In 2019, McLaren debuted the Elva, a totally windowless ride touted with "a windshield made of air," i.e. an industry-first Active Air Management System that channels wind above the passengers' heads. To make the Elva legal in all 50 U.S. states, the British supercar added a windshield and lost the AAMS while maintaining the roofless spirit of a retro roadster.
That makes this new Elva 44 pounds heavier, meaning it's no longer McLaren's lightest road car by a smidge. It is one of the rarest though, with a racy Stain Casa Blue heritage livery devised by the McLaren Special Operations customization division as an homage to the McLaren-Elva race cars piloted by Bruce McLaren in the 1960s.
Woking, England's own twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 still snarls with 804 horsepower, enough output to send the screenless Elva to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds and 124 in 6.8 seconds. The version pictured here is still a prototype, but McLaren expects its times to be very similar. That powerful performance is achieved in part through other weight-cutting measures, including carbon fiber-constructed panels, side intakes and interior buttresses that are as thin as 1.2mm in certain areas.
Though McLaren didn't say anything about the cockpit, it appears that this Elva iteration also gets the new centrally-mounted, eight-inch touchscreen, which serves as a central a hub capable of cycling between Comfort, Sport and Track modes, or adjusting wheelspin and oversteer settings via McLaren's proprietary Variable Drift Control (VDC).
“Super-lightweight and extremely powerful, the Elva delivers the ultimate connection between a driver, the road and the elements. Created to celebrate the pure joy of driving, it’s one of the most distinctive – and exclusive – cars we have made," said McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt in a statement.
"Roofless and without windows, whether you opt for the screenless model with its sophisticated AAMS technology that provides an invisible barrier of air, or the windshield version with an additional level of enclosure, this is a roadster that rewards owners with the most exhilarating of open-air driving experiences, delivered as only a McLaren can.”
Limited to 144 built-to-order examples, the windshield-ed McLaren Elva will be delivered to customer's by the end of 2021.