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McLaren names latest hypercar after F1 legend Ayrton Senna

The McLaren Senna has been designed specifically for the track. McLaren Automotive

McLaren has named its new hypercar after legendary three-time F1 champion Ayrton Senna.

The McLaren Senna is a track-focused road car, which the British company says is "legalised for road use, but not sanitised to suit it". It is based on McLaren's 720S road car and features a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 with a power output of 789bhp.

Unlike the existing P1 hypercar, which was designed to be quick on road and track, the Senna is targeted specifically at the track.

"The McLaren Senna is a car like no other: the personification of McLaren's motorsport DNA, legalised for road use but designed and developed from the outset to excel on a circuit," Mike Flewitt, Chief Executive Officer, McLaren Automotive said. "Every element of this new Ultimate Series McLaren has an uncompromised performance focus, honed to ensure the purest possible connection between driver and machine and deliver the ultimate track driving experience in the way that only a McLaren can."

Senna won all of his titles with the McLaren F1 team as well as 35 of his 41 grands prix victories. His nephew, and former F1 driver, Bruno Senna said his family was proud to be a part of the project after the Senna Foundation gave its consent to use his name.

"Our family is extremely proud of the naming of the new Ultimate Series McLaren Senna," Bruno Senna said. "This is the first project that really connects with Ayrton's racing spirit and performance. The McLaren Senna honours my uncle because it is so utterly dedicated to delivering a circuit experience that allows a driver to be the best they can possibly be.

"There is an absolute, seamless connection between car and driver and this pure engagement, these sensory cues that a driver responds to and relies upon, ensure an experience so focused and immersive that you are left in awe of the depths of excellence the McLaren Senna possesses."

The car's ungainly looks -- including a large front overhang -- have proved unpopular on social media following the launch, but McLaren insists they are a result of "a design language that is purposely fragmented in pursuit of absolute performance"

The press release adds: "With downforce and aerodynamic balance the guiding principles, this car is the purest expression yet of the 'form follows function' design philosophy embraced by McLaren."

Only 500 McLaren Senna's will be built and all 500 have already been snapped up at a price of £750,000 each. The car will make its public debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March where it is likely to receive comparisons with Mercedes' Project One -- a hypercar with the F1 team's world championship-winning engine -- and the Aston Martin Valkyrie -- the Adrian Newey-designed hypercar which has been developed by Red Bull Racing.