McLaren’s carbon-fiber, windshieldless Elva shows possibilities of lightweighting, aerodynamics

Supercars are not the bread-and-butter of the average collision repairer, but they’re notable sometimes for revealing cutting-edge technologies that someday might filter down to a luxury car, or even a mass-market one. With that in mind, we direct repairers’ attention to the Elva, which McLaren last month said was “the lightest road car we’ve ever built” and allows passengers to travel at high speeds without a windshield. The two-seater is a carbon-fiber monocoque that McLaren said means the “open-top roadster does not require any additional strengthening as would be the case with a vehicle built from aluminum or steel.” The vehicle also uses a “bespoke carbon fibre chassis,” a carbon-fiber floor and carbon-fiber doors the OEM called “notably the lightest that McLaren has ever created.” “The entire body is carbon, and McLaren has pushed the limits of the material to not only create incredible sculpted forms, but to also reduce weight,” the OEM wrote. “The front clamshell, for instance, is just 1.2mm thick and meets all of McLaren’s structural integrity targets – yet it forms an astonishing one-piece panel that wraps around the entire nose of the vehicle and provides a clean, un...

Metal Gear Solid Retrospective: ‘You Enjoy All The Killing, That’s Why’

After Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, the titular character went into retirement—both in the series’ fiction and real life. It would be another eight years before fans would play a Metal Gear game. That game was Metal Gear Solid, and it helped codify the stealth genre forever. Solid Snake’s story is full of betrayal, blood, and isolation. Metal Gear has always been a series about impeding player progress. Its traps and enemies exist to ward off players. Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake brought back returning characters and offered a new fortress, explicitly rejecting the notion that players could truly save the world. Metal Gear Solid leverages this impulse and turns it towards Snake himself. Whenever he succeeds, events conspire to immediately undercut that success. His (and the player’s) skills mean little in the face of scheming villains and politicians whose background machinations have rigged the game before the start. Released in 1998 for the PlayStation, Metal Gear Solid is one of the most fondly remembered video games in the medium’s canon. Its tense stealth-action gave rise to countless imitations from WinBack to Spy Fiction. After Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake had teste...