McLaren Elva M1A by MSO pays homage to a glorious past

The McLaren Elva has yet to enter production, but the folks at McLaren Special Operations (MSO) were busy dolling up the Elva speedster to create the M1A. It’s the same roofless, windshield-less, two-seat speedster released late last year. But this time around, the Elva M1A is festooned in glorious vintage racing livery.

The Elva M1A theme pays tribute to McLaren’s racing history

Retro is the current king of cool, and the McLaren Elva M1A lives up to the promise. The livery is inspired no less by the original McLaren-Elva M1A racing car driven by Bruce McLaren in the 1960s – most specifically in the 1964 Canadian Sports Car Grand Prix.

As it turns out, the M1A was the fastest car at the race. It broke the lap record for seven times while managing to equal the lap record four times in the same race. Commemorating this marvelous feat is the Elva M1A by MSO complete with a magnesium silver racing stripe on the side sills, a red accent pinstripe, and a ‘4’ racing graphic in true vintage fashion.

In other words, the throwback livery looks awesome in the Elva.

It still doesn’t have a windshield

We’re talking about a speedster, so it’s only natural for Elva M1A to forego the roof and windshield. Apparently, McLaren will gladly install a factory windshield if you insist, but you can’t have the option of a removable hardtop or folding roof. With the Elva, it’s either no roof or bust.

But if you don’t choose the windshield option, the McLaren Elva is equipped with an innovative feature to protect your mug from distorting in the wind. It’s called an active air management system, and it’s the first of its kind in a modern car.

The system directs the airflow from Elva’s nose towards the cabin using a carbon-fiber wind deflector and a high-velocity sheet in front of the cockpit. With this method, the system creates an invisible bubble of air around the cockpit to preserve your expensive hairdo. We have no idea how the system works on an actual road, but it all sounds promising, to say the least.

It has a twin-turbo V8 engine

The new Elva Speedster is the fourth model in McLaren’s Ultimate Series portfolio along with the Speedtail and Senna. With that being said, the Elva is powered by a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 with 804-horsepower channeled exclusively to the rear wheels. The engine is mated to a seven-speed automatic gearbox.

And if you think the Senna is the fastest and most extreme McLaren, the Elva will make you take notice with its blistering acceleration. It reaches 60 mph from a dead stop in under three seconds and pulls from zero to 124 mph in 6.7-seconds, enough to demolish the Senna.

Only 399 Elvas will be built

McLaren is building 399 examples of the Elva with base prices starting at $1.7-million. In terms of exclusivity, the McLaren Elva M1A by MSO won’t be as rare as Bentley’s Mulliner Bacalar speedster (12 units) or Aston Martin’s V12 Speedster (88 units). But still, the Elva will be one of those supercars that you’ll only see at prestigious events and car shows.

Of course, MSO is more than willing to create bespoke versions of the Elva (including the M1A theme) if you ask nicely.