McLaren may have built the Senna as a hardcore track car, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t capable of some blistering straight-line speeds, as the video below shows.
Filmed at the Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds, this Senna was let loose on an empty runway and managed to reach a top speed of 204 mph (328 km/h). Even so, according to McLaren, the Senna is capable of reaching 211 mph (339 km/h), so it probably had a little more to give. Not that we’re complaining with 204 anyway…
The Senna is powered by a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 with 789 HP, so it definitely has an abundance of power. Thus, the most obvious culprit for the “lackluster” top speed is the huge wing sticking out of the rear like a (massive) sore thumb. It might makes the Senna one of the quickest road cars around a race circuit ever conceived thanks to the downforce it produces, but it also creates huge amounts of drag and adversely impacts the car’s all-out speed. Watching the video, it’s evident the rate of acceleration starts to slow down significantly once it exceeds 190 mph (305 km/h) and only inches its way up to 204 mph.
We suspect that the wing isn’t the only reason why this Senna was able to go as fast as one may expect. It is possible that the car was driving against a headwind or a crosswind during its run, which could have also played a role in that.