That’s still quite light, hybrid powertrain and all. The car’s hybrid bits account for just 287 pounds of its curb weight, according to McLaren. That includes the 34-pound e-motor and 194-pound battery pack. The new e-motor is less than half the weight of the one found in the P1 but has 33 percent more power density, according to Sunoj George, McLaren’s head of electric drive technology.
Interestingly, in an April 2021 press release, McLaren reported a 180-degree angle six-cylinder engine was considered for the Artura. If I let my imagination run wild for a second, that could have meant a midship, hybrid flat-six McLaren supercar. But nothing of the sort came to fruition, as McLaren also said the idea was “dismissed because it would raise the height of the crankshaft and therefore the center of gravity of the car.” So it went with the wide-angle V instead.
Still, it’s fun to think about. Why did McLaren initially consider a flat-six? What advantages did it see a flat-six providing? Were any flat-six Artura prototypes ever built? What other engine configurations did it consider before settling on the 120-degree V6?
But Richard Jackson, McLaren’s head of powertrain, put an end to my musings. “It seems like a casual comment made in an interview with a journalist about 180-degree angle has been given much more significance than intended,” he said. “The 120-degree V-angle for the new engine was locked in back in 2014. There were no detailed design studies done on anything other than the 120-degree V-angle.”
Flat-six or not, the new plug-in hybrid Artura should be quite the performer. It also wears the aerodynamic uniform you can expect on all modern McLarens by now, as well as the show-stopping dihedral doors. And with the claimed 19 miles of electric-only range, you can sneak silently around the cul-de-sac without waking the neighbors.