This is the McLaren Elva; a beautiful, strictly limited, roadster that sits in McLaren’s Ultimate Series, celebrates a 1960’s racing car and boasts the accolade of being McLaren’s lightest ever road car. This one’s pretty special, you’ll want to read the rest of this.
Weighing in at less than Senna’s 1,198kg kerb weight (no official kerb weight has been announced yet), the McLaren Elva is an exercise in simplicity; removing anything that isn’t strictly needed. Whilst certain weight saving measures are quite obvious – the fact it has no roof or windscreen, for example – the dieting efforts stretch as far as making the doors as small as possible.
Then there’s the actual construction of the thing. You’re probably aware that all modern McLarens feature a tub that is made from carbon fibre? Well, the McLaren Elva takes that one step further by also featuring a body constructed entirely from carbon fibre panels. There’s no wonder why Elva is so light and we’d love to know that final weight figure.
Making the most of those weight saving efforts, McLaren have equipped the Elva with an 804bhp version of the 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 that powers the Senna and Senna GTR. Madness. The result is a 0-62mph sprint of under three seconds and a 0-124mph sprint of just 6.7 seconds; the latter outsprinting the McLaren F1 to 100mph.
When you consider that you have no protection from the elements, those figures become even more alarming. McLaren have already thought of that and, as such, have implemented a clever new system called the ‘McLaren Active Air Management System (AAMS)’. Making its debut on the McLaren Elva, AAMS uses a movable carbon deflector to channel air up and over the cockpit, creating what McLaren call a “bubble of calm”. The system is so effective that McLaren say a helmet or the optional windscreen are completely unnecessary.
Should you head to the track and throw on your helmet, however, the system can be switched off and the air subsequently fed to the engine for additional cooling instead.
As you’d probably expect, AAMS isn’t the only example of aerodynamic wizardry that makes an appearance on the McLaren Elva. Utilising both passive and active aerodynamics, McLaren have managed to implement a large active rear wing, a flat underfloor and various active vents whilst still ensuring that the McLaren Elva remains an exercise in simple design; just like the McLaren-Elva sports cars that came before it.
Outside of aerodynamics, incredible driving characteristics are ensured by state-of-the-art linked-hydraulic active suspension, electro-hydraulic steering and the option of either Pirelli P Zero or Pirelli P Zero Corsa tyres (the latter focussed towards track driving).
With only 399 McLaren Elva examples ever being produced, McLaren have placed emphasis on the ability to customise your McLaren Elva exactly as you wish.
Reading through the list of options that McLaren included in their press release, the ones that caught our eye were the Gloss Visual Carbon Fibre Body (which exposes the carbon fibre weave on the body panels), the 18ct white gold or platinum badges and the 24ct gold engine bay heat shield; a throwback to the icon engine bay of the McLaren F1.
Regardless of power or performance, we just can’t stop staring at McLaren’s new Ultimate Series Roadster; it’s just so beautiful. Hopefully, once the cars start to be delivered, we’ll be able to bring you more in the way of images. In the meantime, however, what do you think of the new McLaren Elva? We’d like to read your opinions on Facebook, Linkedin or Instagram!