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McLaren's plug-in hybrid supercar gets a host of powertrain and chassis revisions to increase its performance and excitement factor

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McLaren Automotive CEO Michael Leiters says he wants to take the company’s road-going products back towards their motorsport roots. To draw clearer and more evocative parallels between them and the racing machines for which the company is even more widely known, and carve out a bolder character and identity for them in the process.

Sounds sensible - but the two years that Leiters is just approaching in the job is a pretty short window of time in product development terms. So isn’t now too early to seek to judge any 'Leiters effect'? Well, perhaps it isn’t. The McLaren 750S certainly shows signs of a shift in priorities towards the wild, expressive and dramatic; and now we know that its little sibling, the revised Artura plug-in hybrid supercar, does also.

It’s great to see McLaren using electrification to address one of the longer-standing vulnerabilities of its car so effectively: lower-range turbo lag. Picking up in higher gears just isn’t a problem for the Artura.

‘Revised’ may be the wrong descriptor for this car, actually. It feels more as if the Artura’s launch has been reset. Leiters came to the chair at McLaren around the same time as the Artura’s troubled and delayed market launch in summer 2022. Significant technical revisions to the car followed; but sales have been slow to do likewise, Woking executives now admit.

So it feels like McLaren’s main motivation in making these revisions, for the 2025-model-year and coming only two years into the Artura's life, is simply to give it a fresh start: with the press, dealers and customers alike. And the wider the revisions, perhaps, the fresher the start.

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Rebooted or otherwise, however, the Artura remains one of McLaren's boldest cars yet. Between its British-built carbonfibre monocoque, its ethernet electrical architecture, its superformed aluminium bodywork and its V6 plug-in hybrid powerplant, this is probably the most technically daring project that McLaren has undertaken since the McLaren P1 hypercar – and quite possibly ever.

Range at a glance

The Artura options list is quite extensive. There are six no-cost paint colours, but nearly 30 others you can pick (before you get into commissioning your own colour); there are three wheel designs; and numerous further exterior trim and equipment spec choices.

McLaren corrals the car’s most important optional features into seven packages: the Gloss Black Interior Finish Pack, the Technology, TechLux and Vision Interior packs, and the Performance and MSO Carbonfibre Interior packs. The Technology Pack is the priciest (£6800) but includes 360deg cameras, Bowers & Wilkins audio, LED headlights, intelligent cruise, road sign recognition and lane departure warning.


02 McLaren Artura RT 2022 front corner

In addition to a new Spider drop-top bodystyle, then, the Artura now gets powertrain, suspension and interior updates for the 2025 model year. 

In the engine bay, power output rises from 671- to 690bhp, courtesy of some engine management software changes which will be offered to existing Artura owners free of charge through a software update. The extra grunt comes entirely from the car’s wide-angle 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine, though, with the 94bhp axial flux electric drive motor working to top up its reserves and fill the gaps in its torque curve.

The slim headlights are integrated into a boomerang-shaped opening that echoes the lines of McLaren’s own logo. Expect to see similar on other new model introductions.

McLaren has also worked to give the whole hybrid powertrain more ‘crescendo effect’ as it spins under load to its 8500rpm redline. It has fitted firmer engine mounts to the car, too; a couple of revised active exhaust systems (standard and optional sports); and an actively controlled exhaust sound symposer that pipes engine noise directly through the car’s bulkhead.

The Artura’s eight-speed twin-clutch gearbox benefits from faster shift speeds, and still drives the rear wheels via an electronically controlled locking differential (this is the only McLaren yet to get one). The car’s suspension, meanwhile, is comprised of the same coil springs as before, but gets all-new adaptive dampers governed by much faster-acting electronics that can better act to check body and wheel movements, and help to manage and influence handling and stability that bit more effectively.

At the heart of the car sits the new McLaren Carbon Lightweight Architecture (MCLA): the first carbon-composite monocoque tub that McLaren has manufactured itself for one of its own models. It’s larger than its Monocell- and Monocage-branded predecessors, as well as stiffer. But in the Artura, it’s also the thin end of the wedge when it comes to brand-new technology.

The car is a very ambitious and skilfully executed example of modern supercar packaging and lightweight design, with so much of its layout and specification about mitigating the size and weight penalties that plug-in hybrid powertrains typically impose. It's the first McLaren with a new-generation ethernet-based electrical architecture. Controlled by four main processors and connecting every part of the Artura via the same central data ‘gateway’, it reduces the weight of cabling in the car by 25%, speeds up data transmission, and allows for the over-the-air software updates of almost any electronically governed system.

The Artura’s primary source of power is McLaren’s new 'M630' wide-angle, twin-turbocharged V6 engine, which is 50kg lighter than its existing V8, has a particularly stiff crankshaft design (so it can rev to 8500rpm), and is both short and flat enough to package really efficiently in the engine bay. This makes room for the Artura’s hybrid system and fuel tank, while also allowing the car to be less than an inch longer overall than the one it replaces, slightly narrower across the body and even shorter in the wheelbase.

The hybrid system adds just 130kg in total. It consists of a five-module lithium ion battery with 7.4kWh of usable capacity, and a compact and energy-dense axial flux-style electric motor mounted immediately downstream of the piston engine, which can add up to 94bhp and 166lb ft into the driveline, alongside the V6’s 596bhp (up from 577- in 2022) and 431lb ft, for 'system totals' of 690bhp and 531lb ft. Such power is a big jump over what the McLaren 570S and 600LT made, and well in advance of cars like the Lamborghini Huracán, Audi R8 and Honda NSX.

The Artura’s lightest running-order weight, as claimed by McLaren, is 1498kg. Even with all of the car’s electrification tech, it still weighs only 46kg more than a 570S – a really impressive achievement. Needing no reinforcement for its carbon tub chassis, and suffering with little meaningful deterioration in structural rigidity, the Spider version itself only adds 62kg to that.

Our Artura coupe test car (2022) weighed 1552kg fully fuelled and with plenty of optional equipment fitted. Weight-saving carbon-ceramic brakes come on the car as standard, as do lightweight superformed aluminium body panels. Suspension is via double wishbones at the front and a new multi-link axle at the rear, under steel coils, adaptive dampers and passive anti-roll bars. Steering is via a conventional front-axle system, and electrohydraulic assistance for it remains McLaren’s preference. The gearbox is an eight-speed twin-clutch automatic without a reversing gear (the electric motor can used for reversing); while the Artura becomes the first modern McLaren supercar to get a mechanical, torque-vectoring, electronically controlled 'e-Diff' limited slip differential.



The McLaren Artura’s two-seat cabin is predictably snug, but it’s not at all tight or restrictive. The design the standard Clubsport seats (a more conventional comfort seat is available as an option) granted a fine and straight driving position, with its clever elliptical hinge allowing you to explore a wide range of variously recumbent driving positions, and granting useful room even for taller testers to wear a helmet.

Once comfortable, you will notice how thoughtfully McLaren has refined and enhanced its philosophy on cabin layout, and how cleverly it has created useful storage space. There’s no glovebox, but there are large door pockets at the front of the door consoles, which are designed to retain their contents as the doors themselves pivot and swing away upwards – and they do so very effectively.

Optional Clubsport seats are comfortable for road driving and supportive on track. Steering column could do with just a little more rake adjustment range. The storage shelf behind the seats is advisable only for lighter, smaller items of cargo that won’t obscure your rear-view vision, but it’s useful all the same.

There’s also real space efficiency about the design of the car’s super-slim centre console. It’s just wide enough to make room for two cupholders and an armrest cubby big enough for a wallet or small purse, but it also has deepish storage channels on either side of the transmission controls where a smartphone will happily sit and stay put when you’re touring, if the other nearby storage areas are occupied.

The car’s instrument screen is all-digital and all-new. In contrast to the one on the McLaren 720S, it is mounted directly onto the steering column rather than the fascia behind, so it moves with the wheel as you adjust the latter for your ideal driving position and – in theory – remains unobstructed by it. In practice, our taller testers found the column a bit short on upwards rake adjustment range, leaving the top 10mm of the screen itself obscured by the rim of the steering wheel.

McLaren’s clever one-piece gearshift paddle survives. Above it, new toggle controls for its adaptive powertrain and chassis modes sit on the upper edge of the instrument binnacle. These are easy to spot without taking your eyes far from the road and prod with a finger outstretched from the steering rim.

In the case of the Spider version, the roof mechanism takes the space there might have been behind the seats for carrying smaller bags. Powered by electric motors, it needs only eleven seconds to cycle from fully open to closed, and can operate at speeds of up to 30mph.

The Spider also enjoys similar great all-quarter visibility as the coupe. The view forwards and to the sides is excellent. To the rear, the car adopts the glazed flying buttresses also seen on the 720S Spider, which fulfill their aerodynamic purpose without obstructing your over-shoulder rearwards view any more than is necessary.

Multimedia system

The Artura’s advanced electrical architecture means it features a new-generation infotainment system called MIS II. It’s not the biggest or flashiest system, with an 8.0in portrait-oriented screen that is designed to be space-efficient and lightweight. But it has plenty of evident processing power, good responsiveness and reasonable navigability, thanks in no small part to the physical home button-cum-scroll wheel on its left-hand side. We would still prefer to have physical HVAC controls.

The factory navigation system remains a bit unintuitive to program, with some odd layout and usability foibles. It is easy to follow once set, however, and can relay mapping onto the digital instrument screen; although it does seem to lack a more traditional 'north up' guidance display mode.

Smartphone mirroring for both Apple and Android handsets is offered as standard via either a wired or wireless connection; and McLaren has added a wireless charging pouch for the car for 2025, which grips your device very firmly, so that it doesn't become loose and fly around the cabin during quicker driving.

Our car had McLaren’s Bowers & Wilkins 12-speaker premium audio system, which had plenty of power and good clarity.


16 McLaren Artura RT 2022 engine

The Artura isn't a night-and-day different sort of a mid-engined supercar after its 2025-model-year tweaks - but it is louder and more forthcoming in its persona, as well as firmer-riding, more urgent feeling, and more powerful in how it gets down the road. It’s working quite hard at that second chance to make a first impression, in other words.

McLaren’s old Sports Series supercars were, after all, always intended for more regular ‘daily’ driving than their Super Series counterparts. Given that the McLaren Artura picks up where those cars left off, it is important to acknowledge the role that it has been designed to fulfil before we start to describe and pass comment on the effectiveness of its execution.

The engine compartment is designed in its entirety to expel heat efficiently, but this heat duct – nicknamed ‘the chimney’ by company insiders – is there to take heat away from the ‘hot vee’ of the engine.

McLaren clearly aimed for a certain refinement and drivability for this car, as well as outright pace and excitement. But the excitement part flows primarily from the sabre-sharp way in which the Artura’s hybrid powertrain responds.

Those used to the softened mid-range pick-up of the McLaren 570S will be stunned at how crisply this car surges forward the instant you flex your toe. You needn’t hold onto a lower gear and higher revs during faster cross-country driving to keep the engine in that permanent state of readiness. Even in higher gears, the torque just floods in the split second you ask for it. The electric motor blends with the combustion engine so seamlessly, before the latter takes over the ravenous heavy lifting beyond 5000rpm, and pulls freely and forcefully to well beyond 8000rpm.

For McLaren's 2022-spec, 671bhp Artura, our timing gear recorded a two-way-average 0-60mph standing start of 3.2sec, 0-100mph in 6.3sec and a standing quarter-mile in 10.9sec. The previous generation of Porsche 911 GT2 RS, tested in 2018, was a tenth or two faster across the same benchmarks; but in terms of real-world, any-gear, accessible roll-on performance, the Artura slays the GT2 RS by even greater margins (30-70mph in fourth gear: 4.1sec versus 5.1sec), which makes it feel energetic and ready to accelerate at any moment.

And, in 2025-model-year form, there’s certainly an appetite for speed and revs about this car even greater than it had at launch. The V6 certainly feels slightly boostier, happier still and even keener to spin beyond 5000rpm, and is generally that bit more of a presence. To listen to, it’s more interesting and charismatic on the ear also, having greater detail, and audible moments of Porsche flat six and Ferrari flat-plane V8, about its tonality. Flatten the accelerator and the electric motor still floods the lower half of the rev range pretty effectively, covering any latency in the engine’s turbo response so that the turbos can come on that bit stronger later on, and punch that bit harder when they do.

However you characterise its flavour, the Artura is certainly an objectively fast car – and very easy to drive fast. Except, that is, when you choose to dial up Electric on the powertrain mode controller. The gap in the Artura’s performance level between Sport or Track mode and here is something of a chasm, and might make it an ill-advised decision to switch to zero-emissions running when waiting at a busy junction, for example.

Once you have acclimatised to the Artura’s electric-only performance potential, however, you will find it an easy car to drive even here: still responsive if far from fast above about 40mph, ready to cruise even at gentler motorway speeds should you want it to, and good for an electric range of 17 miles on a mixed route.



The supercar of your waking dreams would probably steer like a McLaren. The McLaren Artura’s steering, as with many of its predecessors, has that perfect marriage of weight, pace, feel and animation over a typical UK road so as to feel utterly intuitive, superbly tactile and totally absorbing.

The car’s narrowness (by supercar standards) and its excellent forward visibility play their own parts in making it easy to place and to guide. But the steering is the star attraction. Every rise of camber, every change in grip level and every little impact on either front wheel is felt, but none is admitted to your fingertips so unfiltered that it threatens to divert the car, or to make you tighten your grip on that beautifully trimmed and simple three-spoke steering wheel.

The new MCLA carbonfibre tub carries a 120deg V6 engine, electric motor and 7.4kWh drive battery behind the rear bulkhead, and much of the eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox aft of the rear axle line. The new ethernet electronic architecture also saves weight. The car’s 1552kg weight was distributed 42:58 front to rear on our scales.

And so you can lengthen your focal point, relax your shoulders and carry bigger road speeds in this car in total confidence, knowing that it is secure in its grip levels, consistent in its responses and perfectly in tune with your intentions. McLaren’s damping and engine mounting revisions for 2025 deliver only incremental progress in these respects, on the road at least (we didn’t get the chance to test a car on track); but then little was surely needed. Even in Spider form (in which it’s only 62kg heavier than as a coupe), ithe Artura superbly precise and immaculately controlled in the way that it can take apart a sequence of flowing bends. The chassis never seems to leave you more than an inch from the exact spot on the road you were aiming for, and the lovely, Lotus-like hydraulic steering is perfectly paced and weighted, and feeds back so faithfully and consistently.

After Woking’s damping overhaul, Sport handling mode certainly feels firmer-set than it did, Comfort now being the only one that really lets the chassis breathe a little over bigger lumps and bumps, without ever letting it heave. But on smoother roads, Sport is indeed still usable, and firms up body control to particularly taut levels.

For turn in agility and adjustability, the Artura still isn’t quite in the league of a modern mid-engined Ferrari; but, you sense, even now it isn't really trying to be. It has a different vibe and flavour; one that's about precision, feedback and fluency as much as pinsharp responsiveness and readiness to yaw. The result may be less instantly exciting, but certainly makes for a rounded, versatile supercar.

Comfort and isolation

19 Mclaren artura rt 2022 rear corner 0

The Artura's on-road ride is slightly more prescriptive and surface-sensitive than you might expect it to be, or that Woking's old sport series models perhaps used to be. It needs to be in Comfort mode on its suspension to ride with true fluency over a faster cross-country route, with Sport mode best reserved for the smoothest stretches. And even in Comfort, the car can fuss and fidget with that little snap of aggression over drains and raised edges at low speed.

The Artura’s cutaway sills make it easier to get in and out than most supercars, and McLaren’s standard Clubsport seats, though firm in places, are perfectly comfortable over longer distances.

Needless to say, this is a fairly quiet car at low speed when in Electric mode; less so with the engine running, or at high speeds. Our noise meter recorded 72dBA of cabin noise at a 50mph cruise with the engine running, and still 69dBA with it shut down (2022 Artura coupe). For context, a typical family hatchback cruises with 65-68dBA of cabin noise at that speed – and those cars don’t have super-rigid carbonfibre chassis tubs, of course.



mclaren artura spider review 2024 01

McLaren’s pricing for the Artura positions it in a familiar place between top-end super-sports cars like the Porsche 911 Turbo S, Aston Martin Vantage, Mercedes-AMG GT and outgoing Audi R8, but slightly below the Maserati MC20 and most versions of the Lamborghini Huracán (and well below the Ferrari 296 GTB plug-in hybrid).

As such, the zero-emissions capability that the car offers, and the hybrid supercar status it confers, can almost be considered to have been included for free, given that a V8-engined replacement for the old McLaren 570S probably wouldn’t have been priced much differently.

The wheels are all 19in at the front, 20in at the rear, and the same dimensions whatever design you go for (this is the Dark Stealth wheel finish). Nose-lifter can be had as part of a no-cost option pack.

In 2024, prices for the car have risen to just over £200,000 for a coupe, with a £20,000 premium put on the Spider; which is about typical of the class. You can add a great deal to the final transaction price with expensive options packages; but this, too, is just how business is done in the supercar world - and most customers, many of whom like to think they've simply spent more on their car than the next car club aquantaince, wouldn't have it any other way.



For turn in agility and adjustability, the McLaren Artura still isn’t quite in the league of a modern mid-engined Ferrari; and, though bolder than before, it clearly wouldn’t win a shouting match with a Lamborghini Huracan’s V10. But on both scores, it feels like it’s more interested now in engaging with rivals like those, and the dynamic challenges they pose, than simply doing its own sweet-steering, supple-riding, slightly calculating, though convincing thing. 

This new version seems more like a supercar with something for everyone, rather than one developed to exist in some gloriously isolated, virtuously electrified bubble as it did in 2022. A little bit of extra attitude here would seem to have gone a reasonably long way.

The McLaren Artura’s key performance numbers are eerily close to what the F1 recorded on our own timing gear back in 1994. Which means that, 30 years on, McLaren’s junior supercar has become as fast as its greatest icon.

It’s a car we would still recommend highly to a buyer who wants a supercar suited to varied and regular road and track use that has a deep-running sense of dynamic integrity about it, as well as uncompromising performance, top-level handling appeal and impressively polished drivability in more everyday moments. But it's now also worth considering by those who typically opt for something more direct, demonstrative, bold and characterful.

The Artura is a car that feels enhanced by the process of electrification – but not totally reinvented by it. In so many ways, it’s just a better lower-rung McLaren supercar. It has just enough hybrid technology as was necessary to achieve that; it wears it lightly, and uses it well.

Matt Saunders

Matt Saunders Autocar
Title: Road test editor

As Autocar’s chief car tester and reviewer, it’s Matt’s job to ensure the quality, objectivity, relevance and rigour of the entirety of Autocar’s reviews output, as well contributing a great many detailed road tests, group tests and drive reviews himself.

Matt has been an Autocar staffer since the autumn of 2003, and has been lucky enough to work alongside some of the magazine’s best-known writers and contributors over that time. He served as staff writer, features editor, assistant editor and digital editor, before joining the road test desk in 2011.

Since then he’s driven, measured, lap-timed, figured, and reported on cars as varied as the Bugatti Veyron, Rolls-Royce PhantomTesla RoadsterAriel Hipercar, Tata Nano, McLaren SennaRenault Twizy and Toyota Mirai. Among his wider personal highlights of the job have been covering Sebastien Loeb’s record-breaking run at Pikes Peak in 2013; doing 190mph on derestricted German autobahn in a Brabus Rocket; and driving McLaren’s legendary ‘XP5’ F1 prototype. His own car is a trusty Mazda CX-5.