The McLaren Eva is here and surprises us with its barebones approach to speed. So barebones, in fact, that it doesn’t have any glass. You gotta bring a helmet or at least some goggles.
There's something to be said for an open-top car. The feeling of the wind in your hair, the sun on your face--it's why convertibles exist. It's why Jeeps are so popular and why they still let you take the roof off even to this day.
But has McLaren gone too far on their new Elva roadster? Not only does it not have a roof, it doesn't even have a windshield. And it has over 800 horsepower. How are you expected to survive in such a vehicle? It doesn’t even come with a helmet.
McLaren has the answer to that question. Using some very clever technology, McLaren engineers have created a system that uses the incoming air striking the car’s nose to be redirected up through the hood of the vehicle via vents to push away the air that would normally be striking the driver in the face. They call it the McLaren Active Air Management System (AAMS) and promise that it will create "a relative ‘bubble’ of calm" in what would normally be the cabin.
It only activates once the system detects wind speed at a certain threshold. Then the vents turn on and create this bubble. We can’t imagine anything that’s not a solid piece of glass from preventing a hurricane for the driver above 100 mph, but maybe McLaren really has figured it out.
The rest of the Elva is pretty standard for McLaren. A 4.0-L twin-turbo V8 (same as found in the Senna) produces 804 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. Zero to sixty in under 3 seconds with zero to 124 mph (200 kph) taking just 6.7 seconds, which is actually faster than the Senna.
McLaren says the Elva is the lightest road-legal car they've ever made. A carbon-fiber monocoque chassis, carbon-fiber body, and carbon-fiber doors keep weight to the bare minimum, and the complete lack of glass helps immensely. A full-width active rear spoiler assists with downforce while Pirelli P Zero tires are there for maximum grip.
And because it's a luxury car, you can get McLaren's badges made out of 18ct gold or platinum for an additional fee. A 24ct gold engine bay heat shield is also available, although it's at least somewhat more functional than gold badging.
The Elva starts at just £1,425,000 ($1.83 million USD), with only 399 units to be made. And if it rains, then you're going to have to get your $2 million roadster detailed.