It doesn’t matter how the McLaren Senna looks to our eyes, it only matters that it’s beautiful to the wind. That’s because the Senna’s sole mission was to beat every other street-legal car around every race track in the world. To do that, it needed aerodynamic efficiency and downforce.
Normal supercars have to be all things to its buyers — a multi-tool, if you will — but the Senna was so sharply focused on laptimes that it could forego things like sound deadening and fully opening windows.
Insider information suggests that the P15 project was originally meant to become McLaren’s entry for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but changes to sanctioning-body rulebooks and speed bumps in the company’s financial situation derailed that goal. Instead, the P15 morphed into the Senna, which as the company’s most extreme street-legal Ultimate-Series car, would help recoup its development costs.
As a specialized tool to perform one job — being fast around a track — this McLaren is a screaming success. Today, the Senna holds many production-car lap records.