The McLaren Artura is the company’s new entry-level, mid-engined sports car that’s been designed to compete with the likes of the Lamborghini Huracan Evo and Ferrari F8 Tributo. The Artura is the first new McLaren on the company’s McLaren Carbon Lightweight Architecture (MCLA), the company’s first car to feature a twin-turbo V6, and the first hybrid in this category for the brand.
WHAT IS IT?
McLaren calls this a “new era in a supercar technology and performance,” which is partially true. The Porsche 918, Ferrari LaFerrari and McLaren P1 were all “hypercars” and this is perhaps the best version of this technology trickling down to a vehicle that’s only going to cost around $220,000.
Much like the 570S it will replace, the Artura is built around a carbon fiber tub and features a motor mounted behind the passenger cabin and head of the rear axle. Despite a look that’s quite similar, that’s where many of the overlap ends. In place of the company’s longserving V8 is a brand new M630 3.0-liter “hot-vee” twin-turbocharged 120-degree V6 motor. This engine is more compact than the outgoing V8 and delivers 577 horsepower and 431 lb-ft of torque.
Further adding to the differences, there’s an axial flux electric motor located within the transmission bell housing that produces 94 horsepower and 166 lb-ft of torque. That transmission is a twin-clutch, eight-speed unit created for the Artura, but there appears to be a third clutch used to engage and disengage the electric motor (as pointed out by Jalopnik, there’s no reverse, the electric motor just spins backwards). The motor is connected to a 7.4kWh battery pack built into the carbon tub.
As a Plug-in Hybrid, the Artura can travel just shy of 20 miles in full EV mode, though if you attempt to go fast the V6 will kick-in.
The Artura also features McLaren’s first electronic rear differential built into the transmission, which reduces the weight and allows for more immediate torque vectoring across the rear axle. This, paired with the brand’s Variable Drift Control (VDC), will probably make the Artura an even more approachable driver’s car than the outgoing 570S, which itself was quite straightforward to drive quickly.
HOW DOES IT PERFORM?
On paper, the McLaren is on par with the 570S, offering a 0-60 mph time around 3.0 seconds and a top speed (limited) of 205 mph. The suddenly more important 0-200 kph time is just 21.5 seconds. All of this in a car that’s now just over 3,300 pounds and has a battery pack.
Not that most people who are buying this vehicle are necessary obsessed with efficiency, but the first photos they revealed were of a green car so it’s worth mentioning that on the European combined cycle it puts out an estimated 129 g/km of CO2 emissions. When you compare that to the 249.0 g/km of the 570S it’s hard not to be impressed.
HOW DOES IT LOOK?
It looks like a McLaren. The flying buttresses behind the c-pillar are a nice touch and the overall design language has been refined, but this still feels like an evolution of the design we first saw on the McLaren MP4-12C.
The red version with the contrasting black top looks more distinct. There are 15 launch colors, including the Flux Green seen above, but it’s a McLaren so you can get any color you want.
It looks good and it’s completely different from a performance perspective, which is impressive. I am looking forward to driving one very slowly and honking at non-plug-in Priuses.