by Jay Traugott
Say goodbye to the McLaren Sports Series - the limited edition 620R is the last - and say hello to the all-new McLaren Artura hybrid supercar. And yes, the 2021 Artura is very much a supercar in every way, from its exotic and aerodynamic exterior to the hybrid V6 powertrain. Above all, the Artura is the UK firm's first series-production hybrid. Previous McLaren hybrid offerings have included the limited production P1 and Speedtail, both costing in excess of $1 million. Now, hybrid is going mainstream for McLaren.
The Artura is all-new from the ground-up, featuring a new lightweight architecture and numerous weight-saving advances inside and out. Above all, it represents a significant leap forward for the company as it pursues an electrified future. McLaren views itself as a brand that adapts to the times and is not constrained by tradition, such as Ferrari and Lamborghini. If better performance and improved fuel efficiency can be achieved via electrification, then so be it.
See trim levels and configurations:
3.0L Twin-Turbo V6 Plug-in Hybrid
8-Speed SSG with electronic locking differential
With its low nose, cab-forward, high-tail stance, the Artura can't be mistaken for anything but a supercar. As with every McLaren, it sports dihedral doors, only now they open closer to the body compared to the old 570S, and combined with the shorter wheelbase, they project a more enhanced look. McLaren describes the exterior styling as an "organic shrink-wrapped" look. The front splitter and rear deck mesh are black and the roof and flying buttress are offered in gloss black or exterior body color.
Full LED headlights and taillights are standard while at the rear, high-positioned central exhaust outlets are located between two light blades with a full-width diffuser below.
Riding on a set of staggered 19/20-inch seven-spoke alloys wrapped in Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires, the Artura is built around a new carbon fiber chassis named the McLaren Lightweight Carbon Architecture (MCLA). Unlike the previous carbon monocoques, this one is built entirely in-house. The Artura's body is composed of aluminum and carbon fiber. This all contributes to its ultra-light curb weight of just 3,303 pounds, making it lighter than the P1. It's also the lightest hybrid supercar and hypercar to date.
One of the biggest complaints about the 570S was its interior, namely its lackluster infotainment screen. McLaren has gone above and beyond to fix that and more with the Artura. Materials throughout have been improved, including leather upholstery and the machined switchgear. As usual, the two-passenger cockpit is very driver-focused. The new digital instrument cluster is mounted to the steering column so that it moves in conjunction with the steering wheel, which is void of switches and buttons. The rocker switches for the powertrain and handling control modes are located on either side of the binnacle.
The new and much improved 8-inch infotainment system is vertically-mounted and angled towards the driver. This Android-based platform, dubbed MIS II, utilizes two high-definition screens and entirely new software. All major functions are controlled here, specifically audio, media, and navigation. The climate control system readouts are visible at the bottom of the screen. It's also fully compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
A pair of single-shell lightweight Clubsport seats are standard and are even compatible with the MSO-designed Defined Harness Bar and six-point harnesses. Those who prefer something more luxurious for their backsides can opt for the 10-way adjustable and heated Comfort seats.
The mid-engined Artura is powered by a new twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 that alone produces 577 horsepower and 431 lb-ft of torque. Combined with the "E-Motor," located within the transmission housing, an additional 94 hp and 166 lb-ft are available for a combined total of 671 hp and 593 lb-ft. A new eight-speed dual-clutch is the sole transmission.
The Artura hits 62 mph in only 3.0 seconds - just 0.2 seconds slower than the P1. Top speed is limited to 205 mph. The electric motor is quite interesting as it's comprised of five lithium-ion modules for a total capacity of 7.4 kWh, which aids the Artura's all-electric range of 19 miles. Thanks to its plug-in capability, the car can be charged to an 80 percent level in 2.5 hours with a standard EVSE cable.
The Artura retains coil springs with anti-roll bars and adaptive dampers. A double-wishbone suspension is used at the front axle, but the rear has an all-new multi-link wishbone setup and an electronically locking rear differential, or E-diff. There's now a locking differential with unique settings for every chassis mode. Carbon-ceramic brakes and lightweight aluminum calipers similar to those on LT series models are also standard.
The 2021 McLaren Artura is available for order right now with pricing beginning at $225,000. Deliveries are due to begin in the third quarter of this year. To compare, the outgoing 570S carried a $192,500 base price, but the Artura is so much more in every category; it's worth the increased amount. The McLaren GT is now the so-called "entry-level" model with its $210,000 base price.
Artura buyers have three trims to select from: Performance, TechLux, and Vision, though all share the same hybrid powertrain.
The most significant competition comes by way of the $170,800 Porsche 911 Turbo and $203,500 Turbo S, which are considered the benchmarks in this supercar category. But in many ways, the Artura has more in common with the Acura NSX. Both are mid-engined, V6 hybrid supercars. The NSX is also quite a bit less money, beginning at $157,500.
McLaren has once again produced another high-performance disruptor, a tradition that dates back to the iconic F1 and continued with the P1. Only now, an advanced hybrid powertrain is no longer limited to seven-figure hypercars.
The most popular competitors of 2021 McLaren Artura:
Check out some informative McLaren Artura video reviews below.