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McLaren Senna's First Top Speed Run Produces Surprising Result

May 14, 2019

The Senna rides very smooth, even above 200 mph.

The McLaren Senna made a top speed run on the 2.7-mile runway at the Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds and managed to reach 204.1 miles per hour (328.467 kilometers per hour). This speed didn't quite match the Senna's advertised maximum velocity of 208 mph (340 kph). Bohmer claims this is the first true effort ever to evaluate how fast the Senna can go in the real world.

The Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds in Merritt Island, Florida, is one of the top places in the world for performing high-speed tests. The concrete runway is 3 miles (4.828 kilometers) long, and there's 1,000 feet (304.8 meters) more of asphalt runoff at each end. Over that distance, there's just a quarter inch (6.35 millimeters) of elevation change.

The Senna is McLaren's effort to build an even more potent machine than the earlier P1 but without using the previous model's hybrid tech. The designers equip the new machine with lots of carbon fiber that keeps the dry weight down to 2,641 pounds (1,198 kilograms). The twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 makes 789 horsepower (588 kilowatts) and 590 pound-feet (800 Newton-meters) of torque.

In this run, the Senna was only 2 percent away from its advertised top speed, which seems well within the margin of error. Lower temperatures for more efficient operation of the turbos might be enough to achieve the additional 4 mph (6 kph). As an example of the big difference from the weather conditions, a Porsche 911 GT2 RS made a 211-mph (340-kph) run during its first outing and improved the speed to 219 mph (352.4 kph) later when circumstances were better.

Source: Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds via YouTube

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