McLaren’s head-turning hybrid

Mclaren Artura being driven at the sunset

How does a brand synonymous with motorsport respond to the promise of a future without motors?

In the case of McLaren, the company has scrapped everything and started from scratch. At least, that’s what it has done with the Artura.

Artura is the British make’s first series-production high-performance hybrid — and almost every last bit of this twin-turbo V6 petrol-electric supercar represents a complete redesign from the old McLaren 12C template.

Let’s take it for a spin.

It won’t be a long spin. It can only run in pure EV mode for 31 km. But then, that’s not really the point, is it? This is still a McLaren.

At the heart of the Artura’s powertrain is that newly designed and engineered 2,993 cc twin-turbocharged V6 petrol engine, with its power output of 585 PS (nearly 200 PS per litre) and 585 Nm of torque. The engine is light, at just 160 kg (50 kg lighter than McLaren’s V8 motor). In fact, the whole vehicle is light, at just 1,498 kg wringing wet — including an 88 kg battery pack and a 15 kg E-motor.

McLaren Artura's Hybrid Performance Graphic

It does zero to 100 kmh in three seconds, gets to 200 kmh in 8.3 seconds, and hits 300 kmh in just over 20 seconds. The top speed is 330 kmh (which, just for funsies, would do the 31 km in 5.4 minutes… but then you’d have to wait 2.5 hours while it recharged to 80% of capacity).

It’s not just the powertrain that’s all new. McLaren has completely reengineered everything from the rear suspension to the electro-hydraulic steering to the damping control. Inside, it has all the modern bells and whistles — infotainment systems, connectivity, touchscreens, track telemetry, variable drift control, advanced driver assistance systems, intelligent adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, auto-high beam assist and roadside recognition.

It’s a two-seater, with Clubsport bucket seats, but it has been designed with generous legroom and myriad features to ensure driver and passenger comfort.

But the real standout here is how the Artura looks. This is one sleek machine. Clearly influenced by the past half century of McLaren design, but absolutely an up-to-the-minute supercar for 2023 and beyond. It has the classic low nose and high tail you want from a supercar, with beautiful proportions and slick lines that probably do fantastic things for the aerodynamics but, more importantly, invite the admiring eye to turn green with envy.

When the GT4 version of the Artura made its debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in June, it attracted a lot of attention. This might be McLaren’s first foray into high-performance hybrids, but it is undoubtedly a stunning debut. You can pick up your own McLaren Artura from as little as A$449,500, excluding on-road costs.

This article was published 17/08/2022 and the content is current as at the date of publication.