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?
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.
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.
95 hp electric motor
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.
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.
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.
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