The Windshield-Less McLaren Elva Costs $1.69M, Helmet Not Included

Don’t worry, it’s also got an "Active Air Management System"

McLaren Elva supercar roadster
Look ma, no windshield.
© 2019 Copyright McLaren Automotive

Supercars are, by definition, dangerous vehicles. They are not toys to be played around with, no matter how many billionaires beg to differ by crashing into medians, light poles and valet stations. The new McLaren Elva is no different, with its 804 horsepower and 0 to 62 MPH time under three seconds. But that wasn’t enough danger, so McLaren designed it without a roof, windows or windshield.

The Elva was revealed on Wednesday as the latest Ultimate Series roadster from McLaren Automotive, alongside the acclaimed Senna and Speedtail. And besides being the lightest car the luxury automaker has ever made, it’s also causing a stir for being a two-seater with a completely open cockpit. 

How does that work when you’re speeding along at 124 MPH (which it achieves in just 6.7 seconds from a standstill)? It’s all thanks to a “world-first” technology they’re calling the Active Air Management System (AAMS). 

According to a press release, it works like this: 

“The system channels air through the nose of the Elva to come out of the front clamshell at high velocity ahead of the occupants before being directed up over the cockpit to create a relative ‘bubble’ of calm … At urban speeds, when the level of airflow into the cabin means the AAMS is not needed, the system is inactive. As vehicle speed increases, the AAMS automatically deploys and remains active until speed reduces, at which point the deflector retracts. The system can also be button-deactivated by the driver.”

That’s what you pay $1.69 million for, people. But we should say, a windshield derivative is also available “for most markets,” according to the company. Although, there’s a good chance even if you have the cash to spend, you might not get your hands on this particular McLaren because it’s limited to 399 examples. 

There’s plenty more to learn (and love) about the Elva, including the history of the name and design which goes back to cars Bruce McLaren designed in the ‘60s. You can read more over at McLaren.

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