McLaren Elva gets a windscreen, but no roof, windows


The McLaren Elva, first seen in November 2019, gets a windscreen. Wait, what? Yup, before this the Elva didn’t have a windscreen, and the car you see here still doesn’t have a roof, side windows or rear screen. That’s because the Elva is Woking’s lightest-ever road car, weighing below 1,300 kg.

The target for the windscreen version is only 20 kg heavier, even with the inclusion of rain-sensing wipers, washer jets and sun visors, as well as the main event – a heated glass windscreen within a carbon fibre surround. The Active Air Management System (AAMS) is deleted as it has no role to play in the windscreen car.

AAMS channels air through the Elva’s front end to exit at the top of its clamshell at high velocity, directed upwards over the cockpit to create a relatively calm ‘bubble’ for the occupants. A carbon-fibre deflector positioned at the bonnet outlet raises and lowers vertically, and rises 150 mm into the airstream to create a low-pressure zone.

Besides catering to customers who prefer to have a physical screen rather than an air barrier, the windscreen helps make the Elva road legal in some states in the USA.

The lightest McLaren you can buy has a mid-mounted, 815 PS twin-turbo 4.0 litre V8 engine. Acceleration of both windscreen and AAMS versions is comparable with that of a McLaren Senna, the screenless model reaching 100 km/h from standstill in just 2.8 seconds and covering 0-200 km/h in 6.8 seconds.

The Elva links McLaren’s heritage to its present with a name and style that recalls the McLaren-Elva race cars of the 1960s. Those were amongst the first sportscars designed and raced by Bruce McLaren and the company that he founded, and today’s Elva was created to evoke that spirit. Heritage liveries like the Satin Casa Blue you see here and the Gulf version below were created as an homage to old race cars.

No more than 149 examples of the Elva, with or without windscreens, will be built. The first windscreen units will be delivered towards the end of this year.

GALLERY: McLaren Elva with windscreen

GALLERY: McLaren Elva without windscreen

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