McLaren Artura: The Artura is McLaren’s way forward

When a manufacturer introduces a new plug-in athlete, we are skeptical at first. Is it still as agile as we would like? Won’t that be too difficult?

When McLaren presented the Artura to us for the first test drive on the Ascari racetrack near Málaga, we were rather curious: if we trust a manufacturer to approach the topic from a sporting point of view, the guys from Woking definitely belong to the inner circle.

The previous offspring were too puristic for a clumsy plug-in athlete to be put in front of us now. And we should be right, because with a DIN weight of 1498 kilograms, the Artura remains pleasingly slim.

McLaren Artura

At the exit of a corner, a bit too ambitious gas tip is enough to make the rear prance.

A brief digression on the name: it is intended to represent a mix of Art and Futura – i.e. to unite art and the future. Works fine in theory, but the name makes me think of the grumpy Arthur from the sitcom “King of Queens” (played by Jerry Stiller).

New carbon fiber monocoque also as a basis for other models

So be it, because no one will get out of this car in a grumpy mood – but more on that later…

How does the Artura concept work? With a completely new carbon fiber monocoque called MCLA (McLaren Carbon-Fibre Lightweight Architecture), which will also serve as the basis for other models in the future. Very similar to the non-hybridized models, just one generation further. Aluminum frame constructions are screwed and glued to the monocoque at the front and rear, on which the suspension is located. A double wishbone construction at the front, a multi-link axle at the rear.

In order to compensate for the higher weight of the hybrid drive, weight must first be removed. The chassis adds a few pounds, but of course that’s not enough to compensate for the 130 kilos of electronic components.

McLaren Artura

The electrohydraulic steering has remained. It would have been a shame too, because it doesn’t get much better than that.

95 hp electric motor

The three-liter is a completely new development with a bank angle of 120 degrees (90 degrees for the V8) and biturbo. This makes the engine flatter and makes it possible for the two chargers to sit in the “hot V”, i.e. above the block between the cylinder banks instead of on the outside on the underside of the engine.

This has advantages as far as the design is concerned, but also ensures a more spontaneous response behavior thanks to shorter distances. Naturally, such a V6 is about a quarter shorter than a V8, which creates space for the 95 hp electric motor, which is squeezed between the combustion engine and the transmission. The latter no longer has a physical reverse gear – the electric motor takes care of everything – but instead has eight forward gears. The V6 itself weighs only 160 kilograms – 50 less than the beloved V8.

McLaren Artura

Proven McLaren door show: On the Artura, the doors now open a little closer to the car.

On the performance side, the three-liter starts with 585 hp, which results in 680 hp in the system. If you look at Maserati (630 hp) or Ferrari (663 hp), which also recently developed three-liter engines, there should still be potential for other models.

31 kilometers electric range

But even now he is supposed to hit 100 in three seconds and run at a top speed of 330 km/h. The 200/300 marks fall after 8.3 and 21.5 seconds respectively. We think so for the time being, but we’ll measure it when the time comes – I promise.

Just like the specified 31 kilometers electric range, which should be possible with the 88 kilo battery pack. 7.4 kWh are optionally available for a fun boost or for a neighborhood-friendly whisper start in the morning. It can glide along silently at speeds of up to 130 km/h. But that’s not what we’re here for: we want to experience lateral dynamics. And for this, McLaren, together with Pirelli, has developed special P-Zeros that send their driving data directly to the on-board electronics via a built-in chip.

Has the advantage that the Artura immediately recognizes whether the civilian version is mounted, the winter tires that are also available, or the sticky Corsa mixture. In this way, the McLaren automatically determines the optimum temperature window.
McLaren Artura

Curious adjustment for handling modes and drive train in the style of two wing nuts above the instruments.

Another advantage. The measurement is made directly in the tread instead of in the valve. That means: Any inaccuracies caused by brake waste heat or the rims are minimized. For the ride on the fast roller coaster we strapped on the Corsa – and, hallelujah, the thing gives in!

Agile front end, feedback-friendly and directly geared electrohydraulic steering – that’s what we’re used to from McLaren, and the hybrid system doesn’t change that.

Extremely harmonious and instinctive

Only those who accelerate too early and thus take weight off the front axle will reap understeer at the exit of the curve. However, as soon as the drive combination strikes with full force, the rear end rotates in a controlled manner and the Artura lasciviously stretches out its ass.

Finely controllable and easy to readjust, because we were not allowed to switch off the driving aids completely. But even in sport mode, the newcomer lets the reins comfortably loose. Throttle response: abruptly. E-boost: imperceptible. You would probably only notice his absence if he weren’t there. Everything works extremely harmoniously and instinctively. This also applies to the brakes: bite-resistant carbon ceramics with a finely adjustable pressure point and no signs of failure even after several fast laps. Small note: The steering wheel is hardly better.

McLaren Artura

The new hybrid McLaren masters the clean line perfectly. The grippy front axle amazes, the light-footed handling surprises.

No buttons, almost perfect ergonomics, rotating and real, because continuous, paddle shifters – excellent. By the way, they have also optimized a few quirks in the operation. For example, the adjustment buttons that were once hidden on the inside of the seat. They are now conventionally on the outside. And while we’re in the interior: the bucket seats stubbornly brace themselves against centrifugal forces, but also cause no back pain on the intercity section.

As usual, McLaren grants access via doors that open diagonally upwards, but which now remain a tad closer to the car – more practical in tight parking spaces. The Artura has long been available to order, and the first customer cars are scheduled to be delivered in July. Price for Germany: from 230,500 euros. That might make you a little grumpy.

Specifications and price: McLaren Artura

• Engine V6, biturbo, center rear longitudinal
• Displacement 2993cc
• Perfomance 500 kW (680 hp) at 7500 rpm
• Max. Torque 720 Nm at 2250 rpm
• Drive Rear wheel/eight-speed double clutch
• L/W/H 4539/2080/1193mm
• curb weight 1498kg
• trunk 150L
• 0-100km/h 3.0s
• Top 330km/h
• Consumption 4.6L Super Plus
• Exhaust CO2 104 g/km
• Price from 230,500 euros

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