How do they drive?
2023 McLaren Artura
Both the Artura and MC20 are powered by 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engines. This is McLaren's first V6 and the first truly new engine from the company in years. The cylinders are arranged in a wide 120-degree angle, which makes the engine flatter, in turn helping keep the center of gravity low. It's paired with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic, another first for McLaren. Most notably, the Artura is a plug-in hybrid. With a capacity of 7.4 kWh, the battery pack is small by plug-in hybrid standards, only offering an estimated 11 miles of electric driving on a full charge. But the primary goal here is not to use the Artura like an EV, but instead use that juice to make sure the electric motor (located within the transmission bellhouse) can always deliver its peak output of 94 horsepower and 166 lb-ft of torque. Total output between the engine and motor is a pulse-pounding 671 hp and 531 lb-ft.
The hybrid powertrain also gives the Artura a hybrid personality. The car starts silently, running in electric mode until you switch the drive mode or the battery runs out. The Artura's V6 sings a smooth exhaust note, but the benefit of being able to start your supercar without waking all of the neighbors cannot be overstated. And if your commute is short enough, you might be able to drive the Artura without using any fuel. That's good because the Artura is only rated at 18 mpg combined.
Running in hybrid or fully electric mode feels antithetical to the supercar ethos, but the Artura is more than capable of dialing things up with a press of the drive mode switch. Select one of the sportier settings to add the V6's soundtrack to your daily commute. The Artura looks and feels like a McLaren, with sharp steering and stiff brakes, but it settles down and relaxes on city streets in a way no other McLaren can, save for the P1. Being able to cruise around town quietly in pure EV mode is nice in any vehicle that allows for it, but it's extra cool when it's an exotic-looking sports car. We're not opposed to flash, but sometimes it's good to be subtle. It doesn't necessarily ride better than other McLarens, though ride quality is fairly good for something so sporty.
As with past McLarens, the Artura is built around a carbon-fiber tub. It's a new design that fixes some of McLaren's past shortcomings like narrow cabins. The new tub allows for a wider interior, which in turn makes the seat controls easier to access. The Artura is slimmer, lower to the ground, and shorter in length than the MC20. Compared to a typical vehicle, the Artura and the Maserati are both wider than a Toyota Camry but shorter in length than a Honda Civic. The width, along with the new seat design, help the Artura feel relatively spacious inside compared to the MC20.
Visibility is decent, too, thanks to a short and low front end and a windshield that sort of wraps around to give you a panoramic view out of the front. The rear glass is narrow, but you get decent visibility over your shoulder. What that means is the Artura is relatively easy to park in spite of its width, and the attention-grabbing upward-opening doors open wide enough that getting in and out isn't overly awkward. Supercars are cool, but they often require some gymnastics.