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Car of the Week: This Iridescent Purple 2021 McLaren Elva Has No Need for Your Windshield

Both futuristic and retro in styling, the 802 hp roadster will be presented by Mecum Auctions on May 20.

A 2021 McLaren Elva painted in Pacific Color Stream. Mecum Auctions

While the lion’s share of offerings at any collector-car auction are coveted vehicles from bygone eras, there occasionally appear models that are spanking-new, in searing-hot demand by those in urgent need for the latest and greatest. This 2021 McLaren Elva, being offered on May 20, is one such example. It will be among the assortment of automotive delicacies that will cross the block at the Mecum Auctions’ Indy 2023 sale, held from May 12 through 20, at the Indiana State Fairgrounds & Event Center in Indianapolis, Ind.

“One of our main attractions this year,” is how John Kraman, lead TV commentator and analyst for Mecum Auctions, refers to the McLaren. “It’s finished in Pacific Color Stream that definitely adds to the hypercar image, and simply must be seen to be appreciated,” he says. “This is an investment grade, world-class masterpiece for a most discriminating collector.”

A 2021 McLaren Elva painted in Pacific Color Stream.
The 2021 McLaren Elva being offered by Mecum Auctions on May 20. Mecum Auctions

The Elva was inspired by the open sports cars raced by Bruce McLaren in the glory days of the 1960s and early 1970s as part of the United States Road Racing Championship, predecessor of the now-legendary Can-Am racing series. The vehicle’s name is derived from the French elle va (“she goes”), and the model follows the original McLaren F1, P1, Senna, and Speedtail to become the fifth member of the McLaren Ultimate Series.

McLaren says the Elva, which had a base MSRP of $1.69 million when introduced, was designed to create a connection to the elements, and with no top, a rudimentary windscreen, and little else, the Elva surely forges a link between its driver and the environment. Indeed, it’s a throwback to the early days of motorsport; simpler times when driving just meant getting out on the road without the insulation of our modern age.

A 2021 McLaren Elva painted in Pacific Color Stream.
The vent at the car’s nose raises to protect the driver and passenger with a curtain of air. Mecum Auctions

As elemental as it is, the Elva is also cutting edge to the extreme. Its mid-rear-engine configuration, with a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 engine—making 802 hp and 590 ft lbs of torque—lays the groundwork for a supercar. As for performance, it covers zero to 62 mph in 2.8 seconds and can reach a top speed of 203 mph. Especially impressive is a curb weight of less than 2,800 pounds, which makes the Elva the marque’s lightest modern production car.

McLaren’s Proactive Chassis Control II, double-wishbone adaptive-damper suspension, and carbon-ceramic brakes all help complete the picture. All of that light weight is the result of calculated engineering that incorporates a carbon-fiber body, the so-called “exoskeleton” of McLaren’s proprietary Monocell II chassis. And signature dihedral doors swoop up for entry, adding practicality and a bit of fanfare.

The interior of a 2021 McLaren Elva painted in Pacific Color Stream.
With no top and a rudimentary windscreen, the Elva was designed to create a connection to the elements. Mecum Auctions

Unlike almost every other supercar, the Elva is a single-purpose machine, its mission made more evident by the absence of a greenhouse of any kind. It describes the quintessential racer from the golden age of postwar motorsport. Instead of sheet metal and glass, two buttresses protect occupants from behind. Then there’s the vent at the car’s nose that raises to protect the driver and passenger with a curtain of air, so relative calm prevails in the cockpit when at speed.

Nobody, however, is protected from the Pacific Color Stream paint scheme, a brilliant, shifting metallic purple that will ever define the character of this singular Elva. The businesslike interior offers the driving essentials, with carbon-fiber seats upholstered in, and surrounded by, black Ultrafabric upholstery.

A 2021 McLaren Elva painted in Pacific Color Stream.
The Elva features a mid-rear-engine configuration and carries an 802 hp, 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 with 590 ft lbs of torque. Mecum Auctions

This super-rare supercar comes with a car cover, plaque, two Bell racing helmets, additional leather helmets, duffle bags, and two pair of luxury sunglasses—a must for fending off incoming insects while motoring. As for what this purple monster will now fetch, well, that’s anyone’s guess.

Click here for more photos of the 2021 McLaren Elva heading to auction.

The 2021 McLaren Elva that will cross the block through Mecum Auctions on May 20. Mecum Auctions

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