Jay Leno recently got up close and personal with the McLaren Elva, a sexy speedster devoid of a windshield (though one is available) and packing over 800 horses.
The design is extreme, and in this latest episode of “Jay Leno's Garage” we learn about some concessions made to get the car legal on the street, at least in the U.S. For example, U.S.-spec Elvas have a polished aluminum attachment on the front hood, which is McLaren's solution for meeing the requirement for a rearview mirror.
The Elva also stands out for being the lightest road car McLaren has ever launched, and of course the the fact that it doesn't have a roof. To accommodate the original windshield-less design, the Elva has what McLaren calls the Active Air Management System (AAMS). This is basically a series of channels that directs air around and over the car when it picks up speed, leaving things relatively calm in the cabin.
Like McLaren's other cars, the Elva is built around a carbon-fiber central tub and powered by a twin-turbocharged V-8. Shared with the Senna and 720S, the 4.0-liter V-8 makes 804 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque in the Elva. That will get it from 0-60 mph in less than three seconds, and from 0-124 mph in 6.7 seconds, according to McLaren. A top speed hasn't been announced.
First shown in 2019, the Elva is a limited-edition supercar positioned in McLaren's range-topping Ultimate Series of cars, which also includes the Speedtail, Senna and P1. McLaren originally planned to build 399 examples, but the automaker ended up reducing this to just 149 units.