The Story Behind The McLaren Elva’s Name
For three decades, McLaren, the multi-championship-winning racing team from Woking, did not make one road car (Bruce’s M6 GT notwithstanding). Then came Gordon Murray’s F1, a car intended as a standalone product. Now, 27 years after the introduction of the ground-breaking F1, McLaren makes 10 different models and is one of the big players in the world of supercars. The Elva is the latest addition to the lineup, a $1.8-million, 804-horsepower drop-top beast - the first 100% topless McLaren. But its name lacks the usual combo of letters and numbers.
What’s the link between a lithe sports car powered by BMW engines and built by a small British company and McLaren’s latest Ultimate Series model? They both share the name and, more importantly, if it wasn’t for the revival of that boutique manufacturer from England, there would be no McLaren today. This is McLaren’s ode to Bruce’s earliest forays as a car maker and here’s the story behind that four-letter name.
Are Cars Without Windshields Becoming a Trend?
McLaren unveiled the Elva supercar earlier this week, and among its many unique features, it included one that has become trendy among supercar brands in recent years. Folks, the Elva is the first production McLaren that doesn’t have a windshield. In fact, it doesn’t have a roof, either. Windows? What are those?
As striking and unique as the Elva is, it’s not the first performance car to adopt this kind of appearance. In this decade alone, there have been a number of other performance vehicles that were created with the little-to-no-windshield design. Some arrived as concepts while others turned into production models. Either way, these five vehicles pulled the design off to varying degrees of success.
2020 McLaren Elva
The 2021 McLaren Elva is a brand-new supercar that the British firm added to its Ultimate Series lineup, alongside the Senna and the Speedtail. A two-seat open-cockpit design, it’s inspired by a series of race cars built by Bruce McLaren in the 1960s under the McLaren-Elva name. It’s McLaren’s first open-cockpit road car and its lightest road-going vehicle yet. A track-ready roadster with an aerodynamic design, the 2021 Elva features the most powerful iteration of McLaren’s twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V-8 engine. Rated at 804 horsepower, it slots above the Senna in terms of power and falls behind only the Speedtail hybrid. Let’s find out more about this beast in the review below.
The New McLaren Elva Is Faster Than the Senna, Lighter Than Any Other Modern Road-Going McLaren
McLaren is on a roll to diversify its sports car lineup as much as possible, and the 2020 Elva is the latest creation to join the Ultimate Series family. Included in the same lineage as the P1, Senna, and Speedtail, the Elva is McLaren’s first-ever open-cockpit two-seater. A tribute to the iconic McLaren Elva race car that Bruce McLaren designed in the 1960s, the Elva is the company’s lightest road car. Rated at 804 horsepower, it’s also the most powerful non-hybrid McLaren, but it’s also among the most expensive with pricing set at £1.42 million (around $1.8 million as of November 2019).
The Hennessey C7 Corvette ZR1 HPE 1200 Can Kick the Hell Out of a McLaren 720S
The McLaren 720S was built with one thing and mind and one thing only. And that’s blistering performance through a combination of power and lightness. The C7 Corvette ZR1 is a nod to the same creed, but it lacks the McLaren’s innate ability to dance around a twisty circuit. While it’s obviously not as light on its feet like the Macca, this particular ZR1 got a helping hand from America’s controversial tuner Hennessey. The helping hand is the HPE 1200 upgrade, one that turned the Corvette into a McLaren 720S squasher. Or dit it?
Gordon Murray Plans To Race His New Supercar In The 24 Hours of Le Mans
Gordon Murray, the British former F1 designer and father of McLaren’s first proper road car, is about to be back in the arena of hypercars with a car touted by its creator as being "purest, lightest, most driver-focused supercar ever." Known as the T.50, the hypercar will seat three, like the McLaren F1, and will be powered by a Cosworth-developed 3.9-liter, naturally aspirated V-12 cranking out 650 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. With a 12,100-rpm redline and a $2.46 million MSRP before taxes, it will surely cause a storm when it will finally be unveiled.
What is more, the T.50 is being designed with the intention of going racing as Murray hopes to see it race at Le Mans, although it is unclear if it will compete in the GTE class for production-based supercars or the new-for-2020 ’Hypercar’ class that will replace the current LMP1 category as the top-tier category of the FIA World Endurance Championship.
When your name is Gordon Murray and you’ve been in the game of designing some of the world’s most daring racing cars and road cars for the better part of four decades, you won’t settle for anything short of perfection when building what could be your last road car. After all, as the true spiritual successor to the F1 (with its three seats, its no-nonsense design down to the naturally aspirated V-12, and the clever aerodynamics), the T.50 must be an amazing car or else it will feel like a disappointment to many. And, if, indeed, Murray’s team will build a racing version, that too will have to be competitive straight out of the box akin to the F1 that swept the floor in its debut year 24 years ago including a famous outright win in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Someone Leaked the Limited-Edition McLaren BC-03 And We Want More of It!
Remember the Ultimate Vision Gran Turismo concept that came out of McLaren’s fling with PlayStation back in 2017? Get ready to meet a toned-down production version of it soon, because someone’s been naughty enough to leak two pictures of the upcoming McLaren BC-03, a limited-edition hypercar that looks a lot like the Gran Turismo Sport-bound prototype.
Rumors about the upcoming limited-edition McLaren hypercar have been floating on the internet for around a year without too many details to back them up. A recent leak, however, chases the fog away on this otherwise very hot topic. Bear with us for this one.
2019 McLaren 720S APEX Collection
McLaren’s legacy as one of the most accomplished motor racing outfits in history is secure. Long before it became a purveyor of fine production exotics, McLaren was building a racing legacy that’s matched only by a few of its rivals. It’s fitting, then, that in celebrating that legacy, the U.K.-based automaker is launching a special edition series of 720S models called the MSO Apex Collection.
Only 15 units of the McLaren 720S MSO Apex Collection will be built. Each unit will pay homage to one of five different race tracks in Europe that’s near and dear to the success McLaren has enjoyed in the motor racing scene. The super-exclusive McLaren 720S MSO Apex Collection will be offered at a starting price of £288,813. That converts to around $356,200 based on current exchange rates. Deliveries are expected to begin this month. Unfortunately for us here in the U.S., the new special edition 720S will only be available in the European market.
Shmee150 Delivers Update on the State of His Beloved McLaren Senna
Two months after figuring into a road mishap that resulted in significant damages to his McLaren Senna, YouTube star Shmee150 has returned to give us an update on the state of his beloved supercar. Turns out, the Senna remains in the hands of McLaren where it’s still in the middle of getting repaired.
Specific parts that were damaged from the road accident have just arrived in the McLaren workshop so it will still take a few months before the Senna is restored, good as new, and returned to its anxious winner. The video isn’t just about Shmee150. It also gives us a good look at the inner workings of McLaren’s car repair process and the painstaking lengths and attention-to-detail that comes with making sure that every square inch of the Senna is investigated, prodded over, and repaired if the situation calls of it. At some point in the next few months, Shmee150 will be reunited with his McLaren Senna. But for now, it remains in the hands of McLaren, waiting for the automaker to bring it back to life.
Want a McLaren SUV? Better Keep Wishing Bucko
SUVs seem to be all the hype these days, but one could argue that there are so many simply because automakers want to extort the current trend – that’s why there are literally hundreds of them on the global market from brands like Ford and Chevy all the way up to the uber-luxury brands like Bentley and, pretty soon, even Ferrari with its upcoming Purosangue. Eventually, the SUV trend is going to die much like the last big trend –fuel-efficient compact cars – did when fuel prices finally started to come down. Eventually, all the automakers that have focused their entire lineups on SUVs (Ford, you’re one of the worst offenders, by the way) there’s one company that isn’t caving in any way, shape, or form, regardless of how much you beg or offer to pay. I’m talking about McLaren – a brand that’s taking a stand and even calling out brands like Bentley, Rolls-Royce, and Ferrari for giving up their purity to make a quick buck.
McLaren Prefers Exclusivity Over Volume and Profit, Won’t Follow the Trend of Its Competitors
Crossovers and SUVs have been hot button issues across boardrooms of exotic automakers all over the world. Some brands like Lamborghini, Ferrari, Bentley, and Rolls-Royce have given in to the craze. Bugatti has adopted a fence-hopping approach, straddling both sides with the ease of a gymnast. Then there are companies like Koenigsegg that have sworn off taking that plunge. The latter is a shrinking list, but Koenigsegg can take comfort knowing that it’s got company from McLaren.
Yes, the British supercar brand has no plans of developing and building an SUV because it doesn’t pass the cool factor for the brand. Granted, we’ve seen this song and dance number from automakers that have previously said they wouldn’t build SUVs only to do it anyway. McLaren sounds different, though, and while time will ultimately determine whether the brand’s position remains, it does look like McLaren’s portfolio will remain SUV-free in the near future.
Car for Sale: 1985 ASC McLaren 5.0SC Convertible
Ford moved the Mustang to the then-new Fox platform for the 1979 model year and, at the same time, Mercury introduced the second-generation Capri as a Mustang with a posh interior that was more expensive but, mechanically, almost identical. The cream of the crop were the Capris modified by ASC and McLaren between 1984 and 1986 and, with only 933 Capris ever updated to ASC/McLaren specification, they are particularly rare and hard to find. This one you see here was offered on Craigslist and is said to be one of just 257 units converted in 1985 and one of just 94 originally painted in Oxford White that year.
In the ’70s, if you wanted to try out Ford Cologne’s attempt at building a Mustang for the European market but you didn’t live in Europe, you got yourself a Mercury Capri. As a $2,300 (in 1970) economical sports coupe, the original Capri was what’s known as a ’captive import’ - a car made outside of the U.S. borders but sold Stateside under a different badge while not carrying any divisional identification. In ’72, the Mercury Capri became the first car sold by a Ford-owned brand in the U.S. to feature a V-6 as Mercury introduced a version powered by the 2.6-liter Cologne V-6 engine. In 1976, Mercury followed in the footsteps of the Europeans and started selling the Mark II Capri but the drivetrain remained common with the Ford Pinto, Ford Mustang II, and Mercury Bobcat. The ties between the Capri and the Mustang became closer three years later when the Capri returned on the market as a sports car based on the Fox platform. This is where the story of this car begins in earnest.
2019 McLaren F1 #063 Restoration by MSO
When it comes to rare supercars, the McLaren F1 is right up there in the automotive world’s charts. McLaren built just 106 units of the F1 between 1993 and 1998, but not all of them were road legal. In fact, only 64 units were “standard” road cars, with 28 wearing the GTR badge which made them track-only, race-bred machines. There were also five prototypes, named XP1 to XP5, and two longtail versions, among other iterations. Now, let’s go back to 12 months ago when McLaren was announcing the introduction of its MSO McLaren F1 Heritage program. To mark the launch, McLaren showed off the F1 25R bathed in the notorious Gulf Racing livery. One year later, McLaren strikes again with a perfectly-restored F1, which happens to be chassis number 63.
All in all, McLaren needed 3,000 work hours to complete it, with the actual restoration process spanning over 18 months. Mind-boggling as that might sound, consider this: repainting the car with the original Magnesium Silver hue alone took 900 hours, so there’s that. Oh, and don’t even think of checking your bank accounts. The car has an owner who already received his restored gem, together with a unique certificate of authenticity, a bespoke book that illustrates the car’s history, and a 3D laser-scanned miniature McLaren F1 scale model. Yeah, we’re also jealous. And with that out of the way, let’s have a more in-depth look at chassis #63.
McLaren’s New Hyper Roadster Will Be a True Driver’s Car; Could Be Lighter Than the F1 and Faster Than the Senna
Announced a few months back, the new Ultimate Series McLaren hypercar will appear as the most extreme McLaren in the lineup. Lighter than the P1, and possibly more potent than the Senna, the new hypercar will come without the roof but with a carbon-fiber monocoque chassis, and ultimate abilities in terms of driving dynamics.
“We’re developing the next chapter in our Ultimate Series story, and we want to produce a car that’s focused on the thrills of driving and with that an open experience. That’s important,” McLaren’s global marketing director Jamie Corstorphine said during the presentation of the latest McLaren GT in Australia.
What is the Cheapest McLaren?
The Sports Series is McLaren’s entry-level and most affordable lineup of cars. This range includes the 540C, 570S, 570GT, and the 600LT. Less powerful than the 570S, the 540C is the base model here, but this version is restricted to the Chinese market. So while it would be the most affordable, it’s not available in the United States. This leaves the McLaren 570S as the cheapest model, priced from $192,500. Granted, there’s nothing cheap about McLarens, and affordable is a big stretch when we’re talking about almost $200,000, but McLaren’s won’t get cheaper than the 570S unless you go to the used car market for an old 12C.
What is the Most Popular McLaren?
Not surprisingly, the most affordable McLaren is also the most popular. McLaren sold 4,806 cars in 2018 and about a quarter of them were Sports Series models. The best selling Sports Series version is the 570S, which isn’t as sporty as the 600LT, but its significantly more affordable. What’s more, the 570S is available to regular customers, whereas range-topping models like the Senna and Speedtail are restricted to special buyers who already own McLarens.
What is the Most Expensive McLaren?
McLaren sports cars are far from affordable, but the Speedtail is significantly more expensive than the rest. Built in only 106 units, just like the iconic F1, the Speedtail costs a whopping $2.25 million before options. A successor to the F1 not only due to its three-seat layout and tremendous aerodynamics, the Speedtail is a worthy successor when it comes to pricing too. For reference, the equally spectacular Senna starts under $1 million.
What is the Fastest McLaren?
When it comes to top speed, the Speedtail is by far the fastest McLaren available. The British company claims that the Speedtail has a top speed of 250 mph. While this figure doesn’t make it the fastest production car, the Speedtail is the fastest McLaren to date, having surpassed its spiritual predecessor the F1, which held this title for several years in the 1990s.
As far as acceleration goes, the Speedtail should be the quickest. While McLaren has yet to release 0-to-60 mph times for the Speedtail, it should be quicker than the Senna. The latter hits 60 mph in 2.8 seconds and 186 in 17.5 clicks. This final figure is extremely important here, as the Speedtail is almost five seconds quicker to the same benchmark. This means that it should also be quicker from 0 to 60 mph, a benchmark that it likely completes in just 2.6 seconds.
What is the Most Practical McLaren?
Developed with extra trunk space in mind, the McLaren GT is the company’s most practical sports car. A grand tourer with a mid-engined layout, the GT offers luggage room under both the front hood and rear hatch. The compartment under the front hood is rather small at 5.3 cubic feet, but this space is enough to almost beat most sports cars in this segment. But there’s plenty more room under the rear hatch (on top of the engine), where you can load 14.8 cubic feet worth of luggage, which converts to a golf bag or two pairs of skis and boots, plus smaller bags. Overall, the GT has a storage capacity of 20.1 cubic feet, which is more than several midsize and even full-size sedans. Given that sports cars aren’t designed for practicality, the GT is quite an exotic vehicle for its segment.
Are McLaren Cars Reliable?
Sports cars and supercars aren’t usually used as daily drivers, so it’s difficult to asses whether they are reliable or not. While the old 12C has some issues, most of them related to the faulty infotainment system, owners have reported very few problems in recent years. McLaren issued a couple of recalls for some models, but all were related to minor issues and easy repairs. For sports cars that are usually driven during the weekends, on highways, twisty back roads, and on race tracks, McLarens are quite reliable.