News: Meet The McLaren Elva: The Ultimate Series Roadster You May Want To Drive Wearing A Helmet

Meet The McLaren Elva: The Ultimate Series Roadster You May Want To Drive Wearing A Helmet

By News Desk
November 13, 2019

This is the McLaren Elva, the open-cockpit two-seater sportscar that is claimed to offer unparalleled levels of driver engagement and ultimate driving enjoyment. Were these claims made by most other manufacturers we might dismiss them as marketing talk, but this is the same company that has produced such ground-breaking cars as the P1 and the 720S.

The Elva follows in their tire marks with a bespoke carbon fiber chassis and body as well as the latest version of McLaren’s active aerodynamics, advanced linked-hydraulic active suspension and electro-hydraulic steering setup. Where it deviates from those vehicles and every other McLaren since the 1960s McLaren-Elva sportscars is that it features a completely open cockpit design with no roof, no side windows and no windscreen.

This goes some way in helping the Elva become the lightest road car ever produced by McLaren Automotive (the curb weight has not been revealed yet)  and its twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 has been fettled to produce a serious 804hp, which is 94hp more than the 720s can muster and 15 more than the Senna. That means it can spear to 124mph in 6.7-seconds, quicker than both of those models and just about every one of its competitors.

The open-cockpit design harks back to the Bruce McLaren M1 models of the 1960s which were produced as customer versions of the intense Group 7 McLaren race cars. Mike Flewitt, CEO of McLaren Automotive explains why the Elva is so special and relevant in the manufacturer’s line-up today.

“McLaren continues to push the boundaries of supercar and hypercar development in pursuit of outstanding and unparalleled driving experiences for our customers and the McLaren Elva epitomizes that pioneering spirit. The McLaren-Elva M1A [Mk1] and its successors are in many ways the true spiritual forerunners of today’s McLarens—superlight, mid-engined cars with the highest levels of performance and dynamic excellence. It’s fitting that the new McLaren Ultimate Series roadster—a uniquely modern car that delivers the ultimate connection between driver, car and the elements and with that new heights of driving pleasure on road or track—acknowledges our rich heritage with the Elva name.”

Just like the P1, Senna and upcoming Speedtail, only 399 examples of the McLaren Elva are destined for production, and while this machine’s extreme looks and performance figures have been designed to shock, the base list price of £1,425,000 ($1,830,000) is likely to be the biggest surprise of all.

And that is before customers start delving into the endless customization options afforded them by the McLaren Special Operations (MSO) department. While the Elva will feature a McLaren Active Air Management System (AAMS) designed to manipulate airflow around the car’s occupants, a fixed windscreen option will also be on offer which somehow seems to defeat the point. Deliveries are scheduled for late 2020.

Images courtesy of McLaren

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4 years ago

Lotus 2 eleven on steroids!! bring it on. … . One definitely and maybe defiantly for the Driver (a pure visceral/ sensory overload experience before quite electric quiets down everything), but the price will mean it will never be driven as intended… ON THE EDGE, where it would be life experience galvanizing and the brands best advertising. However if McLaren will get me one at a 720s price i will gladly take to every track, rally and cars and coffee event I possibly could sharing the experience with brand converts which this car will no doubt defiantly do. Come on McLaren do what we do in business all the time short term loss for long term gain or brand converts !!

4 years ago

Amazing. Who is going to drive this? You cannot drive a car without a windscreen unless you wear a helmet, or goggles at the very least. Sunglasses won’t be enough as soon as you surpass 60kmph. Wearing a helmet and driving on public roads? If it would be allowed, it shouldn’t be. Helmets restrict the kind of vision you need to be aware of your surroundings in public spaces. So then it’s purely a track car but looks more like a car to do the shopping in and to soak up attention. A kind of extreme hairdresser’s car. Meh…

Gavin Langier
Gavin Langier
4 years ago
Reply to  MarkP

Mark, the simple answer; it probably won’t get driven. At the ticket price there are many other lower cost McLarens that are better suited to the job of driving. This car is designed to sit in a very wealthy person’s collection as a trophy and possible investment to “cherish” but not abuse… If people keep queuing up to buy such ridiculous cars then the likes of McLaren are obliged to keep creating them. I’d be much happier if they got back to basics and put out a fresh, continuation run of McLaren F1’s – how many do you think they could sell these days, priced at around £2.5m???

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