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14 Nov 2022

What We Dislike
It's going to set you back over a million bucks

The McLaren Artura is a plug-in hybrid supercar that marks a new chapter for the English marque.


This is the McLaren Artura.

And it's not just any other McLaren you've seen or heard. Instead of sitting at the helm like the McLaren P1, the Artura fills the gap between the user-friendly McLaren GT and the track-focused McLaren 720S. Might as well, then, since the Artura does sort of feel like the best of the two siblings, and then some...

It comes with a new engine, a new gearbox, a new architecture and even a new hybrid system - showcasing what could well be the start of an all new generation of McLaren models to come.

New at its core

The McLaren Artura will cross the 100km/h mark in just three seconds
You see, instead of having the usual 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine mated to a seven-speeder like in the GT, the 720S as well as the 765LT, the Artura comes with a smaller 3.0-litre V6 twin turbocharged powerplant that's married to an eight-speed gearbox. Plus, this time round, the engine is assisted by an electric motor that's powered by a 7.4kWh battery and plug-in capacity. According to the carmaker, the Artura can also run on pure electric power for about 30km.

Hence, the new McLaren is able to retain the performance of larger capacity V8 engines with an improved torque response at low engine speeds. Driving three different McLaren cars back to back (Artura, GT and 720S) on Sepang International Circuit, you can most certainly feel the responsiveness of the plug-in hybrid model that you see here.

The bucket seats do a good job by keeping you in place around the race track
Yes, you do get the combined output of 671bhp and 720Nm of twisting force, which is less than the 765LT and the 720S, but it's by no means slow. Thanks to the new McLaren Carbon Lightweight Architecture (MCLA) at its core, the Artura's three-second century sprint is absolutely believable here. Whether you're in Comfort, Sport or Track mode (I was mostly in Track, of course), getting up to racing speed is never an issue.

Twist and shout

But more than just being fast, the car is highly entertaining. Granted, it lacks the sharpness of the thrilling 720S, but the Artura cuts through every corner like a hot knife through butter. Every twist and turn is tackled with poise, precision and positivity, accompanied by an exhilarating howl from the exhaust that will make even the most demanding driver's hair stand on end.

The steering is precise, communicative and sharp
The communicative front end aided by the expressive steering lets you carry ample speed into the corners, while the grippy rubbers and a stable body ensure that the tail never runs wide even when a sloppy driver like myself accelerates out of the corner too early.

Once I'm out safely, which happens on every one of the 15 turns, the colossally capable 1.5-tonne supercar will hurtle down the long straights with natural purity and progression. So much so that you'll find yourself stomping on the brakes for the next turn.

Doing so, the McLaren Artura will shed speed as fast and as powerful as it builds it, without any unnecessary shuddering or shakiness that can sometimes come with fast cars on the track.

Familiar and recognisable

The Artura looks good whichever angle you care to view it from
Design wise, the car is as sleek as they come. There's no way you could mistake this for another car or another model for that matter. You still get the snake skull front end, the dihedral doors and the curved headlamps that mimic the carmaker's logo. It's most certainly less loud than the 765LT and the 720S, in my eyes, but it hasn't lost any of the stance and proportions that have made McLaren cars a work of art.

Safe to say, it's pretty much the same on the inside. A quick glance and feel during my time with the car proved that the cabin of the Artura is kitted with more microsuede than I could recall on other models in McLaren's lineup. There is, however, less visible carbon fibre in here, but that's really a small quibble.

Like all McLarens, the Artura's cabin is a minimalistic and sporty place to be in
I can't say if it's better insulated or if the infotainment works well, (we will find out when we take it out on the roads here in Singapore) but what I can confirm is that the visibility is good, the sitting position is great and the minimalistic cabin design makes McLaren cars one of the most modest yet stylish place to be in.

Generations to follow suit

I reckon the McLaren Artura is the start of many to come. I can almost foresee this car being the entry level car of the future of the carmaker (with electrification and all), with more exciting models such as the 765LT and 720S PHEVs coming forward.

Whatever the case, the Artura isn't a disappointment. It's one that is new at its very core, one that will herald a positive change for the English carmaker, and one that I'm sure I'll remember for a long time to come. After all, this isn't just any McLaren.

This is the McLaren Artura.
Car Information
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McLaren Artura Plug-in Hybrid 3.0 V6 (A)
Rate it

Price

: $1,198,888 (w/o COE)

Engine Type

:

V6 Twin-Turbocharged

Engine Cap

:

2993cc

Horsepower

:

500kW (671 bhp) / 8500 rpm

Torque

:

720 Nm / 2250 rpm

Transmission

:

8-speed (A)

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

3sec

Top Speed

:

330km/h

Fuel consumption

:

21.8km/L

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