Indycar Star Shows Us What The McLaren Elva Can Really Do

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F1's Lando Norris got the first shot, now it's JR Hildebrand's turn.

The insane McLaren Elva came out a few years ago as a roofless barchetta not even sporting a windshield. At the time the British supercar maker said it would build just 399 examples. Last year it cut that number to 249 cars and last we heard it cut that by another 100 for a final total of 149 Elvas in the world.

You can bet it'll be exclusive, and you can bet most of us will never see one in real life. That's why we'll take any opportunity to get a glimpse of one rolling, especially in the hands of trained race car driver JR Hildebrand on the streets of San Francisco. Part of this is promoting the Elva's new windshield, which adds 44 pounds but saves your teeth from bugs. Sure, this video plays like a commercial, but who cares?

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As a reminder, the McLaren Elva has a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 heart pumping out 804 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. And that's in a vehicle that weighs just 2,900 pounds, more than a quarter ton less than the BMW M2.

According to independent tests, the Elva will hit 60 mph in 2.7 seconds, 124 mph in 6.7 seconds and it should be able to complete the quarter mile in less than 10 seconds. Did we mention it costs $1,690,000?

Indycar driver Hildebrand doesn't get to put the hammer down like Lando Norris did with the Elva late last year, but he does get some good audio off the cliffs of the Pacific Coast Highway and through the tunnels in the city. And boy does it look spectacular.

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Driver Seat McLaren

"This car isn't for everyone, nor is it for every situation. If it was built for maximum comfort and usability it would have windows, a convertible roof, and a few more places to put your things. But it's not and it doesn't pretend to be," says a man-bunned Hildebrand.

"This car is for owning the fact that you, yes *you*, are driving a McLaren Elva, and for freeing yourself from whatever else you have going on to tap into the moment at hand by going for a drive. It's impossibly nimble and lightweight, blurring the boundaries between the car and all of its environment. Get this thing in a tunnel, wick it up to 9,000 rpm, pile on the brakes and bang that downshift - just the snap, crackle and pop that this thing gives you."


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