When McLaren revealed the Elva late last year, the roadster with the optional windscreen was limited to a run of 399 units. It’s now set to be an even rarer car, as Woking has slashed the production run to “no more than 149” units.

McLaren points to the limited production slots available on the recently re-opened line (after the Covid-19 shutdown) and compromised availability of parts. 149 units will make the Elva one of the most exclusive McLarens ever produced – second only to the Speedtail – and that will surely boost the collectibility of the roadster.

With that said, customer specification sessions for the Ultimate Series model are now taking place digitally with McLaren Special Operations (MSO), with a new virtual reality visualiser introduced to give customers greater creative freedom and deliver immediate results.

MSO Bespoke Liaison Managers are working on one-on-one with customers remotely, using the McLaren Advanced Visualiser (MAV) to explore every aspect of the car for a bespoke result. Created by McLaren from software originally designed for gaming, the MAV uses ultra-HD resolution rendering to display individual Elva elements and then combine them to create a full specification, with near-immediate visualisation of the result.

The MAV’s level of functionality and detail enables customers to open and close doors in virtual reality to get inside the car and experiment with different interior features, from seat colours and materials to finishes and stitching. Aerodynamic elements can also be closely examined, and the visualiser even allows users to look under the bodywork to check out the suspension and brakes.

Customising a car from scratch without an example of what’s possible might be daunting, so to inspire customers, McLaren’s design team released two Elva design concepts – Timeless and Explore. Each includes a range of visual themes in MAV to generate ideas and prompt discussion.

The themes in Explore evoke the spirit of adventure expressed by Elva ownership while Timeless focuses on the sense of history encapsulated in the Elva’s design, balanced by a fascination with the future. We have to say that the different themes really transform the character of the car. Those who prefer racing liveries can opt for the MSO M1A and M6A themes, an homage to Bruce McLaren’s legendary race cars.

McLaren’s first open-cockpit road car has a bespoke carbon-fibre chassis and body, and it’s set to be the lightest-ever McLaren road car. The Elva name comes from the McLaren-Elva M1A which competed in the Canadian Sports Car Grand Prix – forerunner to the Can-Am Challenge Cup – in 1964.

The roadster is powered by a version of the 4.0 litre biturbo V8 engine also found in the Senna and the track-only Senna GTR. With 815 PS and 800 Nm of torque, it does the 0-100 km/h and 0-200 km/h sprints in ‘under three seconds’ and 6.7 seconds respectively, quicker than the road Senna. A helmet is surely necessary. More on the Elva’s technical bits here.