McLaren Unleashes its Artura PHEV Hypercar

McLaren has finally published full details of its long anticipated hybrid hypercar, the McLaren Artura.

Despite a claimed 0-62mph sprint potential of under 3 seconds, the new also claims a zero-emission range of up to 19 miles in city traffic. As with all the sports brands road and race products, the Artura’s reflects McLaren’s super-lightweight engineering philosophy when adding hybrid powertrain elements including an E-motor and battery pack.

Its weight reduction program, from the chassis platform, debuting of the new McLaren Carbon Lightweight Architecture (MCLA), through the compact HPH powertrain system to the weight of cabling used in the electrical systems has resulted in the Artura having a lightest dry weight of 1,395kg (3,069-lbs). The total weight of hybrid components is just 130kg (286-lbs) resulting in a DIN curbweight of 1,498kg (2,395-lbs) matching supercars that do not have hybrid powertrains.

At the heart of the Artura’s powertrain is McLaren’s new 2,993cc twin-turbocharged V6 gasoline engine. With a power output of 581bhp and 431ft-lbs of torque, the dry-sump aluminum engine at just 160kg (352-lbs) it’s a small passenger’s weight less than a McLaren V8 and is significantly shorter.

The 120° v-angle of the engine, which allows the turbochargers to be positioned within the ‘hot vee’, also contributes to a lower centre of gravity. The layout increases engine performance by reducing the pressure losses through the exhaust system and allows for a stiffer crankshaft that enables a rev limit of 8,500rpm.

Working with the engine is a compact axial flux E-motor, located within the transmission bell housing. Smaller and more power-dense than a conventional radial flux E-motor, it is capable of generating 92bhp and 165ft-lbs of torque. All this enables claimed ‘off-the-line’ performance including a 0-124mph in 8.3 seconds and 0-186mph in 21.5 seconds on the way to a top speed limited to 205mph.

The E-motor, which takes care of reversing by literally rotating in the opposite direction, is powered by a battery pack comprising five lithium-ion modules, offering a usable energy capacity of 7.4kWh. The battery is refrigerant cooled using cooling rails, and the assembly, including a power distribution unit which transfers battery power from the rear of the vehicle to the ancillaries in the front, is mounted on a structural carbon fiber floor. This assembly is then bolted onto the rear base of the monocoque, improving stiffness, weight distribution and crash protection.

The Artura is designed with full plug-in hybrid capability and can be charged to an 80% charge level in just 2.5 hours with a standard EVSE cable. The batteries can also harvest power from the combustion engine during driving, tailored to the driving mode selected. The car is available to order now (depending on market) in a choice of four specifications with UK pricing from £185,500 ($257,520).

Geoff Grose, chief engineer, McLaren Artura, said: “From the very beginning of the project, designing and engineering the Artura has been all about challenging ourselves to innovate, pushing and pushing to achieve everything we knew a next-generation, High-Performance Hybrid McLaren supercar had to be. As a result, the Artura is all-new; the carbon fiber monocoque, electrical architecture and the body and interior are new. So too is the V6 engine, the transmission, which also integrates a new type of electric motor for the industry, as well as the rear suspension concept and our first-ever electronic differential.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *