If it’s good enough for Ferrari’s hypercar is it good enough for a McLaren Ultimate Series?  Calling a car the ‘Bruce’ is not going to inspire anybody in the same way the Latin flair of ‘Enzo’ does.

Nor does the Ron, the Eric or the Zak.


Instead of looking to current employees – I think the ‘Nando’ would have some copyright implications – McLaren decided to look at former employees.  Even ones who left because their engine was rubbish.  So the new McLaren Ultimate Series car is called the Senna.

Ironically and perhaps fittingly, the 789hp Senna makes less power than the 903hp P1.  However McLaren say that the Senna is the most extreme, most focused road legal track car they’ve ever built.  Apparently they made some concessions for on road usability with the P1.  Right.

To be fair, they’ve done everything right.  The Senna Foundation and the Senna family have given McLaren the tick of approval to use their name.  Ayrton’s nephew Bruno was involved in the development of the chassis, so there is a tiny little bit of Senna DNA there.  But to go as far as to call a car the Senna 23 years after the legend’s passing?  Smells a bit like contrived marketing bulldust to me.

You can imagine the marketing department conversation. “We need to get away from this alpha-numeric rubbish that no-one understands.  Didn’t we have this famous guy drive for us?”

If they want to remain credible, as in the car is named as a tribute to a great legend, we can look forward to the next McLaren Ultimate Series for the circuit being called the Hunt.  They could get Freddie to test it and everything, just like Bruno.

McLaren can go and call their billionaire’s plaything the Senna if they want.  But the true enthusiasts know there’s only one real Ayrton Senna road car.  The one he actually developed himself.  It was made by McLaren’s favourite car company of this moment.  It is, of course, the Honda NSX.

Now that is ironic.

Acura NSX Ayrton Senna Test 1990

Posted by Lehmo

Tragic automotive enthusiast, motorsport fan, car salesperson and now amateur writer. Always drives with his hands at 9 and 3. Has been known to watch more than one motorsport event at a time.

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