Ayrton Senna’s Lamborghini-powered McLaren
In 1993 McLaren had to switch from Honda to Ford for its F1 engine supply. Unhappy with Ford, McLaren organised secret Lamborghini powered tests at Silverstone and Estoril
Ayrton Senna saw great success at McLaren, winning all three of his Formula 1 World Championships with the British team. His victories are well documented, but what isn’t as well known is that he wanted a Lamborghini engine in his F1 car.
If you could wind the clock back to September 1993 at Silverstone, you would see none other than Ayrton Senna driving an unbranded car. This white racer was a modified MP4/8, but unlike the regular car, this B model was modified to feature a Lamborghini V12 engine instead of the Ford Cosworth.
More on McLaren...
- McLaren F1: A living legend
- McLaren set to launch 18 new models by 2025
- McLarens for sale on AutoClassics
McLaren were forced to take the Ford engine for the 1993 season due to Honda pulling out of Formula 1 and ending this successful partnership. Performance was lacking and Senna was unhappy that McLaren’s customer Ford V8 engines weren’t as powerful as the factory Ford engines used by Benetton. Months of negotiations between McLaren’s Ron Dennis and Bob Lutz of Chrysler/Lamborghini lead to a handshake deal and the re-engineering of the MP4/8.
Modified to accommodate the larger engine, the now MP4/8B was tested by Senna and Mika Häkkinen at Silverstone. Lamborghini’s V12 had been supplied to smaller teams with limited success, but this was the raging bull’s chance to prove that it could really succeed with the help of a top team like McLaren.
After some feedback from Ayrton and Mika, engineers worked on the V12 to deliver better mid-range performance. Further tinkering and another test at Estoril in Portugal had McLaren’s star driver convinced. He reportedly wanted the engine in the car for the up and coming Japanese grand prix, but Ron Dennis said no.
Behind the scenes Ron was working on a deal with Peugeot to enter F1 off the back of its recent Le Mans success. Where did that leave Lamborghini? Out in the cold. Ford eventually gave McLaren the same engines as Benetton and the team ultimately won the 1993 season. In 1994 the McLaren MP4/9 was powered by a Peugeot V10 that turned out to be terribly unreliable.
Lamborghini was naturally unimpressed, but it had bigger problems to concentrate on. The company was struggling financially and eventually sold by Chrysler to the Indonesian VPower Corporation in 1994.
The McLaren Lamborghini combination could have seen success, but fate — and Ron Dennis — clearly had other ideas.
Classic Cars for Sale
1972 Citroen H Van FOR SALE As you can see this is a rare find if you know of these, its just had over £1500 spent on various bits including water pump, alternator, fuel pump etc, starts and runs fine, MOTd last month, change of circumstances forces very reluctant sale, the back has all been fitted to a high standard and ready for pump/fridges or whatever you have in mind for it!
1986 MERCEDES SL 560 R107 CALIFORNIA CAR ALL ITS LIFE RECENT NEW MOHAIR HOOD INTERIOR AL GOOD CHROME WHEELS MATCHING HARD TOP WILL HAVE NEW MOT UK REGISTRATION PLATES, AGE RELATED TO 1986 SERVICE WIND DEFLECTOR ORIGINAL BECKER STEREO 100 % RUST FREE, YOU WILL NOT FIND A RUST FREE EUROPEAN CAR. THE CAR DRIVES VERY WELL, AND IS IDEAL FOR THE EUROPEAN VILLA OR ROAD TRIPS, OR JUST USE AS A
Wir bieten einen sehr schönen und seltenen Camaro des ersten Jahrgangs. Sehr gute Lackierung mit dem bekannten Streifen um die Front und den beliebten SS Badges. 327er V8 mit ordentlich Leistung (ca. 300 PS), TH 350 Automatikgetriebe, Servolenkung und Scheibenbremsen. Gepflegter Innenraum mit der sehr gesuchten Bench Seat Ausstattung. Die originalen Stahlfelgen und der Heckspoiler runden den Look
It is numbers matching and was produced in May of 1950, one of the first 1700 cars produced out of a 30,000 car run, up until the end of 1953. There were roughly 4700 total MG TD's produced for 1950 and 2800 made it here to the USA. This is a 2 owner car that has roughly 500 miles on the rebuild, the paint and interior. The odometer shows 15841 miles but it is believed to have 115,841 miles.