McLaren Artura Review: Is A Hybrid Powertrain The Best Solution?

Electrifying the drivetrain has done wonders for the Artura, maybe an all-electric future might not be so bad.
McLaren Artura Review: Is A Hybrid Powertrain The Best Solution?

The Artura is well and truly part of the McLaren family, with its aerodynamic styling, tactile interior and insane speed and power, but it’s set apart by its hybrid drivetrain. I know ‘hybrid’ still conjures visions of a Prius but put hybrid tech in a supercar and it’s more appealing than you might think.

Unlike the Speedtail, which uses the electric motor at the upper end to boost its top speed, the Artura’s electric tech is there to improve low rev range performance. It also takes care of reversing so an extra gear is freed up to take it from a seven-speed to an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. If you want to be a considerate neighbor, the Artura starts up in electric-only mode so no one will get woken up by the V6 roaring into action. It can travel silently for 19 miles but the battery is mainly for extra support rather than an all-electric driving mode.

McLaren Artura Review: Is A Hybrid Powertrain The Best Solution?

A better value supercar

Now the McLaren 750S has been introduced, the Artura is set to be a much cheaper (by supercar standards) option. Starting from $324,000 for the coupe and $345,000 for the spider, the 750S is around $100,000 more expensive than the Artura.

Whilst we’re yet to drive the 750S, the Artura topped the 720S. They’re both still impressive, driver focused cars but the hybrid tech unlocks the Artura’s potential. It’s suitable for driving around town, putting your foot down on the freeway or throwing it around a track and it’s got a good amount of frunk space for a couple of weekend bags. So, the cheaper and arguably more practical one gets our vote.

How is it different from the 720S?

The V8 engine in the 720S was often criticized for not being loud enough, thankfully, the Artura’s wide angled V6 is pleasingly vocal. This V6 was redesigned to lower the car’s center of gravity and make space for the twin-turbos nestled in the ‘V’. It’s surrounded by heat shields to direct 900°C (1650°F) air out through the chimney over the engine. When you look out of the rear window there’s an immensely satisfying heatwave that ripples up.

Inside, the interior has been upgraded to include a new infotainment system that has smartphone connectivity. The instrument binnacle has been redesigned to be more straight forward and the driving mode switch is now mounted to it. There’s nothing superfluous but everything feels robust and high quality, as you’d expect in a car that commands a quarter of a million dollars.

McLaren Artura Review: Is A Hybrid Powertrain The Best Solution?

What’s it like to drive?

On public roads there’s rarely the opportunity to push the Artura to its limits. Power output from the V6 and electric motor combined is 671bhp which will get the car up to 62mph in 3.0 seconds and 124mph in 8.3 seconds. For long distance travel it’ll comfortably sit at 100mph without breaking a sweat but it needs more than just a straight line to get the most out of it.

McLaren’s electro-hydraulic steering is a defining feature that instills complete confidence that the car will place exactly where you tell it to and it returns nothing but grippy feedback. Paired with zero body roll, it gives a completely different cornering sensation, confirming that the car is more than capable for anything that’s thrown at it.

See also: Maserati MC20 Review: What’s Maserati’s First Supercar Like?

The Artura has a shorter wheelbase, low center of gravity and enhanced aero features so it doesn’t need a spoiler. Although this means the design has been honed to create the right amount of down force without additional aids, there’s a certain novelty in getting a spoiler to pop up. Instead, the Artura minimizes any distractions from the driving experience.

McLaren Artura Review: Is A Hybrid Powertrain The Best Solution?

+Updated interior
+Zero body roll
+Everyday supercar
–No spoiler
–Looks similar to other McLarens
–No Spider option yet

Price: from £189,200 ($237,500)
Engine: 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 hybrid
Power/Torque: 671hp/531lb ft
Transmission: eight-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive
0-62mph: 3.0 seconds
Top speed: 205mph


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