Here’s how the McLaren Elva keeps its driver comfortable without a windshield

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Elva convertible roadster front McLaren

In exchange for a cool $1.85 million, McLaren will give you a car with 804 horsepower and no windshield. Of course, in markets where such a vehicle would not be road legal, McLaren will produce an Elva variant with regular glass. However, in those places where fully-open limited-edition 1960s-homage McLarens can drive past fully-open limited-edition 1950s-homage Ferraris, customers will rely on what those in the Woking tech center call an Active Air Management System to keep them comfortable with minimal buffeting from airflow.  

Of course, what is so fancifully described as a speed-sensitive airflow manipulator is using the same simple concept that keeps racing cars cool. In this case, the air ingested by the lower inlet low on the front of the car will be guided through a clamshell just ahead of the passengers, rather than over radiators or brakes. The angle of airflow is a bit more extreme than those racing cars however.

The lucky devils at Pistonheads got an early taste of what the Elva is like to drive, in McLaren’s camouflaged MV1202 prototype. And while they call it a “brief and windy ride,” they also came back with an animation that shows how McLaren’s system works in the digital space. However, it seems that just like when driving the original Can Am racing Elva-McLarens, helmets remain highly recommended. Especially considering this lithe speedster is capable of out-accelerating the Senna.

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