Here's How You Can Drive A McLaren Elva Fast Without Destroying Your Face
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.
Welcome to McLaren Tech Club, a series of short films you can enjoy in your own home. Join us weekly for a behind the scenes look at the incredible technology in our cars.
Tech Club is for those who want to take their automotive knowledge further, delve deeper and get to the core of what every McLaren car is about – using technology to help deliver the incredible driving experiences for which the pioneering supercar company is renowned worldwide.
This week, we kick things off with the just launched McLaren Elva. An incredible car, with its world first ‘Active Air Management System’ which uses aerodynamics to deliver a comfy drive at 70mph, without a windscreen.’
Who better to take you through this new tech than McLaren Automotive’s Design Engineering Director, Dan Parry Williams.
Want to know more about #McLarenTechClub – post your questions below and each week the videos’ presenter will respond and react to them. Dive into the conversation on social using #McLarenTechClub and we will respond.
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.
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