The doors of the McLaren Sydney delivery suite slide back and reveal a Volcano Yellow McLaren Artura. The new car smell wafts around its sculptured sides and my eyes follow, taking in the beautiful supercar before me.
‘Beauty’ and ‘McLaren’ are not two words that usually go together, but the McLaren GT that I previously drove and this Artura are certainly lovely looking in my eyes. Aerodynamic efficiency is more advanced than ever on the Artura and to enhance many of these detailed design elements, this Artura is fitted with the exterior Black Pack. Black has been used to bring out the many McLaren speedmark logo inspired features on the Artura and the more you look, the more you will see. Front fender louvres, headlights, side vents, and the rear taillights to name just a few. The black and yellow of this McLaren Artura got be thinking about the honey bee, one of the most purposeful insects on the planet.
Press the speedmark on the Artura’s slender key fob to unlock the very cool dihedral doors and you gently assist them up to unveil the Artura’s cabin. I immediately focus on the steering wheel to see if McLaren have retained my favourite feature of the GT, the brushed metal gearshift paddles. Yes! They are the same, call me crazy, but these are the most sensuous paddle shifters that I have ever run my fingers over. Their physical and mechanical feel epitomise the McLaren Artura perfectly, precision, the one word that best describes this supercar.
The interior of this Artura has also been treated to the Gloss Black Interior Pack to go with TechLux Pack in Black with Black accents, Black Nappa leather seats, Jet Black leather steering wheel, Black seatbelts, and the centre console and arm rest in Jet Black Nappa leather. Pretty much my perfect spec for any car interior, all black. A hint of colour is inserted at night with subtle ambient lighting detail on the doors that are in the shape of, you guessed it, the McLaren logo. To exit the Artura, you lift the door lever and give the door a slight shove with your elbow and it raises up gracefully for you.
Entering and exiting a supercar can be a challenge at times, but the Artura makes it easy to do thanks to the wide door sills that you can sit on and then place yourself in the car. The Artura’s seats are perfectly formed and have enough cushioning to make them comfortable. They have manual adjustment for forward/back and power adjustment for height and a fixed back rest with no recline adjustment. You don’t need it because as I said the Artura is precise and McLaren have already done the work and set the seats at the perfect angle.
In front of the driver is the unadulterated McLaren steering wheel with all the controls that you need within easy reach around it. The handling and powertrain switches are now located on rocker mechanisms on the left- and right-hand side of the digital driver’s dash. Behind the steering wheel are equally beautiful metal stalks for indicators, wipers, and the like.
Settle yourself in and press the red start button located towards the front of the centre console and the V6 Artura engine awakens. Not with a roar that you would usually expect from a supercar that announces your intention of a great driving day ahead to the neighbours, but in silence. This is because the Artura is McLaren’s first hybrid, combining a brand new V6 engine with a 7.4 kWh Lithium-ion battery mounted low in the new McLaren Carbon Fibre Lightweight Architecture giving the Artura up to 31kms of pure electric driving range from the Axial Flux motor.
I’m pretty sure most owners won’t be testing this figure out because it’s the internal combustion engine that is the true heart of this busy bee. The 3.0 litre, V6, dry sump engine has twin Electrically-Actuated Turbochargers giving a total combined power of 500kW at 7,500rpm and a total combined torque of 720Nm from just 2,250rpm. Unfortunately, you can’t take the Satin Titanium cover off to get a full view of the engine, but you can spy it through the cover or from behind through the rear spoiler and diffuser.
If you are brave enough to chase it, the maximum rpm is 8,500, and when you are in manual gearbox mode there is a beep to tell you when to upshift before this and in Sport mode the taco flashes red as well. The official weighted combined fuel economy is 4.6L/100km, but for my weekend of honey fueled fun I used 16.3L/100km.
You can immediately switch the drive mode from Electric to Comfort mode after startup and the Artura will moderate the engine conditioning to warm the engine up to its ideal operating parameters. Once there it will switch between the two depending on the driving conditions, while charging the battery at the same time. I did notice on a couple of occasions when the Artura transitioned between the electric motor and the engine in Comfort mode there was quite a mechanical clunk that occurred. Once the Artura is warmed up you can move to Sport mode, which is pure engine only and Track mode, which I didn’t try out.
But I wish I could, because the racetrack is the only place where the Artura’s blistering pace could be fully exploitered. Acceleration is crazy fast and if you plant your right foot hard enough in Sport mode and the rear Pirelli P ZERO tyres will lose traction. But there is no waggle dance, and the Artura remains straight, true and committed to the task of getting you to your destination as quickly as possible with what I described in my notes as a ‘pleasant’ engine note with a slight burble on overrun.
Officially the McLaren Artura will do 0-100km/h in 3.0 seconds, 0-200km/h is 8.3 seconds, 0-300km/h in 21.5 seconds before topping out at a maximum speed of 330 km/h. The quarter mile dash almost makes it below the ten second car bar, at 10.7 seconds. At these speeds stopping power is equally important and under the 10-Spoke Gloss Black forged alloy wheels are Carbon Ceramics Brake Discs with 6-Piston Aluminium Calipers at the front, in Black with Silver Logo on this Artura, and 4-Piston Aluminium Calipers rear that will pull the Artura up from 100-0km/h in 31 metres and 200-0km/h in 126 metres.
The handling of the Artura would also be very suited to the racetrack, which is very firm in the Sport mode, and I imagine rock-hard in Track mode. But use the rocker switch on the lefthand side of the steering wheel and you can switch this to Comfort mode, and the Artura delivers a perfectly acceptable ride for everyday driving.
The 8-Speed seamless shift gearbox will even operate in automatic mode, so no need to be changing gears in the traffic. The Artura has E-Reverse and you simply press the buttons on the centre console to either engage Drive, Neutral, or Reverse gear. But if you want to fully experience everything that this supercar has to offer, and those gorgeous wheel-mounted paddle shifters I mentioned earlier, then you are going to want to press the Manual button on the righthand side rocker switch. McLaren are not lying when they describe this gearbox as ‘seamless shift’, flicking up and down the ‘box is quicker than the flap of a bee’s wings. But one thing that you need to remember when driving a McLaren, there is no computer looking after to and if you pull down on the paddle the gearbox will respond regardless of the engine speed, so driver discretion is advised.
Inside the Artura cabin is compact, but some thought has been given to its design. Under the arm rest there is a narrow storage cubby for your sunglasses and phone and one cup holder at the front of the centre console. Behind the seats there is a parcel shelf for your handbag if the passenger seat is occupied and there are even vanity mirrors behind the slender sun visors. The Artura actually has a very large frunk that would fit a small weekly shop or a couple of soft bags for when you take that sneaky weekend away.
You will want to tick the box on the No Cost Option Practicality Pack which gives you the nose lift kit, power-folding heated door mirrors (with Dip in Reverse functionality), four front and four rear parking sensors, a rear view camera, and soft close doors. My Artura also had the optional Technology Pack, which I think is just as important, and gives you full adaptive LED headlights with Auto High Beam Assist (which actually light up the road ahead like an ‘everyday’ car), Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning, 360 Degree Park Assist, and the excellent Bowers & Wilkins 12-Speaker Audio System. Smartphone Integration for wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto comes as standard.
Your new McLaren Artura comes with a 5 year/unlimited kilometre warranty, a 6 year/75,000km warranty on the hybrid battery and five years roadside assistance cover that is linked to the car and fully transferable with any change of ownership. Something quite unique to McLarens is taking your car on any track day does not void your warranty, the only condition for owners is they must bring their car to a McLaren dealership for a pre and post track day inspection.
A 3-year Service Plan is also included, with the service schedule being every 12 months or 15,000km, whichever occurs first. The Service Plan includes all scheduled servicing requirements for the first three years or as specified in the McLaren Maintenance Schedule.
It’s not just the looks of this McLaren Artura that remind me of the honey bee, but its precision, performance and purposeful details as well. This Volcano Yellow Artura is a bit of a honey to look at to boot. The starting price of the McLaren Artura is $449,500.00 and you can Configure your Artura online or visit your preferred McLaren retailer for more information.
|The metal paddle shifters||Only starts on electric mode|
|The look||Limited cabin storage|
|The performance||There isn’t one in my garage|
Photographs by Driven Women Magazine.