New McLaren Elva: The Ultimate Series Roadster

Following the acquisition of the Elva name, McLaren quickly got down to work to create a new Ultimate Series roadster. Limited to just 399 units, the McLaren Elva would have an estimated price of 1,425,000 pounds.

The Elva name follows McLaren founder’s creation, namely the M1A and McLaren-Elva M1A [Mk I], M1B [Mk II] and M1C [Mk III] of the 1960s.

As an extreme, open-cockpit 2-seater roadster, the Elva takes up a bespoke carbon fiber chassis and body without a roof, windscreen or side windows. You could drive it on the road, but we think the track would be more appropriate.

Visually, the extreme roadster features a  low nose and pronounced front fender peaks. From the rear, there are large, carbon fiber fenders that flow from the front of the door to the rear deck. Meantime, the height of the twin rear buttresses is minimized by using a deployable roll-over protection system. The system comprises a large central inlet situated above the splitter, a front clamshell outlet vent and a discreet carbon fiber deflector that raises and lowers vertically; when the  Active Air Management System (AAMS), a world’s first, is active. We’re not going too technical about the AAMS.

An active rear spoiler and diffuser work in sync for one purpose, to better aerodynamics. In fact, every element on the car is crafted and designed in such a way to gain maximum aero. The use of carbon fiber materials is meant to lighten the car to the max and is applied everywhere inside and outside.

The cockpit consists of more carbon fiber elements  while the seats have bespoke design, flanked by carbon fiber shell mouldings and doors. The seats come with six-point harness belts. There’s a central armrest and cradle that houses the engine start button and controls for Drive, Neutral and Reverse functions. Moreover, the instrument cluster stands proud, moving with the steering to optimize visibility of vehicle data for the driver. In a first for McLaren, the controls for the Active Dynamics functions are integrated into the instrument cluster; the dynamic mode switches are situated close to the gearshift paddles. Additional functionality is accessed through the centrally-mounted 8-inch high-resolution touchscreen.

The McLaren Elva does not have an audio system as standard unless a customer specifies it. Further non-cost options include 5-Spoke super light forged alloy wheels or 10-spoke ultra-lightweight wheels with Pirelli P Zeros (normal or track tyres); and a vehicle lift system. More personalization options are available through McLaren Special Operations (MSO).

Powering the McLaren Elva

A 4.0-liter, twin-turbocharged McLaren V8 is fitted on the Elva to punch a whopping 815PS and 800 Nm of max torque. Power is directed to the rear wheels through a seven-speed seamless-shift gearbox, and working in conjunction with a launch control function, the performance is breathtaking: 0 – 100km/h is reached in less than three seconds.

As for driving dynamics, state-of-the-art McLaren linked-hydraulic fully active suspension offers a staggering breadth of ability on all road surfaces, with both unique software settings and bespoke springs and damper valving matched to the extremely light overall vehicle weight. Accessed through the Adaptive Dynamics Controls, the Comfort, Sport and Track modes for the handling and powertrain change the driving characteristics to suit driver mood or environment.

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