Artura launches new chassis, engine, PHEV system
30 km EV range, but just 93 hp on EV
The latest from McLaren is the company’s first series-production hybrid and while it looks to offer impressive maximum performance, those who were hoping for a new styling direction for the new chassis as well as invigorating electric power may end up disappointed.
The McLaren Artura still impresses with a 3.0L twin-turbo V6, using an extra-wide 120-degree vee to fit the turbos in the center and lower the centre of gravity, that makes 577 hp and 431 lb-ft of torque, both startling numbers for that engine size and more power than the automaker’s 3.8L V8 first made when introduced in the 570S. Combined output from what Macca calls the High-Performance Hybrid is 671 hp and 530 lb-ft of torque, figures that put it well above anything else in the McLaren Sports Series, even the track specials. An eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox is one more than McLaren’s previous offerings, likely aided by dropping the reverse gear and instead spinning the electric motor backwards.
But even though it has a plug and a 7.2 kWh battery, that battery offers just 30 km of electric range per the manufacturer’s predictions. It manages just 94 hp on its own along with 166 lb-ft of torque. With supermini power figures, don’t expect those electric kilometres to be particularly exciting, though that might make the range feel longer.
Ignore the potential for electric-only driving and the Artura can hit 100 km/h in 3.0 seconds from a stop and get to 200 in 8.3 and all the way to 300 km/h in just 21.5 seconds. Thanks to an electric motor and battery system weighing just 130 kg, the Artura is still only 1,395 kg dry, putting it in the same weight class as non-hybrid competitors. European testing puts the Artura at more than 50 mpg and 129 g/km of CO2, giving it the emissions and economy of a much more pedestrian vehicle.
The car is all-new, right down to the McLaren Carbon Lightweight Architecture chassis, designed to require less wiring while being stiffer, stronger, and lighter than before. But it gets styling that makes it look just like other McLaren models. The automaker says its a result of form following function, the result of the wind tunnel and forming the bodywork to the chassis.
Artura is also the first McLaren to get modern advanced driver assistance features like adaptive cruise control and lane-departure warnings, but that’s not why you’re reading this. Instead, consider the all-new rear suspension that swaps the lower wishbone for two links for increased toe stiffness and stiffer camber load handling. The small engine means better shock placement as well, with continuously variable twin-valve dampers taking care of pressing tire to pavement. An evolution of Proactive Damping Control software uses more than 20 sensors to detect what the car is doing and what you want it to do and making sure the two match. It also gets bespoke Pirelli Cyber Tires in 235/35-19 front and 295/35-20 rear for maximum grip. There are also winter tires available for those not worried about corroding a carbon supercar and the car can detect which rubber is fitted.