McLaren has just surprised us with another new car, and it’s the automaker’s most extreme road-going machine yet. It’s called the Elva, and it packs 804 horsepower from a twin-turbo V-8. With no roof or windshield, it promises purest driving experience of any new McLaren.
The Elva name comes from the British race car manufacturer of the same name, which teamed up with McLaren in the 1960s to sell customer cars. The new Elva’s look echos the original cars’ open-top design, modernized to fit into the company’s lineup. There are curves everywhere, and two speedster-like humps that sit behind each seat in the cabin. The back reminds me of the company’s new GT, complimented by an aggressive diffuser setup and an active rear wing.
McLaren claims the Elva is the lightest road car it’s ever made, with a bespoke carbon fiber chassis, along with 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 track car—and has 590 lb-ft of torque.
McLaren says the 0-62 mph sprint is dispatched in under three seconds, though it doesn’t specify an exact figure. It also says 0-124 mph happens in 6.7 seconds, which is a hair quicker than the Senna’s 6.8-second run.
The suspension is a retuned version of the 720S’s trick hydraulic suspension system that operates without sway bars. The steering is hydraulically assisted.
See that vent in the Elva’s nose? It’s part of a feature McLaren calls the Active Air Management System (AAMS). Its goal is to mitigate buffeting the cabin without having to install a windshield or permanent deflector piece, and it sounds wildly complex. Here’s how the company explains it:
All of that being said, McLaren says it will still offer a derivative of the Elva with a windshield, should the customer desire it.
McLaren will build just 399 examples of the Elva, each priced at $1.69 million to start. Buyers will have access to McLaren’s extensive range of MSO-tailored options, so it’s likely prices out the door will be considerably more expensive.
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