McLaren Elva revealed as 60s-inspired 804bhp roadster

McLaren Elva revealed as 60s-inspired 804bhp roadster
McLaren Elva revealed as 60s-inspired 804bhp roadster

McLaren has revealed details of its newest Ultimate Series car – the open-cockpit Elva roadster.

The successor to the P1, Senna and Speedtail, the Elva is inspired by Bruce McLaren-designed Mclaren-Elva sports cars of the 1960s and features the same 4.0-litre V8 as the Senna, ground-breaking aerodynamic systems and an all-carbon fibre body.

Just 399 examples of the Elva will be built, with prices starting at £1,425,000.

Design

McLaren says the Elva is the lightest road car it has ever built, with “blurred boundaries” between its bespoke carbon fibre chassis, all-carbon exterior bodywork and interior features. The low nose and curved front wings flow into the doors, while huge intakes sit outboard of the twin rear buttresses, which blend into the cabin area behind the seats.

The Elva is McLaren’s first open-cockpit car and comes without windscreen or windows, leaving occupants exposed to the elements. To address the issues associated with having no windscreen, the Elva features McLaren Active Air Management System – a world first which channels air through the nose of the car and directs it up over the cockpit to create a relative ‘bubble’ of calm for passengers. Alternatively, if you’re really worried about your hair, you can option a windscreen.

McLaren Elva
World-first aerodynamic systems create a “bubble of calm” in the cabin (Photo: McLaren)

The interior features carbon fibre-backed seats, an exposed carbon fibre floor and is offered in a range of materials designed to cope with exposure to the elements. Many of the car’s functions are access via an eight-inch touchscreen but as a weight-saving measure a stereo isn’t standard.

Performance

The Elva is powered by the same 4.0-litre, twin-turbo V8 used in the Senna and Senna GTR race car. With 804bhp and 590lb/ft it will get to 62mph in “less than three seconds” and break the 124mph barrier in 6.7 seconds – faster than the Senna.

McLaren Elva
The Elva is powered by the same 804bhp V8 as the McLaren Senna (Photo: McLaren)

Suspension hardware and software settings are bespoke for the Elva and aerodynamic features include a completely flat underfloor, air intakes on the rear buttresses and a full-width active rear spoiler which doubles as an airbrake and acts in conjunction with the rear diffuser. Contours and ducts along the bodywork feed cooling air to the car’s radiators and transmission. Bringing it all to a stop are 390mm sintered carbon ceramic brakes.

McLaren Elva
The interior and exterior flow together and cabin materials have to stand up to exposure to the elements (Photo: McLaren)

Read more: Review: McLaren 720S

Announcing the car, Andy Palmer, vehicle line director for the Ultimate Series, said: “The McLaren Elva is a true ultimate roadster; it exists purely for the pleasure of driving, to deliver an enthralling and immersive experience born from the ultimate connection between the car, the driver and the elements. The lightest road car we’ve ever built at McLaren Automotive, the Elva is incredibly agile and ferociously fast.”

The McLaren Elva is available to order now with customer deliveries due to begin in late 2020.

McLaren Elva
McLaren will only build 399 Elvas, with prices starting at £1.4m (Photo: McLaren)

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