McLaren‘s Ultimate Series typically focuses on a distinct theme, with each model being a wild interpretation of earth shattering performance and spine tingling styling. While the Senna showcased the futuristic extremes that McLaren stylists were willing to go to please their customers, this time, McLaren chose to take its inspiration from the past, with the unveiling of the all new Elva roadster.
The Elva nameplate itself is a thoughtful nod to the original McLaren -Elva M1A of the 1960’s which proved to be a worthy contender in many European track races. Like the car that it’s based on, the revived Elva does not come equipped with any windows to protect occupants from the elements, this naturally includes the windshield though McLaren will make that particular component an optional extra for certain markets (U.S. included.) While the lack of windows may seem a bit extreme at first glance, McLaren reps reckon that buyers of the Elva will not take much notice to this, since the car is perhaps the first car in the world to encapsulate its occupants in what the company calls an “aerodynamic bubble.” The bubble is achieved by channeling air through the Elva’s nose where it goes out through a vent in front of the car that is mounted just ahead of the passenger compartment. With the aide of an automated air deflector that can rise up to 5.9 inches in height, the air is pushed over the passenger area, which in turn supposedly creates a calm environment.
We will have to have some seat time in an Elva ourselves to formally validate this claim, but in the meantime, McLaren wanted to make sure that the aerodynamic trickery did not steal the spotlight from the earth shattering performance that lies underneath the Elva’s shapely carbon fiber bodywork. This is accomplished via a 4.0 liter twin-turbocharged V8 that is capable of churning out 804 horsepower, and allows the Elva to blast its way to 62 mph in just three seconds. Bolder drivers looking to push the Elva to its limits out on the racetrack (or even the Autobahn) will be delighted to hear that the dash to 124 mph flashes by in 6.7 seconds which bests the equally bonkers Senna. The Elva also manages to blend in a degree of functionality to its mission in life, with the interior featuring an 8.0 inch touchscreen infotainment system, and the rear tonneau cover opens up to reveal a small space that can house two racing helmets.
Pricing for the latest chapter in the Ultimate Series starts at an eye watering $1,690,000 with the Elva being limited to a mere 399 copies. This is a high degree of rarity, but considering that the Elva is a no holds barred two seater that is a stylish time warp to truly a golden era of racing, we think that the price is indeed worth it (especially if we get lucky and hit the powerball jackpot.) Look for the first deliveries of the Elva to begin near the end of 2020, with only a scant handful of Elvas making the trip across the pond to the U.S.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.