Launching a £1.4 million, roofless hypercar in the middle of a pandemic and the ensuing financial turmoil is a tall order, especially if you’re hoping 399 well-heeled car collectors will take the plunge.
With that in mind, it was hardly a surprise when McLaren cut the 399-unit production cap for the Elva to 249 units in April, although at the time, Woking claimed it was down to customers wanting more exclusivity. That number has since dropped further, with the British company confirming no more than 149 examples of the 803bhp open-top missile will ever be built.
This time, McLaren has blamed this latest drop on its Covid-19-forced factory shutdown, which lasted from late March until early 12 May. There are only a “limited production slots available on the recently re-opened line,” the company said in a press release about its new Elva ‘virtual reality visualiser’, adding that a “compromised availability of parts” is also a factor.
The reduced number available means the Elva will be the second most exclusive car McLaren has made thus far in its contemporary guise, with the Speedtail and its 106-unit run in first. Limiting the Elva to 149 will “help to protect the investment of customers in this unique car,” McLaren says.
This particular investment has a Senna-spec 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, but thanks to a new 3D-printed exhaust, it’s slightly more powerful than its track-focused relative. It’s the lightest car ever made by McLaren Automotive, enabling a 0-62mph time under three seconds and a 0-124mph sprint which takes just 6.7. It uses sophisticated aerodynamics to stop occupant’s faces being destroyed at speed.
The hypercar is inspired by the McLaren M1A, M1B and M1C open-top racers of the 1960s, the construction of which was contracted out to small British firm Elva.