Artura shows

McLaren's edge

McLaren Artura, 2023, front
McLaren Artura, 2023, front, action
McLaren Artura, 2023, side
McLaren Artura, 2023, rear
McLaren Artura, 2023, rear, action
McLaren Artura, 2023, interior

THE most fuel-efficient car McLaren has produced has arrived in the shape of the Artura plug-in hybrid supercar.

Marking the debut of the British high performance company's carbon lightweight architecture produced at its own facility in Sheffield, the Artura is McLaren's first mainstream PHEV.

Powered by a 3.0-litre V6 engine mated to a 95ps electric motor it has scintillating off-the-mark performance with instant torque of up to 225Nm.

That results in ferocious acceleration of 0 to 62mph in three seconds and with total power of 620ps available the top speed is 205mph.

In fact, the Artura can reach the 300km/h mark (186mph) in just 21.5 seconds.

In everyday use that's not far off the mind-blowing performance of the McLaren P1 but unlike the £1million price tag of the fabled hypercar the Artura costs from £185,500 - a veritable bargain in the supercar world.

Factor in a supremely composed and confident ride and a theoretical fuel economy of 61.5mpg and the petrol-electric Artura - on paper at least - is a compelling proposition in the new age of electrified motoring.

However, as with any plug-in hybrid those consumption figures are fanciful and on our drive in the Artura we saw a best of just shy of 25 to the gallon on average.

Electric-only emission-free range is a maximum of 19 miles yet such is the recharge from the electrical system it is possible to regenerate the battery to 100 per cent capacity on the move in around 20 miles.

Officially a recharge to 80 per cent capacity from a home charge will take about two-and-a-half hours. The electric charging port is to the nearside at the rear with the fuel filler on the opposite side.

Fuel tank capacity is 14.5 gallons which if our drive is anything to go by should elicit a range of around 360 miles on a full tank - although that will vary depending on driving style with the hybrid system.

And unlike any other vehicle in the McLaren stable the Artura doesn't come with a maximum benefit-in-kind tax rating that clatters business users. Instead, it is rated at 25 per cent thanks to its relatively low emissions of 104g/km.

In every way the Artura is an impressive piece of kit and for McLaren it comes with plenty of innovative features such as its first eight-speed automatic transmission, its first electronic locking differential and a new rear suspension system.

Then there's an advanced tyre monitoring system that uses Pirelli's Cyber Tyre technology which uses sensors embedded in the rubber walls to relay information about pressure and tread temperature. It's a feature that comes into its own when track driving.

The Artura also features a completely new interior with McLaren making all major controls accessible to the driver with hands on the steering wheel, a new look, high definition TFT instrument panel and an eight-inch touchscreen mounted in the centre of the dash that gives access to a host of functions ranging from satellite navigation, smartphone mirroring and vehicle systems.

For McLaren it marks a step forward in creature comforts yet the car has lost none of the attributes for which the brand has become acclaimed in the supercar market.

In a class of vehicle that features the likes of the Ferrari 296 GTB plug-in, the Porsche 911 Turbo S and the Aston Martin Vantage, the Artura is the lightest of the lot and tips the scales with a kerb weight of 1,498 kilos and a power-to-weight ratio of 488ps per tonne.

Ay 4.53 metres long it is of similar proportions to the McLaren 720S and while the Artura is as roomy inside as its counterparts boot space in the forward ‘frunk' is smaller at just 150 litres,

Nevertheless, it is styled to stand out with huge air scoops at the front and at the side to feed the hybrid powertrain.

Four drive modes - an electric only E-mode, comfort, sport and track - are available and the powertrain likes to be driven hard. As such it optimises energy use well.

It starts up in electric only mode and as such has a top speed of 81mph while in the comfort setting the petrol engine runs in tandem with the electric motor.

The sport setting sees the motor providing torque infill at lower revs while the engine itself targets maximum performance.

Track does what it says on the tin with the same blend of hybridised power but faster gearshifts.

Similar settings are available for the ride and stiffen the suspension accordingly and we found sport the best for regeneration and all-round everyday performance. Comfort was best left for around town.

As such, the Artura marks a huge step forward for McLaren as it embraces the electrified age and is a supercar for those mature enough to appreciate a vehicle with true supercar characteristics that is at the cutting edge of technology for modern motoring.

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