McLaren P1 GTR meets MP4/4: Stunning Senna hypercar tribute revealed
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McLaren Special Operations (MSO) has completed a bespoke McLaren P1 GTR project to mark the 30th anniversary of Ayrton Senna’s maiden Formula 1 World Championship.
The already striking P1 GTR has been modified with the iconic colours of McLaren's 1988 MP4/4 that propelled Senna to the first of three F1 titles. The MP4/4 is the most successful Grand Prix car in McLaren’s F1 history, designed by Gordon Murray who would go on to create the McLaren F1 roadcar.
Competing in the final year of the 1.5-litre turbo formula, driver duo Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost would claim 15 of the season’s 16 races, a level of dominance that has yet to be repeated. Senna won eight times, claiming the championship in the penultimate round at Suzuka, Japan. McLaren won the Constructors’ title with three times the points of its closest rival.
The car was commissioned by a McLaren collector who was inspired by Ayrton Senna from a young age and wanted to create a tribute that echoed the Brazilian’s war colours. Working in close collaboration with the MSO team over the past three years the owner oversaw every detail of the project.
The core colours are the famous McLaren Rocket Red and Anniversary White that echo those of the Marlboro brand. Detailing includes the Senna Brand Trademark on the front splitter as well as in front of the air intake and each door, with the ‘Senna’ script and ‘Driven to Perfection’ slogan on the doors and intake.
The doors also show the Brazilian flag and the bar code in lieu of Marlboro script due to modern day advertising restrictions. MSO say more than 800 hours was spent on painting and other external points include Senna’s 1988 race number ‘12’ on the nose, 30th anniversary laurels behind the side windows and discreet branding of a range of McLaren technical partners past and present.
Christened ‘Beco’ by the owner – with the full blessing of the Senna family, in honour of the nickname given to Ayrton by his parents – this very special car has a unique engine specification complemented by a 24ct gold heatshield, Lexan rear cover and modified engine bay shrouds. Working in combination with the electric motor in the McLaren P1 GTR's hybrid powertrain, the owner says these changes result in a ‘suitably pleasing’ power increase.
McLaren won't mention 'Beco's' specific output details, but as standard the P1 GTR's powertrain produces a combined 735kW of power and 1050Nm of torque. Top speed is limited to 345km/h due to the tyres which are optimised for grip in the bends.
‘Beco’ has also undergone several external modifications to increase downforce 'in the region of 800kg'. New additions include front dive planes, a wider front splitter, rear Gurney flap and new barge boards which better channel airflow along the sides of the car. The rear wing also features much bigger endplates than those on a 'standard' McLaren P1 GTR, desiged to echo the look of the MP4/4 F1 car. More downforce is generated by inboard secondary wing elements.
In the cabin Senna’s signature can be seen on the carbon fibre chassis sill accompanying one the owners favourite quotes. The steering wheel has been trimmed in Alcantara with stitching colour-matched to the ‘wheel of the MP4/4. Alcantara has also been used for the facia cover panel.
Senna branding on the steering wheel and passenger dash panel is accompanied with a thin red stripe running along the door panels and dash, whilst both driver and passenger sit on Super Lightweight Racing Seats developed for the McLaren Senna, contributing to a weight-reduction regime. MSO has also created a bespoke crash helmet to the customer’s commission, to complement the livery of the car.
"It is great to have the opportunity to pay tribute to our brand’s wonderful history, especially with this year marking the 30th anniversary of Ayrton Senna’s first Formula 1 World Championship title with McLaren," said MSO managing director Ansar Ali.
"This project has been a labour of love for MSO; with extensive engine and aerodynamic enhancements in addition to the distinctive cosmetic treatment this car has received, this is certainly a landmark achievement.”
McLaren produced 375 P1 hypercars, 58 P1 GTRs and 5 P1 LM track-only variants.