Having gained extensive experience in hybrid powertrains through the limited production P1 and Speedtail programs and Formula One involvement over the past decade, the Artura will be powered by a new twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 with ‘plug-in hybrid’ E-motor and energy pack pumping out a combined output of 671-hp and 530 lb-ft of torque through an 8-speed dual-clutch gearbox. It will also be capable of driving up to 30-km on electric-only power.
The two-seater Artura will redefine design and production at McLaren. Basically everything is new, from the body to the carbon fiber tub to the plug-in hybrid powertrain to the suspension to the interior. Apart from getting a new body, it employs the all-new McLaren Carbon Lightweight Architecture (MCLA) that offsets the added weight of the batteries and motor. The MCLA comprises three elements: an all-new carbon fibre monocoque structure, a new chassis with aluminum crash beams and rear subframe, and a first-to-market domain-based ethernet electrical architecture.
“Our mission was to deliver stunning looks, agility and performance, and get the fun factor and engagement that you’ve never seen before in a hybrid. To tell the truth, we’re always quite modest with this, but I’m not going to be here. The Artura is absolutely sensational and truly delivers on the mission and I think it will set a new bar for high performance hybrids,” said design director, Rob Melville.
“The biggest challenge was around the V6 where you have the turbos set within the V. To counter the very high temperatures coming off the engine, we added what is literally a chimney that comes off the engine and up and out onto the rear deck to efficiently exhaust all of the hot gases,” added Melville.
As you’d expect from a supercar, the driver’s compartment is an ever more pilot focused cockpit than ever before. To enhance that feeling, the digital instrument cluster has been mounted on the steering column allowing drivers to maintain perfect binnacle visibility no matter what setting. To get rid of clutter and permit the driver to focus on the job at hand, no controls were fitted to the steering wheel. With all controls centered on the binnacle, the vertically mounted, 8-inch high-resolution Central Infotainment Screen has the center of the facia virtually to itself. As the primary hub for vehicle convenience, comfort and connectivity functions, the screen displays audio, media, navigation and other convenience features, with all key applications just a tap or two away in the same style of operation as a smartphone.
“I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the ride quality,” says Vehicle Line Director, Darren Goddard. “The car has a really well-balanced, good platform control. Obviously as you change up through the sport and track modes, you get increased levels of damping and steering precision but the ride quality is exceptional. We’ve also completely redesigned the chassis by stiffening up all of the rear suspension attachment points. This helps to deliver better ride and handling. Where you will see a new mode is on the powertrain control where we’ve added an electric-only mode,” explains Goddard. With a usable energy capacity of 7.4kWh, McLaren claims the Artura has an electric-only range of 30-km.
As part of the new Pirelli Cyber Tire system, a dedicated electronic ‘chip’ is embedded in each tire to monitor real-time temperature and pressure fluctuations, “allowing drivers to set tires to the recommended levels to optimize performance.” Working in conjunction with the grippy rubber, a Brembo-sourced brake setup uses 6-piston monobloc design on the front and 4-pistons of the rear and adopts a version of the Formula 1-inspired integrated caliper cooling ducts seen on the 765LT.
A source says that while the new Artura, with prices expected to start at around $225,000, will come to market in rear-wheel-drive, a 4WD version is in the pipeline too. Starting with the Artura, McLaren apparently plans to launch some 18 gasoline-hybrid powered models by 2025. Ambitious? Yes. But if the Artura is anything to go by, then the hard work is already done.