The McLaren Senna has set a new production car lap record at Virginia International Raceway’s Grand Course during Car and Driver’s annual Lightning Lap event.
In the run-up to this year’s Lightning Lap, the fastest street-legal vehicle Car and Driver had sent around the difficult circuit was a Porsche 911 GT2 RS with a time of 2:37.8, putting it more than 1.5 seconds ahead of a 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 and 1.9 seconds faster than a 2018 McLaren 720S. Well, the Senna managed to make the GT2 RS’s time seem slow.
With racing ace Andre D’Cruze behind the wheel and the car’s Race mode enabled, it recorded a blistering time of 2:34.9, an extraordinary 2.9 seconds faster than the GT2 RS. The publication believes this time will probably stand for a number of years.
Powering the McLaren Senna is a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine with a claimed 789 hp and 590 lb-ft (800 Nm) of torque although dyno tests have shown the car may have a little more oomph than that. However, it is not insane power that makes the Senna so fast around a circuit. It’s downforce.
The track-focused street car delivers up to 1,763 lbs (800 kg) of downforce and this helps glue it to the Virginia International Raceway’s tarmac, with its series of high-speed corners where the car’s insane levels of grip can really be put to the test. The Senna is also very light, tipping the scales at just 3,030 lbs (1,374 kg) thanks to its extensive use of carbon fiber.