Getting a two-pair hand in a poker game can be a very advantageous turn of fortune in certain situations, and it also manages to add some extra angles to the game. In the case of McLaren, that means having a few new jewels for customers to choose from when they visit their local showroom. We recently had the chance to spend some brief time with both the recently unveiled McLaren Artura and the wild and delightfully insane McLaren Elva, which aims to utilize their strengths to help expand McLaren’s supercar ambitions.
Artura: A Hybrid In Wolf’s Clothing
The McLaren Artura is arguably one of the most important models that the British supercar company has ever produced. Not only does it debut an all-new platform designed for plug-in applications but also an all-new V6. The exterior styling of the Artura is a diverse melting pot of familiar McLaren traits, and it all manages to blend into a truly unique presentation. The front fascia is aggressive with plenty of curves, creases, and angles. The Artura is just a hair longer than the more powerful 720S, but it actually manages to appear shorter when you look at its dimensions.
The side vents have a more organic shape, and this natural shape helps the eye snake towards the back of the Artura, where the ultra-narrow LED taillights are enclosed inside a laser-cut mesh grille. This grille also houses the fat exhaust pipes, and they help provide a nice athletic stance to the rest of the car. While the Artura might appear to be a logical successor to the recently retired 570S, it’s not, with that honor going to the V8-powered McLaren GT.
The interior of the Artura also embraces the car’s role as a premium offering with a greater emphasis on interior quality and spaciousness. With McLaren of Troy hosting an event for the local power players in town later in the day, our look at the interior was limited to what we could see through the window, but we really liked what we saw. There’s a noticeable decrease in the amount of carbon fiber here, with a higher amount of plushness and luxury. McLaren’s power-operated “comfort seats” will be standard on the Artura along with an electronically operated nose lift system. The infotainment system has also been improved, and McLaren claims that the system is slicker and quicker than ever before.
We look forward to seeing the system in action for ourselves and how the Artura drives in the real world, with all Artura’s being powered by a 3.5 liter twin-turbocharged V6 which makes a combined 671 horsepower when it’s working in tandem with the 94 horsepower electric motor.
Look Out World, Elva Is Here To Shock The System
With the Artura relishing in its role as a slightly (and we use that term lightly) more practical McLaren that embraces eco-responsibility, the 2021 McLaren Elva feels like it’s reenacting a scene from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. That fact of life becomes obvious when you look at some of the things that are missing from the Elva. McLaren claims that the Elva is all about immersing the driver into the experience, and that means the roof and windshield all get pitched for the sake of realism.
To make up for the lack of a roof, McLaren engineers created a novel system called Active Air Management that actually channels air up and over the cabin. This helps create a proverbial bubble that helps shield occupants from the elements. The Elva is a two-seat only experience, but occupants lucky enough to slip inside the cabin will be rewarded with an intimate space that only features the bare essentials, including a driver-oriented infotainment system, two heavily bolstered seats, and a sea of red that matches the exterior and actually wraps all around you.
But the biggest contribution to the experience is the hypercar’s 804 horsepower twin-turbocharged V8 which is transplanted in from the Senna. Combine it with Elva’s light curb weight, and McLaren’s promise of an under 3.0 second 0 to 60 time seems like a possible reality. A 7-speed dual-clutch automatic helps channel the power to the rear wheels. We are still waiting to hear the final fuel economy numbers from the EPA and McLaren themselves. Still, with the Elva expected to go head to head with other limited production specials like the Ferrari Monza and the Aston Martin V12 Speedster, we doubt fuel economy will be at the top of the priority list.
McLaren will only make 399 examples of the Elva, with each one having a base price of well over $1 million. Like other McLaren offerings, the Elva can be heavily customized with MSO Division accessories. That includes the 24 karat gold shielding that can be equipped to the engine compartment. As they say, money is no object, and the Elva is perhaps the wildest example yet of this mantra in action.
Special thanks to McLaren of Troy for hosting us during our brief visit and allowing us to spend time with the Elva and Artura
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.