The new McLaren Elva supercar costs $1.7 million, not including options like a sound system or exposed carbon fiber body panels. One option you won’t be able to get: A roof. The Elva isn’t a convertible. It’s an open-topped roadster, meaning it has, literally, zero roof of any kind. The standard Elva has no windshield. But in some US states, motorized vehicles are legally required to have one, and McLaren is happy to oblige when required. But even if the standard car has no windshield, McLaren came up with a clever solution to prevent oncoming air from destroying you and your passenger’s faces at higher speeds.
The McLaren Elva is equipped with an active air management system. It’s essentially a system that directs air from the nose of the car towards the cabin using a high-velocity sheet placed ahead of the cockpit. It also comprises of a small carbon fiber wind deflector that automatically rises up at the front of the vehicle. As the system forces oncoming air around the cabin, it creates which McLaren describes as a ‘bubble of calm’.
It also comes with an automatic rollover protection system
McLaren said the Elva comes with an automatic rollover protection system, although the company didn’t specify how the safety system works. In other convertibles, you’ll find a pair of metal roll bars behind the headrests that automatically rise up and deploy if the system detects a rollover. We assume the Elva has the same kind of system given the abundance of space on top of those gorgeous rear buttresses.
Ultimate power is standard
As such, it needs a mighty powerplant, and it comes in the form of a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 motor producing 804-horsepower. The engine is bolted to a seven-speed automatic feeding the rear wheels. With this much power, the Elva accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in less than three seconds. In fact, it races from zero to 124 mph in 6.7-seconds, which is faster than the Senna – which is incidentally a car with a roof, windshield, and large rear wing, so the Elva is mightily impressive, indeed.
The body shape is inspired by the McLaren-Elva racecar from the mid-sixties
The new Elva pays tribute to the McLaren-Elva racecar with the same roofless, windshield-less, window-less, and rear-engine design. But instead of a race-bred turbocharged engine, the old racing car settled for an Oldsmobile-sourced V8 mounted behind the seats. If you’re old enough to remember, no less than Elvis Presley drove the McLaren-Elva in Spinout, a musical racing movie released in 1966.