Behind the wheel of McLaren’s hot new hybrid supercar, the Artura

Behind the wheel of McLaren’s hot new hybrid supercar, the Artura

McLaren Automotive has been building every vehicle since the 2011 launch of its MP4-12C sports car. Every vehicle uses the same carbon-fiber chassis and V8 engine. McLaren has launched version 2.0 of its product line a decade later. It features a new hybrid-electric V6 engine that is bolted to an all-new carbon fibre chassis tub structure.

The Artura is the vehicle that represents this transformation. It is McLaren’s first production hybrid, and it sets the tone for the rest of McLaren’s products. The P1 hypercar was their first hybrid, and the Artura is a demonstration of how this technology has been adapted to mass-produced models.

Artura is a master of curves and can be seen tearing down the straights on the infield road course at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The $289,000 (as tested) price is a convincing endorsement of the legends of Mika Hkkinen, Ayrton Sena, Alain Prost and Emerson Fittipaldi and other famous drivers who have steered McLaren Formula 1 cars into world championships.

Prost and Senna would have loved the howling turbocharged V6 engine in their ’80s turbo-era McLarens. However, at 3.0 liters, Artura’s engine is twice as big as the power plants in those old race car power plants. Senna would have envied Artura’s shifts compared to his F1 car’s H-pattern transmission.

McLaren has managed to retain the Artura’s McLaren identity despite the massive hardware changes. The bodywork is derived from the same family as the 720S. The cockpit feels the same, and the driving dynamics put you right in a McLaren mindset.

Like legos

The company’s additional decade of experience has made this carbon fiber platform even stronger and lighter than the one it used in the 600LT and 720S. It is also made of 72 pre-formed carbon fiber sections, rather than 500 individual pieces previously used by technicians. This reduces variability and speeds up the manufacturing process. Geoff Grose, chief engineer, reports that the manufacturing time has been reduced by a significant amount. It is a more consistent process that can be achieved without human intervention.

Artura’s M360 engine, a V6 placed with 120 degrees between the banks of three cylinders, is the Artura’s latest M360 engine. Clean-sheet V6s are expected to operate at sixty degrees. V6s made by cutting two cylinders from a V8 are 90 degree engines. However, these engines require balance shafts to compensate for their inherent imbalance. McLaren’s next generation of engines has a 120-degree V-shape. The turbochargers are mounted inside the engine’s shallow valley, rather than outside as is usual. This allows the Artura to change its direction more easily due to a lower center-of-gravity.

3D printing is used to make the sand cores in this engine. This engine is as small as possible. Cast its block Heads. Grose says that the engine’s features are too small to be created using conventional techniques. He says that it allows for the smallest possible gap between the cylinder bores of just 2mm. “This is a very tight core. This 3D printing technology is very useful for that.

McLaren Artura
The McLaren Artura, “Ember Orange” Dan Carney

It’s electric

Computer optimization modeling seems to point to this 120-degree turbo V6 engines layout. It is the same arrangement Ferrari used for the 296GTB, the company’s analog to Artura. This combustion engine produces 577 horsepower and 431 lb.ft. This engine produces a lot of torque.

But wait! There’s more! The Artura also features a lightweight, compact electric motor that is bolted between M360’s engine and Artura’s dual-clutch transmission.

[Related:[Related:It’s worth taking a look at plug-in hybrid electric vehicles right now]

This electric motor produces 94 horsepower, 166 lb.ft. of torque, and the e-motor’s contribution to the torque curve is at the lower end. The combined output of the two motors is 671 horsepower and 531 lb.ft. The Artura accelerates more like an electric car because the torque delivery from both the Artura and the Duo is almost constant at low rpm.

The Artura can reach 60 mph in 3.0 seconds, and the quarter mile in 10.7 seconds. The EPA Miles Per Gallon Equivalent The plug-in hybrid’s lithium battery gives the plug-in hybrid a 39 MPGe rating. The plug-in system’s significant improvement over the Artura’s 18 MPGe when running on gasoline demonstrates how it not only boosts low-speed power for acceleration but also provides fuel-sipping efficiency.

Getting in gear

The eight-speed dual-clutch transmission of the Artura allows it to seamlessly move through the gears. These shifts can be done automatically by the computer or manually by you using the paddles on your steering wheel. Lamborghini and Ferrari attach the paddles to their steering columns so they are always in the right place. McLarens turn with the steering wheel just like race cars.

The steering wheels of race cars don’t turn far enough that the driver must reposition their hands so they can click up with one paddle and down with another. Street car steering wheels, however, only turn a few turns to one side and leave the driver unsure of where the shift paddles are when they turn. It is not common to shift while turning so much.

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The transmission is completely new, with eight speeds instead of the seven that were previously available. The elimination of the reverse gear gave rise to some extra space. The Artura simply turns its electric motor in the opposite direction to move it backwards. The car’s top speed is 81 mph. I didn’t test this theory. According to the EPA, it can travel 11 miles using only electric power.

The overall top speed is 205 miles per hour, which was also untested due to the lack of space at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and the inability to permit such speed on Nevada’s wide-open desert roads. Hunter S. Thompson would have likely pumped the Artura’s tires to 80 psi, and given it a try (as he claimed to do with his Cadillac). Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas), but I have a greater aversion to breaking the laws than he did.

McLaren engine
The Artura’s V6 engine has twin turbochargers. McLaren Automotive

Under pressure

The new Pirelli P-Zero Corsa tires, which have pressure sensors embedded in the tires rather than being mounted at the fill valve, will give you all the information you need about Artura’s tire pressure. McLaren claims this allows for a more precise measurement. It allows the car to know when the driver intentionally lowers tire pressure in order to have more grip on the track. This prevents the computer giving low-pressure warnings if the driver intentionally lowers the pressure.

McLaren has retained its hydraulic power steering system for Artura. This is in preference to the electric power steering that others use. A hydraulic system provides a better feeling for steering. The hydraulic pump is electric-powered, so it doesn’t matter what the engine is doing.

You’ll need to turn the Artura from time to time. McLaren continues its lead in brakes, and McLaren is still the industry leader. Although Lamborghini’s carbon-ceramic brakes are very comfortable to drive on the streets, they can be difficult to use on the track. While other brands like Porsche and Ferrari deliver on the track as well, their carbon ceramic brakes are too grabby and make street driving difficult.

McLaren’s carbon ceramics, on the other hand, are angelic on the roads and devilishly great in the brake zones where it is necessary to hammer the pedal for turns. They also display exemplary behavior in everyday driving and deliver the confidence-inspiring precision, consistency, and control required to light up my Flux Green track car’s front rotors. The best performance in both cases.

McLarens are known for their ability deliver both a surprisingly smooth ride in street driving and crisp handling response on mountain switchbacks or at the race track. This is thanks to the company’s Proactive Chasis Control system of cross-linked hydraulics. It uses wheel motion on one end of the car as a way to manage what happens on its opposite side.

The Artura’s Proactive Chassis Control system is replaced by Tenneco’s Proactive Damping Control shock absorbers. These shock absorbers are similar to the computer-controlled active shock absorbers everyone else uses. McLaren 2.0’s starting point is the Artura, so expect Proactive Chassis control to be available on future models that are built on the Artura’s new chassis. Although the Artura’s shocks are more commonplace, they don’t provide the smooth ride and crisp handling we have come to expect from McLarens. Future models will be more expensive.

Although the exterior is very similar to other McLarens’, the aluminum skin has been “superformed” using hot air instead of being stamped with conventional dies. This allows the car to have precise body gaps and crisp lines. Jo Lewis, Head of Colour and Materials Design, said that my street test car was spray-sprayed in Ember Orange. This shade was difficult to make mass-produced. It was well worth the effort she put in to get Ember Orange from her computer screen onto the production line.

All of the McLaren 2.0 upgrades were also clear successes. The Artura is a shining example of continuity that can be maintained without getting bogged down in the past. It delivers the modern technology and performance supercars that buyers want.

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