If you’re losing track of all the new open-top hypercars, we won’t blame you. The McLaren Elva is one of many windscreen-less Swiss bank balance liberators to emerge in the last year or so - joining the likes of the Ferrari SP1 and Aston Martin V12 Speedster - but it does have something of a USP hidden up its carbon fibre sleeves.
It’s an ‘Active Air Management System’ which ensures that the alfresco supercar experience doesn’t make it feel like your skin is being torn to shreds each time you venture over 30mph. McLaren has explained how it works in this new video.
We’d recommend having a watch through - it’ll be easier to visualise thanks to all the snazzy CGI plus McLaren Automotive design engineering boss Dan Parry Williams pointing out the inlets and outlets. But to sum up, the Elva is hiding a “hook-shaped” duct in its nose, which takes high-pressure air from the front, turns it 120 degrees, and spits it out of a vent in the top of the clamshell.
This creates a barrier of air just in front of the cabin. Oncoming airflow hits it and curves up and over the occupants, making life much more pleasant. Parry Williams says that at 70mph, driver and passenger will be left “in relative calm” with their hair (providing they have some) “unruffled”.
How far over that point you need to go before proceedings take a much breezier turn, we’re not sure - with an 803bhp twin-turbo V8 borrowed from the Senna, the Elva is capable of reaching much higher speeds awfully quickly. But regardless, it’s an impressive system.