McLaren has released details of a new Speedster model. The McLaren Elva is the latest model to join McLaren’s Ultimate Series. It is also the first roadster!

The Elva makes use of an open-cockpit, two seater design, evocative of the Bruce McLaren-designed 1960’s McLaren_Elva sportscar which raced in the Group 7 category. These cars came with Oldsmobile, Chevrolet or Ford V8 engines. The new Elva takes inspiration from the design of the McLaren-Elva M1A [Mk I], M1B [Mk II] and M1C [Mk III].

In terms of design, the two seater layout uses no roof, no windsreen or side windows (a windscreen is available as an option in most markets though). It is as pure as a modern-day experience could be with a big V8 out back. The low nose an pronoucnced front fenders give the driver good visibility. The rear butresses are kept to a minimum, using deployable roll-over systems to ensure safety.

McLaren has engineered a Active Air Management System (AAMS) into the aerodynamic profile. The system channels air through the nose and our of the front clamshell to divert air over the cockpit. It raises by as much as 150 mm to create a low-pressire zone. The system is activated by a button and works best at high speed.

The new McLaren uses a 4.0 litre, twin-turbocharged McLaren engineered V8 with 815 hp. It sits inside a bespoke carbon fibre chassis. In terms of performance, the Elva sprints to 100 km/h in just under 3 seconds and 200 km/h in 6.7 seconds.

The interior is minimalist. It benefits from a new lightweight carbon fibre shell design seat. A six-point racing harness can be selected from the option list. A carbon fibre spar sweeps between the butresses and supports the engine start button, the controls and a dashboard screen. There is no audio system with weight kept to a minimum (this can be re-introduced at no additional cost).

399 examples of the McLaren Elva will be produced with prices starting from £1,425,000 including UK VAT. That price will shoot up depending upon the level of personalisation required by McLaren Special Operations.

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