2023 McLaren Artura hits its numbers

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The mountains north of Malaga were on fire during our recent visit to southern Spain, closing off sections of the route McLaren had chosen for us and causing far greater hardship for residents. Such conflagrations have become more frequent in the region, due to hotter and drier conditions resulting from climate change. McLaren happened to have brought us here to get a glimpse of its efforts to help offset cars’ major contribution to global warming. We were testing the orange boomerang’s first regular production hybrid, the 2023 Artura at $237,500.

The Artura is stealthy and quirky, something that could be said for the McLaren brand as a whole. Guided by the same spirit of innovative engineering that characterizes its racing cars, the brand is famous for the relentless and spirited search for new solutions, even if some of these efforts reinvent the wheel.

With the Artura, it’s quite literal. For this car, Pirelli has created its Cyber ​​Tire smart tire technology – sticky P Zero tires in street, track and winter configurations that are fitted with an internal “blister” containing a Bluetooth-enabled sensor. This allows the car’s on-board computers to instantly recognize its rubber, as well as read the concomitant air pressure and tire temperature. We had the opportunity to see this in action, as our flame red Artura detected the P Zero Corsa PZC4s it wore on the challenging 26-turn Ascari circuit, compared to the P Zero PZ4s we burned on the roads almost on fire. We knew this because the car displayed a little checkered flag icon on the dash, which saved us the trouble of looking at the flanks.

These tires, in staggered 235/35ZR-19 (front) and 295/35ZR-20 (rear) sizes, provided intensive grip in street or track compound. The Variable Drift Control feature lets us choose how to deploy that grip on the serve to go sideways, dialing in the slip angle we wanted.

Our affection for the Artura’s driving manners is also aided by the brand’s first electronically controlled limited-slip differential, integrated into an all-new rear-mounted eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The box often felt a little hunted in traffic when in automatic mode, less so when hammered or breaking manual shifts. But the car’s handling was otherwise predictable and neutral, with powerful caveats. This possibly matches her name, which is Proto-Celtic for “bear”.

McLaren kept the weight down to 3400 pounds, which is light by today’s standards, although it’s a few hundred pounds heavier than previous 570S or 720S coupes. At that weight, the new 3.0-liter, 120-degree V6 — 577 horsepower, 431 pound-feet — would have been tough on its own. But it’s joined by a 94-hp electric motor tucked into the transmission, for a total output of 671 horsepower and 531 pound-feet of torque. As well as allowing 11 miles of electric-only range, the 34-pound electric motor allowed McLaren to get rid of reverse in the transmission, with reverse being handled entirely by the motor. The 7.4kWh battery can be charged by the V-6, which should ease the worries of a dead battery leaving your Artura without reverse. To preserve braking feel, there is no regenerative braking.

Limits are predictable and easily detected thanks to the hydraulic power steering, which combined with a more than compliant suspension setup (even in the least forgiving track mode) made the car comfortable on the highway, cornering in the mountains and in curves. circuit. It’s not as explosive as the 765LT, but it’s not meant to be. It’s an everyday entry-level supercar, though it’s still capable of zero to 60 blasts in under three seconds, ringing up to its 8500 rpm redline and a top speed of 205 mph. Top speed in electric mode is decidedly less McLaren-like, at 81mph, but still high enough for fast motorway passage.

However, this habitability is a blessing and a curse. McLarens have become much more passionate about their handling and appearance since the MP4-12C launched the company’s contemporary incarnation in 2011. This car has been condemned for its prosaic appearance and disappointing engine. And in some ways, the Artura feels like a throwback to those everyday basics. Sure, it’s fast and instantly recognizable as exotic – it has intake strakes and flying buttresses, but it doesn’t necessarily feel, sound or look fast. The engine jumps, and gains speed, without ever bursting. The drivetrain offers quick shifts, without ever breaking your neck. And, in profile, the Artura looks like a Ferrari F430 trying to escape the mouth of a Noble M400 that’s been swallowed by a Lexus SC430 – an automotive turducken. Intriguing? Yes. Exciting? Not really.

Equally frustrating, or relieving, or just plain mysterious, is the way the Artura dismantles McLaren’s goofy ergonomic conventions. Just when we’d grown accustomed to the futzy iPad-like home button on the center display, the Artura’s home button is knurled and moved to the side, like the crown of a wristwatch. The opening mechanism for the dihedral doors is now mounted in a handle instead of hidden in the creases of the aero vents. The outboard seat controls replace those in the interior, the nose-lift function is activated with a hard button instead of a lever, and the vexing gear-shaped buttons that controlled the suspension and engine-mapping functions performance give way to small fist-shaped rocker arms attached to the dashboard at 11 and 1 o’clock. We didn’t even have to press an “activation” button to get these systems working, an obscure old redundancy that seemed inspired by mid-century safes. Change is good?

McLaren continues to impress us with its ability to find its own solutions and its willingness to try new recipes, even if they come 85% cooked and slightly gooey in the middle. Better that, we suppose, than burnt to a fiery crisp like a Spanish hill. In our transition to our hybrid/electric future, we should expect some change.

Features

Features

McLaren Arthur 2023
Vehicle Type: Mid-Engine, Mid-Engine, Rear-Wheel Drive, 2-Passenger Coupe, 2-Door

THE PRICE
Basis: $237,500

POWERTRAIN
3.0-liter, twin-turbocharged, intercooled V6, 24-valve, 577 hp, 431 lb-ft + AC motor, 94 hp, 166 lb-ft (combined output: 671 hp, 531 lb-ft; 7, 4 kWh lithium-ion battery; 3.3 kW on-board charger)
Transmission: 8-speed dual-clutch automatic

DIMENSIONS
Wheelbase: 103.9″
Length: 178.7″
Width: 81.9″
Height: 47.0″
Passenger volume: 52 feet3
Cargo volume: 5 feet3
Unloaded weight (CD east): 3400 lbs.

PERFORMANCE (CD IS)
100 km/h: 2.6 sec
100 mph: 5.9 sec
1/4 mile: 10.4 sec
Top speed: 205mph

EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/City/Highway: 18/17/21 mpg
Combined gasoline + electric: 39 MPGe
EV Range: 11 mi


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