You'll have to indulge us here, because we're comparing a car that's no longer on sale with one that is, and not only that - they're both from the same stable. But you want to know how the new McLaren Senna stacks up against the McLaren P1, right? Yeah, of course you do.

So let's not get picky about fiddly details like whether a car is actually on sale - all 500 examples of the Senna are sold, too, so even if it's a current production car, it's just about as attainable as the long-since departed P1, unless you've already got yours on order. 

Enough of that, more about these two actually very different McLaren hypercars. 

We drove the Senna:

McLaren P1 5th anniversary
2018 McLaren Senna prototype

The cars

When the P1 was launched, it was like a comic book illustrator had been given free rein to design a supercar. That dished rear wing, the squinty front end, it was a caricature of other more familiar-looking supercars like the Ferrari LaFerrari and Porsche 918 Spyder that launched at the same time, forming some unholy trinity of million-dollar, mega-fast high-tech hypercars. 

The McLaren Senna is totally different to all of those older cars. It is the most track-focussed road car that McLaren has ever produced, and it looks it. Even McLaren describes it as "brutalist" and we'd go along with that. The huge wing adjusts through a remarkable breadth of movement to keep this car - which feels more endurance racer than road-going supercar - stuck to the road. It also shuns any fancy hybrid tech, which rather defined the P1's futuristic electric-power-meets-V8 character. 

Read on for all the tech details and performance comparison figures, and scroll down for galleries and video action of these two remarkable cars.

5 Years of the McLaren P1
2018 McLaren Senna prototype
  McLaren P1 McLaren Senna
Price  $1,35 million (at launch) $958,996
Engine  3.8-liter biturbo V8 plus electric motor 4.0-liter biturbo V8                        
Transmission  7-speed automatic 7-speed dual-clutch automatic
Drivetrain  Rear-wheel drive Rear-wheel drive
Power  903 hp at 7,300 rpm (combined) 789 hp at 7,250 rpm
Torque  664 lb-ft (900 Nm) at 4,000 rpm (combined) 590 lb-ft (800 Nm) at 5,500 - 6,700rpm
0-62 mph  2.8 sec 2.8 sec
0-124 mph  6.8 sec 6.8 sec
0-186 mph  16.5 sec  17.5 sec
1/4 mile  9.8 sec 9.9 sec
124 mph - 0 mph  116 meters 100 meters
Top speed  217 mph (349 kph) 211 mph (339 kph)
Max. downforce  (1,322 lbs) 600 kg  1,763 lbs (800 kg)
Seats  2 2
Length  4,588 mm (180.6 inches) 4,744 mm (186.8 inches)
Width (incl. mirrors)  2,144 mm (84.4 inches) 2,153 mm (85.8 inches)
Height  1,188 mm (46.77 inches) 1,229 mm (48.4 inches)
Wheelbase  2,670 mm (105.1 inches) 2,670 mm (105.1 inches)

Weight (dry)

 3,075 lbs (1,395 kg) 2,641 lbs (1,198 kg)

Which one wins? 

Well, if we're to give the win on the basis of straight-line performance, it has to go to the P1. The Senna, notably, keeps up with the P1 in just about every way until you get up past 124 mph (200 kph), when the P1 pulls out a lead and gets to 186 mph (300 kph) a second quicker than the Senna.

However, check out that downforce. And which would be faster around a track? Well, even with both on bespoke Pirelli P-Zero Trofeo tires, the Senna would better a P1 around almost any track. That extra downforce sees it spearing through Silverstone's Abbey corner 9 mph (14 kph) faster than a P1, and it's 9 mph (14 kph) faster through Farm Curve and 3 mph (4.8 kph) faster through Stowe, too.

There's empirical evidence that that the Senna is faster through corners than a P1, and here at we like corners, and so we'd take the Senna, thanks. You can always let us know on Twitter or Facebook if you think we're wrong on that one... 


Gallery: 2018 McLaren Senna prototype

Gallery: 5 Years of McLaren P1


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