The new McLaren Elva is a unique and very expensive machine.
The British brand’s latest supercar is priced from 1,425,000 pounds ($2.7m). This would skyrocket to more than $3m in Australia with taxes.
When you pay that kind of money you’d expect things to be added, not taken off the car — but that is exactly what McLaren has done.
The Elva not only lacks a roof but it also has no windscreen or side windows, which sounds like a recipe for occupants’ faces getting bug-splattered.
McLaren claims the open air scenario is to ensure an “incredibly immersive and enthralling experience”.
Potential buyers are assured that the driving experience won’t be non-stop buffeting but rather what McLaren calls a ”bubble of calm”. However, it might not be the ideal car for wet weather driving or on street parking.
McLaren achieves the “bubble” effect via its world first Active Air Management System (AAMS), which channels air through the nose of the car and then up over the cockpit.
The aerodynamic array includes several bonnet vanes, splitters and deflectors to distribute the airflow in a 130-degree arc.
The air management doesn’t work at city driving speeds but automatically deploys at pace —
nd speed is something the Elva has in spades.
Its twin-turbo V8 makes a whopping 599kW and 800Nm, which the Elva’s seven-speed dual clutch automatic sends to all four wheels.
The Elva can catapult from 0-100km/h in less than three seconds and can hit 200km/h from a standstill in just 6.7 seconds, which is faster than McLaren’s current flagship, the Senna.
It achieves this feat as the lightest McLaren ever built — understandable, given the absence of roof, windscreen and windows. Buyers can option a windscreen.
The Elva makes extensive use of ultra-lightweight carbon-fibre, nut just the body structure but also the brakes.
McLaren has committed to building only 399 Elvas, which will make it one of the rarest machines in the maker’s stable.
Originally published as The $2.5m supercar without a windscreen