July 25, 2024
Industry News

First Impressions of McLaren Artura Spider: Dropping the Top on the Plug-in Hybrid Supercar

MONACO – The convenient way to transform the McLaren Artura into a convertible would have been to remove the coupe’s roof and be done with it. However, the company opted for a more challenging approach: Along with a power-folding top, the Artura Spider introduces a plethora of updates that will also benefit the coupe.

Implementing improvements on the Spider makes sense: McLaren points out that convertibles typically account for 70% to 75% of a model line’s sales, and the Artura is particularly crucial as the newest addition to the range. It serves as an entry point to larger cars like the 750S.

While McLaren remains devoid of SUVs (for now; that’s set to change soon), there’s one trend it couldn’t avoid: electrification. Similar to the coupe, the Spider is equipped with a plug-in hybrid powertrain comprising a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6, an axial-flux electric motor, a liquid-cooled 7.4-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack, and an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

Generating 690 horsepower at 7,500 rpm and 531 pound-feet of torque at 2,250 rpm, the system has received a 19-horsepower increase for the Spider’s 2025 model year. McLaren has also adjusted the power curve and enhanced the transmission’s shift speed by approximately 25%.

McLaren claims a 0-60 mph time of 3 seconds, with 124 mph reached in 8.4 seconds. The top speed is 205 mph, and the electric motor can propel the Artura for about 21 miles at up to 81 mph. Braking from 62 mph takes 102 feet.

Engineers have revamped the engine mounts, amplified the exhaust system, added revised brake ducts, and made alterations to the suspension’s hardware and software. Inside, a newly-standard wireless device charger has been integrated into the center console. McLaren emphasizes the effort put into this feature to prevent phones from sliding around during spirited driving.

Lane departure warning and speed limit detection are now standard, with the option for blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warning systems. Even a performance-focused car requires driving assistance in 2024.

“There was nothing wrong with the original car, but we had ideas to make it even better,” summarized Andy Beale, a 22-year McLaren veteran currently serving as the company’s chief engineer.

Unchanged is the chassis, which, like its fixed-roof counterpart, is constructed around a carbon fiber monocoque with aluminum subframes. The stiffness of the tub eliminates the need for convertible-specific reinforcements, helping to maintain a manageable weight. The Spider weighs in at 3,439 pounds, just 136 pounds heavier than the coupe.

The increased weight can be attributed to the hard top, which can be raised or lowered in 11 seconds at speeds up to 31 mph. McLaren has added a “header gurney” to the windshield frame to act as a wind deflector, along with an optional electrochromic roof for letting light into the cabin when the top is up.

Finished in Volcano Blue, the Spider attracts attention — it’s not for those seeking subtlety. The dihedral doors alone command notice, drawing spectators in anticipation of a celebrity exit. The exhaust note has received particular attention from McLaren, adding to the driving experience with authenticity and volume. The Spider’s sliding rear window offers a balance between open-roof and closed-roof driving.

Creating a hybrid supercar is a balancing act. McLaren has leveraged its hybrid and weight-saving expertise to offset the system’s added weight and maintain handling dynamics. With the battery located low in the chassis and behind the driver, the center of gravity is lowered. The V6 engine’s design and placement further contribute to the overall balance.

These elements combine to create an unforgettable driving experience. McLaren’s driver-centric approach shines through in the Artura Spider, offering a well-balanced, responsive, and engaging driving dynamics. Steering feedback is excellent, providing a direct connection with the road.

The Spider’s user-friendly nature makes it easy to drive around town or on the highway. While not ideal for long road trips due to limited storage space, it could serve as a daily driver for solo or light-travel outings. Interestingly, the Spider lacks a glove box, a quirky feature even for a supercar.

The transmission excels in spirited driving, providing quick shifts and a manual/automatic mode switch. However, it can be clunky in stop-and-go traffic. A unique feature is the absence of a reverse gear, with reverse engaged via a button that spins the electric motor backward.

The electric motor, rated at 94 horsepower and 166 pound-feet of torque, complements the driveline with seamless integration of power and a subdued hybrid driving experience.

Whether the Artura is preferred as a coupe or a Spider is subjective, but the updates enhance both variants overall. With engaging dynamics, quality craftsmanship, and everyday usability, the Artura Spider showcases McLaren’s prowess in the supercar realm.

Deliveries of the 2025 McLaren Artura Spider are slated to commence in the third quarter of 2024. Pricing starts at $281,008, inclusive of $5,000 transportation and port processing charges, as well as a $2,208 American Accessories Pack containing travel essentials. The updated 2025 Artura coupe will follow later in 2024, priced at $256,308.

The company also addresses current Artura owners by offering a free software update to unlock the extra horsepower introduced in the 2025 model. However, traditional phone charging methods will still apply.

FAQ

Q: What is the top speed of the McLaren Artura Spider?

A: The Artura Spider can reach a top speed of 205 mph.

Q: How much does the McLaren Artura Spider weigh?

A: The Spider weighs 3,439 pounds.

Conclusion

With a blend of performance, luxury, and innovative technology, the McLaren Artura Spider sets a new standard for convertible supercars. Its meticulous engineering, user-friendly features, and electrifying driving experience make it a standout in its segment. Whether cruising along the coast or tearing up the track, the Artura Spider delivers an exhilarating and unforgettable ride.

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