Watch the 804-HP, Windshield-Less McLaren Elva Get Put to the Test by F1 Driver Lando Norris

McLaren’s active aero system is supposed to create an air bubble around the cabin.

byMáté Petrány|
McLaren News photo


McLaren is almost ready to launch its first V6-powered model, the already-leaked 2021 hybrid Sports Series, but behind more strictly closed doors, it's also working on its latest Ultimate Series special, the Sabre. Yet while we wait for both of those, financially confident individuals can still purchase McLaren's lightest and most hardcore product to date: the roofless Elva. Mind you, 804 horsepower in a speedster is not for the faint at heart, and McLaren had to cut back the Elva's production cap twice already. But none of that mattered to McLaren's F1 driver Lando Norris, who recently took one out for a spin.

The presumably slow sales mean the turbocharged British answer to Ferrari's equally roofless Monza, Aston Martin's upcoming V12 Speedster and whatever this open-air Lamborghini may be will remain a rare, fire-breathing spectacle indeed, especially with its optional windshield (which is still mandatory equipment in certain U.S. states). Elsewhere, occupants can trust their hairdos and hats to McLaren's active aero system, which is supposed to create an air bubble around the canopy by channeling high-pressure air upwards and forwards through the Elva's clamshell. The effect is further amplified by a speed-sensitive Gurney flap.

To demonstrate how fun the power of a twin-turbo McLaren V8 in a rear-drive car weighing under 2,640 pounds can be, McLaren turned to Norris. While the 20-year-old British driver couldn't quite remember the script the PR team gave him, the Elva's handling characteristics definitely put a huge smile on his face. 

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McLaren would also like to remind all millionaires out there that with Gulf Oil back as their sponsor in Formula 1, MSO will be more than happy to paint an Elva in the correct shades of blue and orange. Kept sleek with no windshield in sight, such a speedster is always ready to race the neighbor's Gulf-liveried Senna GTR.

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