Skip to main content

McLaren’s latest supercar has 804 horsepower and no roof

The McLaren Ultimate Series is aptly named. It already includes the P1 hybrid and Senna track car, as well as the upcoming Speedtail. How can McLaren top those? With a high-performance two-seat roadster named Elva. If you want to put one of these supercars in your garage, you’ll need a lot of cash — and a lot of sunscreen.

The name Elva is derived from the French “elle va,” which translates into English as “she goes.” It’s a name plucked from McLaren’s history. In the early 1960s, McLaren built a successful car for the Can-Am series called the M1A. Race wins led to a flood of orders, but McLaren couldn’t keep up. The company contracted with another small British firm called Elva to build licensed versions of the M1A, sold under the McLaren-Elva name. Elva is no longer around, but McLaren acquired the rights to the name for its new supercar.

The modern-day Elva draws inspiration from the classic race car, with a low-slung shape, open cockpit, and engine air intakes at the top of bulging rear fenders. Under the skin, the Elva is a 21st-century design. Like all other McLaren supercars, it’s built around a carbon fiber tub. The bodywork is carbon fiber as well, and McLaren reduced the thickness of the material — to just 1.2 millimeters in some areas — to further cut weight. McLaren also devised a system that directs air around the cockpit, reducing the harsh wind buffeting that often occurs when driving at high speeds in an open car.

The Elva is powered by the same 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 used in the McLaren 720S and Senna. In the Elva, this engine produces 804 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque. McLaren claims the Elva will do zero to 62 mph in under three seconds, and zero to 124 mph in 6.7 seconds, but didn’t mention a top speed.

When it’s time to slow down, the Elva relies on sintered carbon-ceramic brake rotors. These take much longer to make than the already-exotic carbon-ceramic rotors used in other McLaren supercars, but the automaker claims the material is both stronger and more heat resistant. This allows the front brakes to be smaller, which reduces weight, according to McLaren. It’s also easier to keep these brakes cool, McLaren claims, lessening the need for brake ducting and shaving off additional weight.

Just 399 Elvas will be made, with deliveries expected to begin toward the end of 2020. The Elva is priced at $1.69 million, making it the second most expensive McLaren. The upcoming Speedtail has a $2.25 million price tag, as well as a claimed output of 1,035 hp and a 250-mph top speed. That should make the Speedtail the ultimate car in McLaren’s Ultimate Series — until McLaren makes something even crazier.

Editors' Recommendations

Stephen Edelstein
Stephen is a freelance automotive journalist covering all things cars. He likes anything with four wheels, from classic cars…
McLaren’s next supercar will focus on comfort as well as performance
McLaren GT teaser

McLaren's supercars are pretty good on a racetrack, but the company's next model is aimed more for the road. Scheduled for a May 15 unveiling, the new McLaren is called the GT. That's short for "Grand Touring," a descriptor automakers traditionally apply to cars that are fast, but also comfortable enough for long-distance journeys. That seems to be what McLaren has in mind for its GT.

The McLaren GT was announced at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, and at the time, CEO Mike Flewitt said the car would have "continent-crossing capability." McLaren even sent a prototype on a drive from its testing base in Barcelona, Spain, to its headquarters in Woking, England, with two occupants and a full complement of luggage as part of the testing program. Flewitt also said the GT would share DNA with McLaren's $2.2 million, 1,035-horsepower Speedtail, which the company describes as its "hyper GT."

Read more
The 6 best car GPS trackers in 2024
For the ultimate peace of mind, equip your car with a GPS tracker
GPS Tracker for your car

Whether you’re concerned about your vehicle being stolen or just want to keep tabs on a teen driver, you’ve probably considered installing one of the many car GPS trackers. The high price for LoJack or other subscription-based tracker services may have kept you from pulling the trigger, but these days, a highly-rated device is much more affordable. They do come standard in some modern vehicles, but not all, and sometimes cost extra to have installed even by the manufacturer. There's no denying that they are useful. So, if you want to treat yourself to some peace of mind -- whether your vehicle is parked right outside or thousands of miles away -- it might be time to think about installing one of the best GPS trackers for your car.

 
The best car GPS trackers in 2024

Read more
The 6 best car phone holders in 2024
Belkin BoostCharge Magnetic Wireless Car Charger with an iPhone 14 Pro.

Belkin BoostCharge Magnetic Wireless Car Charger Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Installing a car phone mount in your vehicle is the best way to make sure that you have easy access to your smartphone when behind the wheel. While you shouldn't be using your phone while driving, having it mounted on your windshield, dashboard, vent, or anywhere else will let you take a quick glance when you're using a navigation app, or to change your playlist when you stop for a traffic light, for example. Instead of having to pick up your device, it will be easier and faster to get these done while it's on a car phone mount for less time of having your eyes off the road.

Read more