McLaren seems to crave being the best. And again and again, they’ve proven that it can produce just that. The 12C was a game-changer in the industry, as was the 650LT, and one by one, each McLaren car bested the previous until the 720S hit the nail on the head. Right now, it is the best supercar on the market. But now, the British company has released another: the Elva.
Ditching the numerical naming pattern, the Elva is McLaren’s lightest ever road car, described as ‘a ferociously fast open-cockpit car’ and slides under the marque’s Ultimate Series alongside the P1 and Senna, and soon the Speedtail. Unfortunately, the actual weight of the car hasn’t been disclosed, but with the Senna only weighing in at 1,198kg, it must sit lower than that.
Without a roof, windscreen or any windows, McLaren has plenty of chances to rid the car of weight, an one way they’ve done this is to reduce the size of the doors. They’re the smallest they’ve ever made and only have one hinge to slice away mere grams of the final kerb weight. Obviously, the car implements the legendary carbon tub, and every panel is carbon fibre, too.
But surely this simple, windscreen-less design will be difficult to drive without at least a helmet? Well, apparently not. McLaren has introduced an Active Air Management System (AAMS), which will use a movable carbon wind deflector to direct air over the nose of the vehicle, through a small tunnel, and up over the driver and passenger. They will be left in “a relative bubble of calm”. This could affect performance however, so McLaren has given us an off-switch for use on track. That way, the air will be sent to the engine instead for greater cooling.
The engine, as you would imagine, is borrowed from another McLaren, namely the Senna. The 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 produces a whopping 804bhp making it far more powerful than that of the 720 and Senna. 62mph will come and go in under three seconds, and 124 will leave you vomiting in just 6.7 seconds.
All the controls for the car’s powertrain and handling can be found a finger-length distance away on the wheel, with a centrally mounted 8-inch touch screen giving you niceties such as a satnav, reversing camera, and the climate control. You can even add a free stereo, but that is a (free) option. But let’s not get too soft, it has track telemetry as standard.
399 units will be made at £1.425 million each. But here’s the question… This, or the Ferrari Monza Speedster?