Hello sunshine: We tested McLaren’s Artura Spider hybrid

Zoom in / The 2025 model year introduces the option of a retractable hardtop for the McLaren Artura, as well as a host of other upgrades.

McLaren

MONACO – The idea of ​​an “entry-level” supercar may seem like a contradiction in terms, but every car company’s lineup has to start somewhere, and in McLaren’s case, that’s the Artura. When Ars first tested this mid-engine hybrid in 2022, it was only available as a coupe. But for those who prefer things in the fresh airThe British automaker has now given you that option with the addition of the Artura Spider.

The Artura represents a step forward for McLaren. There’s an all-new carbon fiber body tub, advanced electronics architecture (with a few VCUs replacing the dozens of individual ECUs you might find in some of its other models), and a highly capable hybrid powertrain that combines twin motors. V6 turbo petrol engine with axial flow electric motor.

More power, faster shifts

For the 2025 model year and launch of the $273,800 Spider, McLaren’s engineering team has given it a facelift, even though it’s only two years old. Total power output has increased by 19 hp (14 kW) thanks to new engine mapping for the V6, which now has a slightly greater boost from 4,000 rpm all the way to the 8,500 rpm redline. Our test car was equipped with the new sports exhaust, and it’s not obnoxiously loud. It makes some interesting noises when you lift off the throttle in the middle of the rev range, but like most turbo engines, it’s not particularly pleasant.

Combined with the 94 hp (70 kW) electric motor, it gives the Artura Spider a healthy 680 hp (507 kW), which helps offset the extra 134 lbs (62 kg) due to the car’s retractable hardtop. There are stiffer engine mounts and new throttle maps, and the dual-clutch transmission shifts 25 percent quicker than we saw in a car launched two years ago. (These upgrades are carried over to the Artura Coupe as well, and the good news for existing owners is that an engine reset can be applied to their cars as well, by visiting a McLaren dealer.)

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Despite the hybrid system – which uses a 7.4 kWh traction battery – and the roof mechanism, the Artura Spyder remains a remarkably light car by 2024 standards, with a curb weight of 3,439 lb (1,559 kg), making it lighter than any comparable car . In the market.

In fact, choosing a similar car is a bit difficult. Ferrari will sell you a hybrid convertible in the form of the 296 GTS, but you’ll need another $100,000 or more to get behind the wheel of one of those, which is actually a competitor to the (non-hybrid) 750S. McLaren mid-range model. Any other mid-engined droptop car would be propelled by dyno juice alone.

What conditions do you want today?

It's easy to drive around town, and driving on a winding road is a lot of fun.
Zoom in / It’s easy to drive around town, and driving on a winding road is a lot of fun.

McLaren

You can drive it using just the electric motor for up to 11 miles if you keep the powertrain in E mode and start with a fully charged battery. In fact, when you start the car, it starts in this mode by default. Outside of E mode, the Artura will use reserve power from the engine to charge the battery while driving, and it’s very easy to select a target charging state if you want to save some battery power for later, for example. When connected to a Level 2 charger, it should take about 2.5 hours to reach 80 percent.

The car is light enough that 94bhp is more than enough for the 20mph or 30km/h zones you’re sure to encounter whether you’re driving this supercar through a rural village or passing camera-wielding car spotters in town. . Electric mode is dangerous, and the car won’t start the engine until you switch to Comfort (or Sport or Track) mode via the control on the right side of the main instrument display.

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On the left side is another control to toggle the chassis settings between Comfort, Sport and Track. As for road driving, I never felt comfortable, and I’ll leave it to the actual track. The same goes for setting up the drivetrain on the track; For the open road, the Sport is soundly superior, comfort is well judged for everyday use and will kill the V6 when it’s not needed. Instead, Sport and Track uses the electric motor – mounted inside the eight-speed transmission case – to fill in torque when needed, similar to an F1 or LMDh race car.

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