04

    take a 720s..add some wings..add some more power and sell it for a gazillion dollars…

    • Nope, not even close. It’s a brand new car, different set up and all. Only the monocage that is shared in terms of technical.

      • CBV2020

        The reason the video is so important. I don’t understand why there were so many upvotes for the comment about wishing they didn’t explain. As if only purchasers should know? It’s a machine and many of us have interest in their engineering and design power.

  • Vassilis

    It also won’t be anywhere as fast around a track.

  • I still hoping for Senna racing in Le Mans. There is a chance that this car will make it.

  • DMax

    I doubt the kind of people who’d buy this car give two shits about some plebs opinion on the internet.

  • CBV2020

    Fantastic machine, I’m glad they took the time to explain as this is the way I can imagine many people learn about iconic cars? I find it more and more beautiful as time goes on, respecting it’s purposeful design. Besides, it’s a wonderful feeling to shift a perspective held in a place of repetition. Repetitively, we identify beauty somewhat immediately and decide not to move from our initial decision. However, discovering a new facet of visual beauty through respect for design functionality is a mentally stimulating and unexpected adventure. I’m in love now.

  • DMax

    Do you realize that resale/future appreciation is based on market for the car, meaning people who have money to buy it dictate it, and not what some 12 year old retards write on internet boards do you? If internet misc could dictate prices then Ferrari F50 would be a bargain now.

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