If we closely examine British automaker McLaren’s extravagant and audacious family tree of hypercars, it’s evident that every design after the glorious MP4-12C came displayed an obsession with carbon-fibre monocoques. McLaren has always prioritised performance and lightweight design in their modern works as well as in building street-legal super-sports cars. The McLaren Elva is their latest magnum opus. Designed to embrace winds with 200-hp fury and no windows or windshield, it takes after one of the finest veteran cars in British racing, the Elva.
McLaren history buffs will remember the Bruce McLaren-designed, super light McLaren-Elva M1A from the 60s. Back then, Elva was a tiny British manufacturer that McLaren commissioned to build customer versions of its super-successful M1A racer. The low bonnet and open engine are classic F1 accents that can be seen on the age-old model and the new Elva.
The new model has curves are everywhere, the fluid design and ultra-lightweight design come together as a perfect fusion of racing heritage and sustainable futurism. It’s also the latest addition to McLaren’s Ultimate Series, which also includes hypercars like the Speedtail and track-focused models like the Senna and P1. Even though, the Elva is much lighter and faster than the Senna, it promises the purest driving experience of any new McLaren.
To add to its design attributes, there’s a prominent air vent on the Elva’s nose. It’s actually a newly introduced McLaren concept called Active Air Management System. A system that sucks up the airflow instead of allowing it to reach the open cabin. Being an open roadster, this is essential for high-speed cruising.
McLaren claims the Elva is the lightest road car it has ever made, with a bespoke carbon fibre chassis and carbon brakes, seats, and body panels. The engine is McLaren’s familiar 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 unit, which first appeared in the 720S. It’s tuned to 804 horsepower, 15 more than the company’s wildly quick Senna, and has 590 lb-ft of torque. McLaren haven’t told us how fast this roadster can go, but the open cabin factor might give it a speed cap.
McLaren will build just 399 examples of the Elva, each priced at US$1.69 million to start. Buyers will also have access to McLaren’s extensive range of MSO-tailored options for a more elegant cabin.
All images: Courtesy brand