On the eve of releasing its first Senna (chassis number 001) to its owner, McLaren announced the name of its new hyper-GT car would be Speedtail.
The name is meant to evoke images of hyper-velocity (the car is reported to be able to push, if not exceed, 400 km/h in a straight line) and streamlined design (reportedly using lightweight new materials), both of which McLaren promises to surpass anything that has come before it. McLaren’s next Ultimate Series (limited to 106 units and all spoken for) will again feature boundless personalization through McLaren Special Operations (MSO).
The gasoline/electric hybrid will be unveiled to the public before the end of the year (with production to start at the end of 2019), though buyers will get a private preview before then. The cost is £1.6million (roughly $2.736 million Canadian) plus taxes. Unfortunately, all we have to go on now is a series of sketches and company press releases.
As with previous cars, most notably the F1, Speedtail will feature a central driving position, with two seats for passengers flanking and set back of the driver.
As for the first McLaren Senna, the Anniversary White car with Aurora Blue livery went to London businessman David Kyte, who promptly hit the road for a 1,400-km drive from the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, England, to the Circuit Automobile Paul Ricard for a McLaren Experience track-event. It was accompanied on its journey by three other Sennas, a McLaren 720S and 600 LT, and McLaren brand ambassador, racer Bruno Senna (nephew of the late Formula 1 champion Ayrton Senna, after whom the car is named).
“David Kyte is a longstanding McLaren enthusiast with a true passion for our brand and a number of McLarens to prove it,” said McLaren CEO, Mike Flewitt. “We have had many conversations about the car he has now taken delivery of and while I believe that the McLaren Senna is already incredible in every respect, the additional work that David has commissioned from McLaren Special Operations has taken ‘Senna 001’ to another level.”
In addition to the bespoke colour choice, Senna 001 also features carbon-fibre roof snorkel, T-Bar and fuel-filler cap, Burton Blue brake calipers, and Volcano Red centre-lock wheel nuts. Inside, there’s black Alcantara diamond-stitched seats with the Senna signature S embroidered in Harissa Red on the headrests, red-tinted carbon fibre surrounds on the controls, black carpets with Harissa Red Alcantara piping, and Volcano Red door struts. The keys are in red-tinted carbon fibre.
“I committed to buying a McLaren Senna as soon as I became aware that McLaren was developing the car – so long before the name was confirmed - but leaving the McLaren Technology Centre after the handover ceremony was the first time I have actually driven one,” said Kyte. “Working with McLaren Special Operations on the bespoke design of the car was a fascinating experience. The original inspiration for the livery was to trace the way that the air flows over the body but we decided on a more stylised design, with which I am absolutely delighted. I also love the fact that there are features on the car that are almost hidden, such as the details honouring Ayrton Senna and the McLaren ‘Speedy Kiwi’ on each side.”