It was little more than a year ago that McLaren announced it had acquired the rights to the Elva brand and displayed a prototype for a new roadster with an historic name — but not roof, windshield or windows.
At the recent Goodwood SpeedWeek, the $1.8-million McLaren Elva made its official debut in famous Gulf racing colors.
And after the SpeedWeek event, McLaren Special Operations released a YouTube video showing a McLaren Elva in action with Formula One driver Lando Norris at the wheel. Although he has trouble memorizing the lines he’s supposed to share, Norris has so much fun that he said he’s not pitting until he runs out of fuel.
The McLaren-Elva revival traces to the 1960s when Bruce McLaren designed the Oldsmobile-powered McLaren-Elva sports racers for the Can-Am series. Elva was founded in 1958 and produced sports cars and racing cars until 1968.
The Gulf-liveried car at Goodwood was part of another renewal, that between McLaren and the Gulf Oil company. Through the 1960s and into the mid-1970s, Gulf was the primary sponsor of McLaren Can-Am, Indy and Formula 1 cars. They linked again in the 1990s at Le Mans as well.
The new McLaren Elva roadster is powered by an 815-horsepower, twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 engine. It incorporates what McLaren calls an Active Air Management System to keep the cockpit calm despite the lack of windshield, windows or roof.
While Norris got behind the wheel for the video, the primary testing and development driver for the new Elva has been Swedish-born 1999 Indianapolis 500 winner and 2009 X-Games rally champion Kenny Brack. In 2017, Brack set a lap record at the Nurburgring in a McLaren P1 LM.
For more information, visit the McLaren Elva website.