Do you recall the McLaren Elva? We covered the news story when the car was unveiled late in 2019. Well, it seems that not everyone enjoys that wind-in-your-hair, bugs-in-your-teeth driving experience as a new McLaren Elva with windscreen was just unveiled. Just 149 units are planned for production, making it one of the rarer McLarens ever made.

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Roofless thrills

The McLaren Elva with windscreen seems to be a more practical proposition than the original design. Instead of the active air management system that created a barrier between passengers and oncoming air, there is a proper front glass in place and even a set of wipers. The new pieces add 20 kg to the Elva’s overall mass.

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However, there is still no mention of there being any form of roof. It seems that you’d better check the weather report if you take the Elva out for a drive. Adopting a physical screen also allows McLaren to homologate the car for certain parts of the US that frown upon cars without such niceties.

V8 power

The Elva is powered by the firm’s familiar 4,0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine. In the McLaren Elva with windscreen it has been tuned to deliver a massive 588 kW along with peak torque of 800 N.m. The V8 features a flat-plane crankshaft, dry-sump lubrication and lightweight camshafts, conrods and pistons. Power is fed to the rear wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. 

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McLaren claims that the acceleration times remain unchanged. Both versions of the Elva are comparable with a McLaren Senna, the screenless model reaching 100 km/h from standstill in 2,8 seconds and cover 0-200 km/h in a scorching 6,8 seconds; about the same time it takes a hot hatch to reach half that speed from take-off.

In his own words

Mike Flewitt, Chief Executive Officer, McLaren Automotive: “Super-lightweight and extremely powerful, the Elva delivers the ultimate connection between a driver, the road and the elements. Created to celebrate the pure joy of driving, it’s one of the most distinctive – and exclusive – cars we have made. Roofless and without windows, whether you opt for the screenless model with its sophisticated AAMS technology that provides an invisible barrier of air, or the windscreen version with an additional level of enclosure, this is a roadster that rewards owners with the most exhilarating of open-air driving experiences, delivered as only a McLaren can.”