McLaren debuts futuristic supercar with ‘air windshield’

McLaren's newest supercar has a windshield made of air.
Image: McLaren

British automaker McLaren recently debuted its $1.7 million Elva supercar. The exotic vehicle’s most striking features are those that are absent. For example, the car doesn’t have a roof or side windows. Its “windshield” is also made of air.

According to a press release, the new Ultimate Series roadster employs an “active air management system.” Notably, the world-first feature “Shelters occupants by manipulating airflow while retaining their connection to the elements.”

Immersive Driving Experience

Thanks to their boundary-pushing design and technology, cars like the Elva are increasingly becoming more like something from a sci-fi movie in looks and functionality.

With a first-of-its-kind air management system, McLaren’s spacey-looking auto aims to provide an immersive driving experience. Sculpted elements on the car guide high-speed air over the open cockpit, wrapping the driver and passenger in a “turbulence-free zone.”

With nothing around them but air, vehicle occupants connect with the outside elements like never before. Ultimately, this pioneering fusion provides a pure driving experience that delivers an unparalleled adrenaline rush.

Overall, the “blurred lines” blend of the vehicle’s sleek interior and futuristic exterior offers a breathtaking automotive package.

Stealthy Design Packs Ferocious Power

McLaren’s new Elva sports a low nose and formidable front fender peaks, which together make it look super stealthy. One could easily imagine a justice-seeking superhero using the sleek two-seater to prowl through fictional city streets. However, the real-life supercar packs ferocious power that’s equally fit for a fast-paced open highway or racetrack.

“The McLaren-Elva M1A [Mk1] and its successors are in many ways the true spiritual forerunners of today’s McLarens – superlight, mid-engined cars with the highest levels of performance and dynamic excellence. It’s fitting that the new McLaren Ultimate Series roadster – a uniquely modern car that delivers the ultimate connection between driver, car, and the elements and with that, new heights of driving pleasure on road or track – acknowledges our rich heritage with the Elva name,” said company CEO Mike Flewitt in a statement.

Given its extensive history with Formula 1 racing, the British carmaker knows a lot about producing fast cars. As Flewitt points out, engineers modeled the newest Elva after Bruce McLaren’s mid-1960s McLaren-Elva racecar. Back then, the company was ahead of its time.

According to CNN, in 1966, Road & Track magazine dubbed the early McLaren-Elva racer “The fastest car we’ve ever tested (and) an example of the latest thinking in sports/racing cars.”

By comparison, today’s Ultimate Series roadster’s 4.0 L twin-turbocharged V8 engine churns out over 800 horsepower. This strong thrust allows the car to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in under three seconds. Furthermore, the Elva can go from 0 to 124 mph in a mind-blowing 6.7 seconds.

Lightweight Body Commands Limited Edition Luxury Price

As McLaren’s lightest-ever road vehicle, Elva’s slimline full carbon fiber body consists of just three main panels. Plus, the car’s innovative upper body boasts a “deployable rollover protection system.” This vital safety feature activates in the event of a rollover-inducing crash.

Elva’s $1.7 million price tag falls between two other elite McLaren models. The $1 million race-focused Senna and the $2.25 million three-seater Speedtail are a pair of the automaker’s similarly priced supercars.

As with other limited-edition vehicles, McLaren will only build 399 Elvas. If all goes as planned, the U.K.-based company will start delivering the cars to customers “towards the end of 2020.”