The humble automobile is facing a relentless war with various governments hell bent on banning them along with strict emission norms and policy regulations. The world, it seems, has fallen out of love with the motor car. However, as it has been demonstrated many times, the automobile continues to reinvent and adapt. The same can be said for supercars, like McLaren.
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Many have written the epitaph of the modern day supercar since there is no place for it in today’s world. They are noisy, thirsty and a poster child for the anti-social automobile. The McLaren Artura though begs to differ.
Canada’s best luxury website: McLaren Artura a new way of looking at the modern supercar
The Artura is a new hybrid from McLaren. But while enthusiasts can breathe a sigh of relief that McLaren has not yet built a Prius rival, in essence it is indeed a hybrid with various qualities to deal with this modern world.
It is the dawn of a new era. In the Artura you can cruise around in pure EV mode for an emissions-free journey of up to 30 kilometres. It may not have the same theatre as revving a V12 outside Harrods, but this is the new way and the supercar is much better for it.
The Artura is a new way of looking at the modern day supercar and also for McLaren. There is no V8. They have changed everything else too. It has a new Carbon Lightweight Architecture designed to work with electrification.
The hybrid system itself is lightweight. Including the battery pack and the e-motor, it weighs only 130 kilograms. What is remarkable is that even with lugging around a hybrid power train, the Artura weighs 1,395 kilograms – similar to conventional supercars.
Top speed of 330 km/h (205 mph)
The engine is an all new 2,993 cc twin-turbocharged V6 petrol. Don’t fret V8 fan boys, it is still fast, with a power output of 585 PS (horsepower) and 585 Nm (431 lb-ft) or torque. To put it in numbers, it will do 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in 3.0 seconds, while 0-200 km/h (0-124 mph) takes 8.3 seconds and 0-300 km/h (0-186 mph) takes 21.5 seconds. Top speed is limited to 330 km/h (205 mph) but that is enough for most, we think!
The Artura also gets a new twin-clutch gearbox while it also needs no reverse gear – the E-motor takes care of reversing by literally rotating in the opposite direction. The pure EV range is 30 kilometres and being a Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV), you can charge it up to 80 percent in just 2.5 hours with a standard EVSE cable. It also has a start/stop system that saves further fuel below 40 km/h in comfort mode.
If all this seems too much of a discomfort for the traditional supercar purist then you can have solace in the fact that the Artura looks like a supercar and will go like one when dialed up to the max. It is a typical McLaren design but now it has a more cab-forward appearance while the nose is low and the stance is wide.
The dihedral doors further tick a crucial supercar checkbox. Inside, the Artura is all about the driver with a minimalistic cabin.
Best of both worlds
More impressive though is how the electrical power is used to boost the Artura’s performance under Sport and Track modes. There is a better low-end response with torque fill while there is an avalanche of complex systems including electronically controlled differential (E-diff), Pirelli tires with a chip inside each one, carbon ceramic brakes and more.
The Artura is an entry-level model and sits below the wild child that is the 765LT and the limited edition hyper cars. Expect to pay nearly $250,000 for a well specced example while deliveries start around the middle of this year. The Artura is a new kind of supercar and we approve of this dual-personality as it means we can continue to enjoy these kinds of cars for many years to come.