Introducing the $1.7 Million McLaren Elva

By Paul Joseph

Luxury British carmaker McLaren has revealed the newest addition to its Ultimate Series range – a limited-run two-seat open-cockpit roadster called the Elva, billed as the lightest road car it has ever produced.

The new supercar, which is most notable for its lack of a windscreen, has been slotted between the track-focused Senna and the 250mph ultra-streamlined Speedtail hyper-GT in the brand's Ultimate Series line-up.

The roadster pays tribute to the carmaker’s prestigious racing heritage by sharing its name and design inspiration with the McLaren-Elva M1A of the 1960s – a two-seater sports car that serves as a spiritual predecessor to the new road car. 

McLaren boss Mike Flewitt says the Elva is “a uniquely modern car that delivers the ultimate connection between driver, car and the elements.”

The highlight of the new supercar is the lack of a glasshouse to protect its occupants from the elements. Instead of a traditional windshield, the Elva is designed to encase its occupants in an aerodynamic “bubble.” A large vent in the front of the car sucks the air and channels it away from the passengers. A windshield is available as an option.

According to McLaren, the rear-wheel-drive Elva is the lightest road car it has ever produced thanks to the new carbon fibre chassis and body. Even the interior has been restricted to a bare minimum to keep the weight down, with seats made of carbon fibre.

Under the hood is an 804-horsepower twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine that is coupled to seven-speed transmission that sends the power to the rear wheels. McLaren says the Elva rockets from zero to 124 miles per hour in a Senna-beating 6.7 seconds and takes less than 3 seconds for the 0-60mph sprint.

Only 399 examples of the McLaren Elva will be available for sale, with a starting price of $1.7 million. Deliveries are expected to begin by the end of 2020.

By Paul Joseph