Defining The New Hybrid Supercar Rulebook

Roughly eight years ago, McLaren kickstarted the hybrid-electric supercar race with the magnificent yet unhinged P1. The Artura succeeds the P1 as McLaren’s ultimate hybrid supercar, but the new Artura is not a replacement for the P1. For starters, the McLaren Artura has less horsepower than the P1. It is also more “economical,” with base prices starting in the $225,000 range, much less than the P1’s astronomical $1.5 million asking price.

Despite this, Artura is truly special. It’s the first series-production High-Performance Hybrid supercar from the British automaker. Artura is also the first McLaren to be built on the brand’s all-new McLaren Carbon Lightweight Architecture (MCLA). As a footnote, the MP4-12C is the first production car designed and built wholly by McLaren, and every McLaren since then has been based on the 12C’s carbon-fiber composite chassis.

In essence, Artura is new from the ground up, and it swims in the same ocean as the iconic P1 due to its plug-in hybrid electric powertrain. “Every drop of McLaren’s experience and expertise has been poured into the Artura,” said Mike Flewitt, McLaren Automotive CEO. “Our all-new, High-Performance Hybrid delivers all of the performance, driver engagement, and dynamic excellence for which McLaren is renowned, with the additional benefit of EV driving capability.”

McLaren Artura: Styling & Design

Forgive me for nitpicking the styling this early on. I think McLaren played it safe in designing the new Artura, but that’s just me. However, I understand the reasoning behind this. As mentioned above, Artura replaces the 570S in McLaren’s lineup and NOT the P1, so we’re talking about a base-level McLaren, for lack of better words.

So yes, Artura is a new car even though it uncannily resembles every vehicle in McLaren’s portfolio. But look closer, and you’ll find Artura’s cabin is a bit different. Also, the body lines are more purposeful than the P1, while the wheel arches are more dramatic and defined.  

McLaren Artura.
McLaren Artura. Photo: McLaren Automotive.

Advanced Hybrid Architecture

Built on top of McLaren’s new MCLA architecture, the carbon-fiber monocoque incorporates a bespoke battery housing and an innovative domain-based ethernet electrical architecture. It also has built-in electrical heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. This new ethernet electrical system supports over-the-air updates, reduces cabling by 25 percent (to cut weight), and speeds up data transmission. It also controls the standard advanced safety systems like adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, auto high-beam assist, and road-sign recognition.

In so many words, the McLaren Artura represents what you might call a software-defined car. This approach helps lower weight and increase performance, both of which are necessary for a vehicle like the Artura.

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