McLaren adds a bit of ‘practicality’ to its super-exclusive Elva roadster. Designed for customers who prefer to have a physical screen rather than the barrier of air provided by the Active Air Management System (AAMS), McLaren is now offering a front windscreen on the Elva (can we still call it a roadster?), which still remains to which will be among the rarest of McLarens.
The addition of windscreen has yet another purpose though – making the Elva meet local legal requirements in some states in the USA. McLaren claims the windscreen fitted to the Elva shares all of the ethos and performance of the original car – it neither has a roof, side windows or rear screen. What’s more, the additional fitment only increases the weight of the car by 20 kilos, keeping most of its dynamics the same.
However, the tricked out Active Air Management System (AAMS) has been given a miss on the windscreen car as it has no role to play. This has been replaced by bits that would actually make life easy – electronically synchronised rain-sensing wipers, washer jets and sun visors, as well of course as the heated glass windscreen within a carbon fibre surround. Sweet.
Combined with the lightest weight of less than 1300kg* and a mid-mounted, 815bhp, twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine, the acceleration of both versions is comparable with that of a McLaren Senna. The sprint to a 100kmph from standstill takes 2.8 seconds, while 200kmph comes up in 6.8 seconds. Dynamic performance and vehicle stiffness also remain unchanged from the screenless car, as does the scintillating driving experience. The windscreen, which is a permanent fixture, affords greater protection from the elements but it does not in any way reduce the levels of excitement.
Created as an homage to Bruce McLaren’s legendary race cars, heritage liveries like that of the Satin Casa Blue windscreen model prototype pictured have captured the imagination of Elva owners. And exclusive as it gets, no more than 149 examples of the Elva will be specified and built to customer order.