McLaren has unveiled their first series-production high-performance hybrid supercar – the Artura.
Its new electrically-assisted powertrain offers several advantages, such as a faster throttle response, lower emissions, and 30km of range on battery power alone.
It is also the first vehicle that is built on the McLaren Carbon Lightweight Architecture (MCLA) – and the new platform will be used to build future vehicles from the company.
The McLaren Artura is now available to order and will start arriving in the third quarter of 2021.
Its price in the UK is £185,500 (R3,795,000), and it will be available in three core specifications – Performance, TechLux, and Vision.
At the heart of the Artura lies a new 3.0-litre, twin-turbocharged V6 petrol engine.
It produces 430kW of power, 585Nm of torque, and weighs just 160kg.
Working in harmony with this is the “axial flux” E-motor, an electrical motor located in the transmission housing that adds an extra 70kW and 225Nm of torque.
This brings the total output of the Artura up to 500kW and 810Nm.
Combined with the lightweight body – the whole vehicle weighs 1,395kg – it sprints from 0-100km/h in 3.0 seconds, 0-200km/h in 8.3 seconds, and 0-300km/h in 21.5 seconds.
Another new component in the engine bay comes from the transmission, a specifically-developed twin-clutch, 8-speed gearbox that has no reverse gear.
The E-motor takes care of reverse by physically rotating in the opposite direction.
The Artura is designed as a full Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle, can be charged up to 80% in 150 minutes, and delivers 30km of battery-powered range.
An impressive powertrain needs an equally impressive design.
McLaren achieved this through following “pure supercar” principles of a low-nose, cab-forward, high-tail stance – emphasized by the signature dihedral doors and a short wheelbase.
The shape of the vehicle is sculpted to optimise performance and manage airflow with minimal body shutlines and panel joints, and this is further assisted by a rear clamshell constructed from one panel.
The front end has hints of its older brother, the 720s, and the rear sees a slightly redesigned look from that of the McLaren GT.
Large air intakes are located on its rear haunches, while 19-inch and 20-inch wheels are fitted to the front and rear respectively.
The roofline of the Artura stands at just under 1.2m tall, its hips are 1.9m wide, and its total length spans just over 4.5 metres.
Throughout the development process, the McLaren engineers and designers focused on stability under braking, increased grip, optimised downforce, and enhanced engagement across the board.
The interior of the Artura looks similar to most models from McLaren.
It is still extremely driver focused with a minimalist cabin – which features a vertical infotainment display, drive gear selectors on the transmission tunnel, and a carbon fibre steering wheel.
Furthermore, all-new Clubsport seats have been fitted which boast high levels of support, with a separate comfort seat option also available.
The drive mode selection button has moved, too, and is situated on the steering column and adjusts with the steering wheel.
From here, four powertrain modes can be selected: from an all-electric E-mode for emission-free driving, to track mode where the entire powertrain is tuned to be as jittery as possible.
The Artura then features Pirelli’s Cyber Tyre, which has an integrated electronic chip that generates real-time data and relays it to the car’s stability control system to optimise performance.
Located behind the smart tyres are the carbon ceramic brakes and aluminium calipers derived from the LT family, which deliver immense stopping power and stability at high speeds.
Driver and passenger comfort was a high level of concern as well, and the Artura features a noise cancelling system on the tyres to minimise road noise and increase cabin comfort.
The McLaren infotainment and connectivity system (MIS II) further utilises two screens – one on the dash and another in the instrument cluster – in order to deliver smartphone levels of responsiveness while also supporting Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
A stealth mode on the main binnacle hides non-essential content for ultimate track-focused driving, and familiar McLaren apps such as track telemetry and variable drift control are still available, along with a redesigned satellite navigation interface.
Moreover, the MIS II system enables several driver assistance features – the most notable of which being intelligent adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, high-beam assist, road-sign recognition, and over-the-air software updates.