McLaren concept bridges the Gulf

Riley Riley

How cool is this concept from McLaren?

The McLaren Elva Gulf Theme by MSO marks a renewed relationship between McLaren and the Gulf Oil brand.

It’s also another example of how designs from the company’s racing past are being used to inspire today’s customers.

The unique McLaren roadster painted in blue and orange Gulf colours makes its debut this weekend at Goodwood SpeedWeek.

The Elva, which follows the P1, Senna and Speedtail in McLaren’s Ultimate Series, links the company’s heritage to its present and future with a name and style that recalls the McLaren-Elva sports racers of the Sixties.

These were among the first sports cars designed and raced by Bruce McLaren and the company he founded, and the new Elva evokes the true spirit of driving enjoyment symbolised by this era.

In line with McLaren’s on-going commitment to super-lightweight engineering, the new Ultimate Series roadster retains the lightweight construction philosophy of its forebear and is at the cutting-edge of automotive technology.

The body design of the screenless, roofless Elva, for example, incorporates an innovative Active Air Management System (AAMS) that creates a virtual canopy over the seamlessly-integrated cockpit.

The 600kW and 800Nm of torque developed by the 4.0-litre, twin-turbocharged V8 engine ensure the Elva delivers astonishing performance and incredible levels of driving enjoyment.


With deliveries of the Elva expected to commence this year, MSO has already completed the specification of the first cars and is well-advanced in discussions with customers to create further dramatic paintwork and liveries.

Just 149 examples of the Ultimate Series roadster will be available for order, making it one of the rarest McLarens ever produced and, with an almost-limitless degree of personalisation available from MSO, each car will have its own unique identity.

McLaren and Gulf recently confirmed a new partnership that renews a historic union between the two brands that originated in the 1960s, a decade when both companies made their first forays into motorsport.

Gulf branding appeared on McLaren’s Can-Am, Formula 1 and Indy cars from 1968 to 1973.

Two decades later McLaren F1 GTRs run by customer team GTC carried the famous Gulf livery in global GT racing, including at Le Mans.

Under the new partnership, McLaren Automotive customers will have the opportunity to commission Gulf-liveried cars directly from MSO.

These follow cars inspired by the famous racing livery designed and produced by MSO prior to the renewed relationship.

Most recently, a McLaren Senna GTR LM paying homage to the #24 McLaren F1 GTR that finished fourth in the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans race was completed as one of five MSO-designed customer cars celebrating the McLaren F1’s domination of that race.


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