The McLaren Elva Gulf Theme by MSO Showed Up At Goodwood SpeedWeek
McLaren’s $1.7 million speedster is wearing the most iconic livery in motor racingby Kirby Garlitos, on LISTEN 04:17
The McLaren - Gulf Racing partnership was renewed only a few months ago, but we’re already reaping the rewards of the deal. First, it was the McLaren Senna GTR LM that was given the distinction of wearing the famous blue and orange Gulf Racing livery. Now, it’s the McLaren Elva’s turn to sport the two-color finish, as created by McLaren Special Operations. Even better, the Gulf Racing-clad McLaren Elva will take center stage at Goodwood SpeedWeek, which is happening until October 18 at the Goodwood Motor Circuit in the U.K.
What’s McLaren’s history with Gulf Racing?
McLaren and Gulf Racing have a long and rich history together that dates back to the 1960s.
In particular, McLaren F1 race cars, as well as Can-Am and IndyCar racers, wore Gulf Racing’s blue and orange livery in the series that they competed in from 1968 to 1973. The relationship between the two firms rekindled in the 1990s when Gulf’s blue and orange colors — they’re officially called 3707 Zenith Blue and 3957 Tangerine — were used on McLaren F1 GTR race cars that successfully competed in endurance races of that era, including the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans that McLaren won to the shock of a lot of people.
We haven’t seen a proper McLaren wear Gulf Racing’s iconic livery in years, but that changed when the Senna GTR LM, a five-piece tribute to the conquering F1 GTR, was unveiled last month. One of the five cars wore the exact copy of Gulf Racing’s livery. Now, it’s the McLaren Elva’s turn to get the Gulf Racing livery treatment, and it is glorious.
How cool is the McLaren Elva wearing the Gulf Racing livery?
The most striking thing about the application of the colors is how continuous it looks. There are no doors, windows, and even a roof to break up the whole car into different sections. It’s just one body dressed in one color — the 3707 Zenith Blue pantone — with the other color — 3957 Tangerine pantone — used as an accent. Notice how the racing stripe runs along the center console of the Elva’s interior, connecting the front of the front nose of the speedster to the rear decklid in one continuous line. You normally see something like this with racing stripes passing along the roof, but when it passes along the interior? That’s a different aesthetic appeal that only a speedster like the Elva can pull off.
Mind you, this MSO creation of a Gulf Racing-liveried McLaren Elva isn't a one-off showcase. Prospective owners of the McLaren speedster — yes, all 149 people who scored one — can avail of the Gulf Racing livery for their respective Elvas.
MSO will be commissioned to dress up the Elva and it’ll all be there once deliveries of the speedster begin.
Are there any engine upgrades made to the Elva’s twin-turbo V-8 engine?
No, there are no engine upgrades available for the speedster, nor should there be. In stock form, the speedster is already powered by a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 engine that produces a whopping 804 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque.
A seven-speed dual-clutch transmission transfers all that power to the two rear wheels, enabling the Elva to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in less than three seconds and 0 to 124 mph in 6.7 seconds. McLaren hasn’t revealed the Elva’s top speed, but with that kind of power and very little drag resistance, expect the Elva to comfortably hit 200 mph, maybe even higher.
|0 to 62 mph||3.0 seconds|
|0 to 124 mph||6.7 seconds|
|Top Speed||>200 mph|
Why did McLaren choose the Goodwood SpeedWeek as the venue for the Elva Gulf Racing’s debut?
Goodwood SpeedWeek is the perfect event to debut the Elva. It’s hard to imagine a better event to debut an ultra-limited, retro-futuristic, open-air speedster that’s wearing the colors of, without question, the most famous racing livery in history.