I have been fortunate to test drive a number of McLarens, not of the F1 variety, but their supercars and now comes news of the latest model to bear the famous racing name and their first ever series production high performance hybrid supercar the Artura.
The one thing that impressed me about the McLarens I have driven was you could treat it as an everyday car, take it to the local shop for the milk or take it to Mondello Park or Kirkistown to explore the outstanding on track performance. The Artura can whisk you from rest to 100kph in just over three seconds and to a maximum 330kph (205mph).
Certainly the new model is right for the motoring times we now live in, as it blends high performance, driving dynamics and engagement with EV driving capability. This new model is the first to be built on the all new McLaren Carbon Lightweight Architecture which is uniquely optimised for HPH powertrains and is built at the McLaren Composites Technology Centre. The lightweight body features super formed aluminium and carbon fibre perfect supercar proportions – “form follows function”.
In fact the Artura is the lightest in its class all down to the super lightweight engineering with a kerb weight of 1,498kg. The total weight of the hybrid components is just 130kg which includes an 88kg battery pack and a 15.4kg E-motor. All of this plays a major role in giving the new model a super lightweight advantage.
To the heart of the matter, an all new McLaren 2,993cc twin turbo V6 petrol engine with a power output of 585PS which is almost 200PS per litre and torque is 585Nm.
This dry sump unit is compact and of course lightweight at just 160kg which is 50kg less than a McLaren V8. The new engine has been designed to run with a gasoline particulate filter to optimise emission performance, this permits the turbos to be positioned within the so named “hot vee”, thus delivering advantages in packaging as well as contributing to a lower centre of gravity. The 120 degree layout increases engine performance by reducing the pressure losses through the exhaust system and enables the employment of a stiffer crankshaft that enables a rev limit of 8,500rpm.
In harmony with the new V6 engine the compact axial flux E-motor which is placed within the transmission bell housing and it is smaller and more power dense than a conventional radial flux E-motor and it is capable of generating 95PS and 225Nm, a power density per kilo which is thirty three percent greater than the system used in the McLaren P1. Instant torque delivery which is known as “torque infill” is the key to the razor sharp throttle response.
The Artura is designed with full PHEV capability and can be charged to an eighty percent level in just 2.5 hours with a standard EVSE cable. The batteries can also harvest power from the engine during driving, of course tailored to the driving mode chosen.
Moving to the interior with the cockpit centred more than ever around the driver, a real racing car feel. The driving mode selection which retains powertrain and handling controls has been moved to the instrument binnacle which is in turn mounted to the steering column and adjusts with the steering wheel to further enhance driving ergonomics, clever the steering wheel is kept clear of unnecessary switches and you are able to adjust the driving modes without taking hands away from the steering wheel.
There was major focus on stability under braking, rear end control, increased grip and optimised aerodynamic downforce. The Artura also features an innovative rear suspension and dynamic precision is enhanced by Pirelli Cyber tyre technology.
The new model sees the debut of the all new Clubsport seat and a comfort seat option is available. Creature comforts continue with a new infotainment and connectivity system which features two high definition screens. There are updated versions of the McLaren apps including McLaren Track Telemetry and Variable Drift Control and there is a re-designed nav map in the instrument cluster.
There are four specifications to select from, Standard, Performance, Techlux and Vision and there is a five year vehicle warranty and a six year battery warranty and a ten year body warranty.
First deliveries of the new Artura will be this autumn