McLaren’s perfect storm

As hybrid technology in high-end supercars becomes more commonplace, the new Artura is McLaren’s way to show the word “hybrid” should be embraced in the supercar world. Ben Selby reports.

Powered by an all-new mid-mounted 120-degree twin-turbo 3.0L V6 engine with 8-speed dual clutch transmission, the Artura also gets a plug-in 7.4kWh battery and axial flux electric motor. There is also a “powertrain chimney” which aids in channelling hot air out of the engine bay, keeping things cool.

Outside, the Artura’s functional and striking styling covers a carbon fibre tub which weighs a mere 82kg. It is unmistakeably McLaren, down to the now familiar dihedral doors. Inside you find a perfect driving position and everything you operate is immensely driver focused. There is plenty of kit in this very McLaren-esque cockpit and visibility for a car like this is rather good.

The Artura defaults to electric mode on start up, so instead of the usual supercar growling dawn chorus, you have what Simon and Garfunkel would describe as “the sound of silence”. Slicing quietly through urban Christchurch traffic soon becomes a familiar pastime, much to the surprise of other road users.

Naturally you do feel the bumps, but by low slung supercar standards it is rather tolerable. The Artura really could be used as a daily driver, McLaren even says you can travel 30km on electric power alone. However, it isn’t long before the temptation to wring its neck becomes too much to resist.

To wake up the V6, either give it a good measure of one’s right foot or switch over to sport mode. Either way, the batteries are quickly accompanied by a sweet and raucous six pot ballad. It also does a first-rate job of recharging the battery while on the move too, meaning trips to the charging point for the Artura become minimal at the very most.

Its combined 500kW, 740Nm of torque and extra electric grunt kicks in very low down. Make no mistake, the Artura is astonishingly rapid. A sprint to 100kph takes three seconds as the car’s tech keeps the rear planted and under control. There is even a drift control mode where you can slide the Artura, safe in the knowledge the car is safely keeping you on your optimum drift angle, on track of course.

Handling wise? It’s perfection. Tight switch back corners or long sweepers are so easy and the Artura’s hydraulic steering feels old school and so communicative. You can push hard all day long and end up begging it for more.

Despite feeling somewhat clinical at times, the Artura’s docility around town, immense performance, driver involvement and day-to-day practicality means there is hardly a situation where it doesn’t feel at home. Basically, the McLaren Artura is probably one of the most complete feeling supercars out there.

2024 McLaren Artura

Base Price: $375,000

Engine: 3.0L V6 Twin-Turbo with 7.4kWh battery and electric motor

Transmission: 8-speed dual clutch seamless shift auto with paddles

Combined Power: 500kW

Torque: 720Nm

0 to 100kPH: 3.0 seconds

Top Speed: 330kph

Combined Fuel Consumption: 4.6L/100km (WTLP)

Electric Only Range: 30km

Weight: 1410kg

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