Car porn alert: McLaren Elva in Gulf livery is a truly awesome sight

By Motoring Staff Time of article published Oct 16, 2020

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GOODWOOD, ENGLAND - There are few things that arouse the excitement of early racing exploits than blue and orange Gulf livery, and now we get to see it on McLaren’s Elva speedster.

McLaren says this latest creation by its MSO (McLaren Special Operations) division is a celebration of the renewed relationship between McLaren and the Gulf Oil brand, as well as an example of how designs from McLaren’s racing history are inspiring the brand’s modern day customers.

Under the new partnership, McLaren clients will be able to commission Gulf-liveried cars directly from MSO.

MSO managing director Ansar Ali says the division is committed to pushing the boundaries of the “art of the possible’” and that projects like this showcase the increasingly extensive range of personalisation options that it can offer customers.

As a reminder, the McLaren Elva is a speedster of the traditional kind that’s totally exposed to the elements. The open-cockpit roadster was inspired by its namesake of the 1960s and, thanks to its unique carbon fibre chassis and body, it’s also the lightest road car that McLaren has ever produced.

This makes light work for its 4-litre twin-turbo V8 engine, which produces 600kW and 800Nm, with the aim of getting the car to 100km/h in under three seconds.

With no roof or windscreen (although customers can order the latter if they really want), engineers have tried to mitigate the car’s exposure to the elements through an Active Air Management system that manipulates the air flow around the car’s occupants.

Gulf livery first appeared on McLaren’s Can-Am, Formula 1 and Indy cars between 1968 and 1973. The branding was used again two decades later on the McLaren F1 GTRs that competed in global GT racing, including Le Mans.

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