We speak to McLaren’s vehicle line chief Andy Palmer about the new 789bhp Ultimate Series model. For the full reveal story, click here.
Does this car carry clues to future McLarens?
“We discover things all the time. We’ve made a lot of things lighter and our knowledge of aerodynamics keeps progressing. And our suspension is a development of the P1 set-up. This is a very special car, but there’s still no doubt some of what you see in this car will make it into the next.”
There’s another Ultimate Series model around the corner, right?
“We’ll launch BP23 – the central-driving-position three-seater we’ve talked about – in 2019. It’ll go in a very different direction from this one. The price will be £1.6 million plus taxes, we’ll build 106 units as a homage to the F1, and those cars are already three times oversubscribed.”
Tell us about those glazing panels in the Senna’s doors. Don’t they add weight?
“They do, a little. The lightest iteration of the car will have carbon panels there. But the glazed panels you see are made from very thin, very durable Gorilla Glass. The extra view of the road they give is amazing. I can’t think why we didn’t do it before.”
Did McLaren do a deal to use the Senna name?
“We have strong links with the Senna Foundation, run by Ayrton’s family, which, I understand, works to help underprivileged children in Brazil. I believe there’s a kind of royalty connection.”