Revealed: McLaren unveils 500kW Artura hybrid supercar

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Words: Matthew Hansen
17 Feb 2021

After keeping its fans suspended in a delicate lurch consisting of stacks of teasers, audio tracks, and camouflage shots (plus a few juicy leaked patent filings to boot), McLaren has finally unveiled its new Sports Series supercar; the all-new Artura.

As featured in previous stories, the Artura borrows some queues from its larger 720S sibling. These include its sunken headlight shrouds and a gaping honeycomb-grilled aperture in the rear for onlookers to peer through. We think the design looks similar to NZ Autocar's render from a few months ago ... although we might be a little biased.

What those onlookers will see through said laser-cut honeycomb — bold, brash exhaust pipes positioned on each flank — is McLaren's all-new twin-turbo V6 engine and hybrid system. The engine is part of a drive from a multitude of brands to reduce their CO2 emissions by shrinking engine capacity.

All up, the new 3.0-litre V6 hybrid produces 500kW of power and 720Nm of torque, placing its outright output rather close to the aforementioned 720S. The new electric motor produces around 66kW all by itself, and helps ensure that the Artura can travel approximately 30km on electric power alone.

According to McLaren, the Artura can complete the 0–100km/h sprint in around 3.0 seconds and the 0–200km/h sprint in just 8.3 seconds — one tenth off the 600LT. Top speed is rated at 330km/h. And, on the right strip of bitumen, it’ll complete a quarter mile pass in 10.7 seconds.

It stops, too. Thanks to a combination of 15.4-inch and 15-inch ceramic brake discs and six-piston monobloc calipers, it’ll stop from 100km/h in just 31m and from 200km/h in 126m. Staggered 19- and 20-inch Pirelli rubber also plays a part in this.

The launch tipped its hat to Kiwi Bruce McLaren in its preamble, while running through its colourful and wildly successful motoring history. It also touched on the Artura’s connection to the P1 — McLaren’s former hypercar benchmark, which also featured a hybrid powertrain.

New McLaren Formula 1 driver Daniel Ricciardo also featured in the unveiling, underlining the Artura’s ‘fun’ philosophy by skating it around illustrious British circuit Brands Hatch. The launch went on to underline its commitment to McLaren’s design roots, from the simplicity and ‘purity’ of its architecture to its lack of over-exuberance on the outside — instead favouring “functional jewelry”.

That might sound a little like marketing waffle, but to McLaren’s credit it’s reflected in the car. McLaren has elected to keep its steering system hydraulic, for example, preserving a bit of old-school steering feel in the face of an avalanche of more synthetic electric systems in its peers. Weight was also a big point of focus, with the Artura recording a credible dry weight of 1395kg.

Indeed, the Artura marks the end of an era for McLaren’s entry level line-up. Its all-new architecture will commence a phasing out of the critically acclaimed MonoCell II, which has appeared under the 570S, and more recently the 600LT and GT.

Along with a light outright weight and old-school steering system, the new platform also makes use of McLaren’s new developed ‘Proactive Damper Control’ system and — for the first time in a McLaren — an e-differential. The latter is incorporated into the Artura’s new 8-speed transmission.

The model has already been confirmed for the New Zealand market — not necessarily the biggest of surprises given the marque’s local successes. Deliveries are scheduled to kick off in the third quarter, with pricing starting at $375,000–$385,000.

“Every drop of McLaren’s experience and expertise has been poured into the Artura. Our all-new, High-Performance Hybrid delivers all of the performance, driver engagement and dynamic excellence for which McLaren is renowned, with the additional benefit of EV driving capability. The introduction of the Artura is a landmark moment – for McLaren, for our customers who will appreciate and enjoy this car on every emotional and rational level, and for the supercar world,” said McLaren CEO Mike Flewett.

“From the very beginning of the project, designing and engineering the Artura has been all about challenging ourselves to innovate, pushing and pushing to achieve everything we knew a next-generation, High-Performance Hybrid McLaren supercar had to be,” added Geoff Grose, McLaren Chief Engineer.

“As a result, the Artura is all-new; the carbon fibre monocoque, electrical architecture and the body and interior are new. So too is the V6 engine, the transmission – which also integrates a new type of electric motor for the industry – as well as the rear suspension concept and our first-ever electronic differential.”

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