McLaren Elva Spruced Up With Gulf Livery Just In Time for the Goodwood SpeedWeek

McLaren Elva Gulf Theme by MSO 7 photos
Photo: McLaren
McLaren Elva Gulf Theme by MSOMcLaren Elva Gulf Theme by MSOMcLaren Elva Gulf Theme by MSOMcLaren Elva Gulf Theme by MSOMcLaren Elva Gulf Theme by MSOMcLaren Elva Gulf Theme by MSO
Petroleum company Gulf Oil and McLaren go a long way back. Their relationship has been further cemented by a bite-the-back-of-your-hand beautiful commission at this year’s Goodwood SpeedWeek, sporting the blue-and-orange livery we know from Can-Am, Indy Car, and Formula 1.
“The Elva Gulf Theme by McLaren Special Operations is a striking celebration of our history in sports car racing and our new partnership with Gulf Oil,” declared Ansar Ali, the head honcho of McLaren Special Operations. “We are committed to pushing the boundaries of the ‘art of the possible’ and projects like this showcase the increasingly extensive range of personalization options that we can offer customers.”

The body panels may feature the same design and construction as with every other Elva, but the two-tone makeover and old-school decals help the British bruiser stand out in the crowd like an elephant at a mouse party. The evocative livery is complemented by white upholstery for the seats, black detailing here and there, and five-spoke forged alloy wheels wrapped in sticky Pirelli P-Zero Corsa tires.

Under the hood, you will find a mid-mounted V8 with a couple of turbos and Senna levels of performance. 815 PS (804 horsepower) and 800 Nm (590 pound-feet) of torque are the crankshaft ratings of the flat-plane motor, translating to 100 kph (62 mph) in less than three seconds and a top speed estimated at 321 kph (200 mph).

An Ultimate Series model just like the Senna and Speedtail, the Elva wasn’t received as well as its predecessors. Production was originally capped at 399 units worldwide, then Mike Flewitt rectified that figure to 249 citing customer feedback. Production has been reduced once again in September, now limited to 149 examples of the breed.

In addition to the ongoing health crisis and the financial uncertainties that came with it, you have to consider that McLaren has lost some of its specialness. From the P1 hypercar to the P1 GTR and P1 LM, the Senna and Senna GTR, Speedtail, and the Elva, Macca launched too many Ultimate Series models in too little of a timeframe.

Seven over-the-top cars in eight years can be considered an achievement from the standpoint of a business, but a collector would claim the exact opposite to that. Porsche, for example, offered the 918 Spyder and the track-only 935 special edition in the same interval, explaining their high desirability and values on the used market.

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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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