The New McLaren Artura – 1st Impressions

Last night McLaren introduced their newest supercar, the Artura (McLaren Artura Global Launch) via a live streamed event at the McLaren Technology Center in Woking, UK.  As per many events these days, it was done without a live audience in attendance which does tend to flatten the atmosphere.  The event was quite well constructed, informative, about the right length, and provided plenty of information so I could begin forming a reasoned point of view on this new supercar that is critical to McLaren’s future.  Here are my initial thoughts:

Pros

My very first reaction upon seeing the Artura was that finally McLaren got a launch color right.  Flux Green looks terrific and really brings the purity of the design out.  Overall, I quite like the design, it’s definitely a McLaren, the DNA comes through clearly, and it is significant evolution of the 570S.  The Artura design is more cohesive than its predecessor and I like the way several of the curves flow the length of the car.  The rear and engine decks are also much cleaner vs. the 570S.  In terms of performance, as you would expect from McLaren, the numbers all look very impressive.  0-62 mph comes in 3.0 seconds, it will do the ¼ mile in 10.7 seconds, top speed is 205 mph, and total delivered power is 671 bhp.

 

Most importantly though, McLaren listened, and it shows.  McLaren has been very open about soliciting feedback from a number of owners over the past couple of years. A number of the points, both positive and negative, that have been raised are addressed with the Artura.  The warrantee is now 5 years on the vehicle, 6 years for the battery, and 10 years on corrosion.  Apple Car Play and Andriod Auto are finally incorporated into the infotainment system.  System updates can now be done remotely, and an e-differential has finally been added.  On the don’t fix what’s not broken, the wonderful McLaren hydraulic steering has been retained, the cabin remains uncluttered, the main drivetrain and suspension controls look to be both intuitive and easy to reach.  I very much appreciate the fact that the steering wheel has been kept as a steering wheel and not turned into a moving control panel with multiple switches and buttons.  The addition of a separate button on the dashboard for the front nose lift is a very welcomed development.  The new seats and redesigned interior are all a step forward.  The sides of the new carbon fiber tub also look both thinner and lower which should help with ingress and egress.  I also like the fact that it is rear wheel drive, the brakes are standard CCBs and not regenerative, which negatively impacts the feel.

Cons

The cons are a pretty short list.  I’m not a big fan of the gills on the sides of the front wheel wells. I do appreciate their technical function, but they interrupt the eye as it scans down the car’s body.  I’m not thrilled about the 2 missing cylinders, then again, 6 is still a lot better than the Taycan’s cylinder count.  While the warrantee’s timeframe has been extended, they are still short of what Ferrari offers and the first few years of standard servicing are not included.

To Be Determined

These are the things I can only really evaluate once I’ve driven the car.  Specification wise the Artura has 10 more bhp than a 675LT but weights just 50 kg more.  When you consider the Artura has two engines and a battery pack, that’s a very impressive feat of engineering.  It should translate into an agile, highly responsive car to drive.  How the twin turbo six cylinder sounds, and if the electric engine is intrusive (I’ve been assured it is not), can only really be answered after spending time driving the car in different situations.  I’m also not sold on the need for an 8-speed gear box.  I have always found the 7 speeds on all the other Mclarens to be more than plenty with 7th rarely if ever used.

Conclusion

The Artura is a hugely important launch for McLaren.  While I would not call it the “make-or-break” car for the company, it is not that far off it either.  From what I’ve seen so far, they have gotten it right.  I am very much looking forward to getting behind the wheel of one as soon as possible.

 

P.S. For a great video review of the McLaren Artura, I would recommend: Carfection with Henry Catchpole: McLaren Artura

Thoughts and comments? Please see the comments section below.

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Note: pictures are from the McLaren Press Media Gallery

February 2021

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3 Thoughts on The New McLaren Artura – 1st Impressions
    John
    18 Feb 2021
    12:39am

    Personally, I think McLaren have done a superb job. Not quite knocking it out the park, but pretty close.

    Rear is definitely Jaguar C-X75. Sides are the Lotus EV. And front is a 650s. I’m not offended by the gills as I think they’ve really done these rather neatly to be honest. Like on the Lotus EV I’m not entirely convinced about that big side air scoop, and that’s my only criticism of the exterior; I like everything else that’s clean and on-point.

    Inside I’d prefer the iPad to be more integrated in to the dash rather than looking like the ones that McDonalds have for kids to play with. Otherwise, it’s a nice clean and cohesive design. Hearing the paddles being pulled just oozes quality (Henry @ Carfection).

    Performance, I’m just in awe of the McLaren engineering. To have added a hybrid system yet barely increasing the weight is impressive. It’s so close to the 720s that it is hard to believe.

    McLaren have just given a masterclass on how to do a V6 Hybrid supercar.

    And yes, Henry of Carfection’s tour was perfect too. The best there is in the business today.

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    Gary Sutton
    18 Feb 2021
    8:20pm

    There’s nothing I can add after reading your analysis and watching Henry’s review of the Artura. You both have it spot on and I eagerly await for the driving verdicts. I hope this is a roaring success for McLaren as the competition is fierce and the company seems to have many detractors unfortunately. Looking forward to getting my derriere into a McLaren one day🤞.

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    John Bullock
    20 Feb 2021
    10:39am

    Agree with your assessment and direction to Carfection. There’s a brief clip on the McLaren website of Riccardio hooning around on track. The soundtrack isn’t as bad as I feared and he certainly seems to enjoy the ride, including the electric power.

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