McLaren has revealed its new Ultimate Series roadster, the Elva. The first open-cockpit road car from the British sportscar brand, the Elva will be strictly limited to just 399 units offered for customer order.

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The Elva name is a nod to the Bruce McLaren-designed M1A and McLaren-Elva M1A, M1B and M1C of the Sixties. “McLaren continues to push the boundaries of supercar and hypercar development in pursuit of outstanding and unparalleled driving experiences for our customers and the McLaren Elva epitomises that pioneering spirit,” says Mike Flewitt, CEO, McLaren Automotive. “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,” Flewitt adds.

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A two-seater with a bespoke carbon fibre chassis and body but no roof, no windscreen and no side windows, the Elva has evidently been developed to provide maximum driving pleasure on road or track. Power comes from 4.0-litre, twin-turbocharged McLaren V8 from the same family of engines that powers the McLaren Senna and Senna GTR, and thanks to the “lightest vehicle weight of any road car” produced by McLaren Automotive, the superlight Elva promises to offer unmatched performance. Power output is a whopping 815 horsepower, with a maximum torque of 800Nm, all directed to the rear wheels through a seven-speed seamless-shift gearbox. Coupled with a launch control function, these translate to acceleration figures of less than 3.0 seconds from 0 to 100kph, and 6.7 seconds to 200kph, making it quicker to hit that speed than the McLaren Senna.

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The Elva looks unique too, especially in the version without a windshield. The low nose, pronounced front fenders and the full-width active rear spoiler all add to the visual drama. Although there is no roof, windscreen or windows, McLaren claims the form and sculpture of the upper cabin wraps around the driver and passenger to provide a secure environment. Also, McLaren Active Air Management System, a world-first, shelters occupants by manipulating air flow while retaining their connection to the elements. While the car has been homologated for all major markets, a fixed windscreen derivative is also available as a factory option.

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Customer deliveries of the McLaren Elva are scheduled to begin towards the end of 2020, with prices starting from £1,425,000 (Dh 6.7 million).