2020 has been a tough year for automakers. There were strong indications of a major sales slowdown before coronavirus flipped everything on its lid. Some companies have weathered the storm better than others, but 2020 could be the worst possible time to launch an ultra-rare, $1.7-million hyper roadster.
Of course, McLaren had absolutely no idea any of this would happen. To the automaker’s credit, a way forward seems to be secure thanks to a sizeable cash infusion from Bahrain Bank. That means the roofless, windowless Elva is still go for launch, but production has been cut yet again. What started as a planned run of 399 was reduced to 249 in April, and now it’s down to just 149 total. That makes it one of the rarest McLarens of them all, with only the Speedtail being more exclusive.
McLaren says the production cut is a result of limited availability of parts and production slots on the recently reopened line. Actually, McLaren’s specific words were “no more than 149 Elvas will now be built,” suggesting the number might be even less. There’s no mention of other circumstances behind the production cut, but there’s also no mention of order cancellations so it’s unclear if McLaren had buyers with cash-in-hand for 249 Elvas, never mind the 399 originally planned.
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The buyers that do step up, however, have one helluva cool configurator to play with. The company calls it the McLaren Advanced Visualizer (MAV), which sounds like something you’d use on a moon mission but it actually incorporates gaming software to create a detailed 3D version of a customer’s car. Buyers work one-on-one with McLaren to create the visual Elva of their dreams, and this system shows the various color combos inside-and-out in a crisp, virtual environment.
To further stimulate the creative process. McLaren offered up a range of new color combos lumped into two categories called Explore and Timeless. As you might imagine, Explore combinations evoke a more adventurous palette whereas Timeless encapsulates themes in line with McLaren and its history. These are the designs featured in the photo gallery above, but the takeaway is that McLaren is pretty much open to whatever combos the customer wants. For a $1.7-million open-air two-seater that lacks even a windshield, we suspect such customization is welcome.
McLaren doesn’t mention a specific delivery date for the Elva. The last we heard, cars were slated to reach owners by the end of the year, though that’s likely pushed back to 2021 given COVID-19 production delays.