McLaren Elva production cut to less than half the initial run

LISTEN 03:42

The McLaren Elva was unveiled in November 2019 with a production run of 399 units. In April 2020, the British company said that production will be reduced to just 249 examples due to feedback from customers who thought that the Elva wasn’t exclusive enough.

Come September 2020 and McLaren is cutting production numbers of the supercar even more, to only 149 units. The company says the reduction is the result of the "production shutdown experienced during the global Covid-19 pandemic," but maybe the Elva isn’t as desirable as McLaren through.

The McLaren Elva is now one of the most exclusive McLarens you can buy

Production Cuts Hint That There Isn't Enough Interest In the McLaren Elva Exterior
- image 936664
With production down from the initial 399 units to just 149 examples, the Elva is one of the rarest McLarens in production.

The Speedtail is the only supercar that’s more exclusive, limited to 106 units, just like the already classic McLaren F1.

The British company blames the "production shutdown experienced during the global Covid-19 pandemic" and the "limited production slots available on the recently re-opened line and compromised availability of parts."

While this is indeed an issue for many automakers due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it’s safe to assume that the Elva isn’t as popular as McLaren thought back in 2019. It’s also quite expensive at $1.7 million a pop and the speedster layout with no windshield and roof makes it rather unpractical. So maybe there aren’t that many car enthusiasts out there willing to pay $2 million or more for a fully MSO-customized supercar right now.

Customers that still want it need to customize it online

Production Cuts Hint That There Isn't Enough Interest In the McLaren Elva Exterior
- image 936668
Because the coronavirus pandemic comes with traveling restrictions, Elva customers need to go online to customize their million-dollar supercar.

Each customer is assigned to an MSO Bespoke Liaison Manager and a Visualisation Specialist to assist them while customizing the car in the new McLaren Advanced Visualiser. This platform works just like a regular configurator, providing access to exterior paint schemer and various design options, as well as a choice of materials for the cabin.

Because the Elva is a tribute to race cars from the 1960s, McLaren also offered a couple of liveries inspired by Can Am race cars from the golden era of racing. The MSO M1A, for instance, features a Magnesium Silver stripe and Accent Red pinstripe, while the MSO M6A comes in Anniversary Orange with grey and blue detailing. Both are fitted with racing numbers as a tribute to Bruce McLaren.

McLaren Elva - a unique supercar

Production Cuts Hint That There Isn't Enough Interest In the McLaren Elva Exterior
- image 936676

Although it’s related to the 720S, the Elva is a unique addition to the McLaren Ultimate Series thanks to its open-top design.

The car is named after Bruce McLaren's early speedster-type race car that later spawned the M1A, M1B, and M1C racers.

Made entirely out of carbon-fiber, the Elva features the familiar 4.0-liter V-8 engine under the rear hood. The powerplant cranks out 804 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. The Elva accelerates to 62 mph in less than three seconds and to 124 mph in 6.7 seconds. Pricing starts from $1.7 million.

McLaren Elva specifications
Engine 4.0-Liter V-8
Horsepower 804 HP
Torque 590 LB-FT
0 to 62 mph 3.0 seconds
0 to 124 mph 6.7 seconds
Top Speed >200 mph
Ciprian Florea
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read full bio
About the author

The customer specification sessions for ultra-exclusive Ultimate Series roadster now taking place digitally
New virtual reality visualiser introduced to give customers greater creative freedom and deliver immediate results
New inspirational visual themes developed as ‘Explore’ and ‘Timeless’ concepts by McLaren Automotive design team
Having secured one of the most exclusive McLaren cars to date, the customers buying an Elva are now engaging with McLaren Special Operations (MSO) to choose the specification of their new Ultimate Series roadster. MSO Bespoke Liaison Managers are working on a 1:1 basis with customers remotely, using a new, state-of-the-art virtual reality visualiser to explore every aspect of the car, refining thoughts and inspirations into a truly bespoke statement of personal choice.

The latest car in the Ultimate Series, the McLaren Elva follows the McLaren P1TM, McLaren Senna and McLaren Speedtail in delivering a unique experience – in this case the purest expression yet of open-air driving pleasure.

Developing and finalising the exact specification of each Elva is an integral part of the purchase process, with customers assigned an MSO Bespoke Liaison Manager and Visualisation Specialist to assist them. The new McLaren Advanced Visualiser (MAV) is a key technology in bringing to life ideas and concepts as ultra-high-quality virtual images that show a customer what proposed design themes would look like in a finished car.

Created by McLaren from software originally designed for gaming purposes, the MAV uses ultra-HD resolution rendering to display individual Elva elements and then combine them to create a full specification, with near-immediate visualisation of the result. The system also allows rapid and accurate demonstration of how different colour combinations radically change the Elva’s appearance.

The MAV’s level of functionality and detail enables customers to open and close doors in virtual reality to get inside the car and experiment with different interior features, from seat colours and materials to finishes and stitching. Aerodynamic elements can also be closely examined, and the visualiser even allows users to look under the bodywork to discover more about the Elva’s suspension and brakes.

The range of exotic materials carefully curated for Elva customers by McLaren’s design team and MSO can also be showcased with ease. Notable amongst these is Ultrafabrics®, a durable, lightweight and weather-resistant material that draws inspiration from high-end performance materials used in private jets and luxury yachts. Soft coverings can be embellished with reflective micro-piping to create unique flourishes of light in the dark, while on harder surfaces, carbon fibres and precious metals can be used individually or combined to spectacular effect, as pioneered on the McLaren Speedtail.

To further inspire customers by shaping existing visions and seeding new ideas, McLaren’s design team has released two new Elva design concepts, Timeless and Explore. Each includes a range of visual themes, incorporated into the MAV programme, to generate ideas and prompt discussion.

The themes in Explore evoke the spirit of adventure expressed by Elva ownership; Magma, for example, suggests the power of a molten lava in a Satin Azores and Satin Memphis Red Velocity blend of exterior colours, a look that continues inside with Caviar Black Ultrafabrics® to create an unapologetically dramatic appearance.

Timeless, meanwhile, focuses on the sense of history encapsulated in the Elva’s design, balanced by a fascination with the future. The laid-back Urbane combination of Liquid Alloy Gloss exterior paint and Cortado Tan Enhanced Full Aniline leather interior is one of the themes, visually suggesting elegance coupled with relentless performance.

“The Explore and Timeless concepts offer a contemporary aesthetic contrasting the heritage M1A Elva themes previously devised for our latest Ultimate Series car. Both of these new concepts are tailored to showcase the Elva’s incredible form, be it Timeless’ classic elegance or Explore’s technical finishes. Both capture our core design principle of ‘everything for a reason’.”

Robert Melville, Design Director McLaren Automotive

Those customers looking to re-create an iconic McLaren racing livery may also be inspired by the MSO M1A and M6A themes – an homage to Bruce McLaren’s legendary race cars. The M1A Elva theme features a Magnesium Silver racing stripe that sweeps along the sills, runs around the front splitter and up over the hood, accompanied by an Accent Red pinstripe and completed by Bruce McLaren’s iconic number 4 racing graphic. A fitting tribute to the fastest car at the 1964 Canadian Sports Car Grand Prix.

Alternatively, the MSO M6A replicates the McLaren Can-Am icon of 1967 in its external paint scheme. Anniversary Orange recalls the moment this legendary racing color was adopted, and is adorned with a Dove Grey stripe, McLaren Cars decal and Bruce McLaren’s signature in blue, as well as his race number 4. Full Satin carbon fiber bodywork and 10-spoke Diamond cut wheels seal an edgy 21st century effect.

McLaren has also confirmed that with the production shutdown experienced during the global Covid-19 pandemic that no more than 149 Elva’s will now be built, given the limited production slots available on the recently re-opened line and compromised availability of parts. This will make it one of the most exclusive McLaren’s ever produced – second only to the Speedtail – and help to protect the investment of customers in this unique car.

More information on the Timeless & Explore inspiration Guide is available on the website: https://cars.mclaren.com/gb-en/ultimate-series/mclaren-elva

View the full press release Hide press release
Press release

Related Articles

McLaren Has Decided to Cut Production of the Elva From 399 to 249 Units

2020 McLaren Elva

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: