McLaren’s Artura Spider introduces improvements to hybrid supercar | CAR Magazine

McLaren’s Artura Spider introduces improvements to hybrid supercar

Published: 27 February 2024 Updated: 27 February 2024

► New McLaren Artura Spider convertible revealed
► Powertrain and chassis upgrades included
► Power boost will be available for existing coupe owners

McLaren has revealed its Artura Spider – its first hybrid drop-top ever. But, the brand is keen to point out, this isn’t just an Artura supercar that’s been given a retractable roof; the Artura Spider also brings along a raft of improvements that also then span across to the Artura coupe.

Naturally, because it’s McLaren, the Artura Spider’s range of improvements include everything from the infinitesimal to the interesting. The Spider (as well as the revised Artura coupe) are available to order now.

What’s clever about the roof?

A few things. As always, McLaren’s Carbon Lightweight Architecture (which is basically a carbonfibre tub acting as the core of the car) is engineered in such a way that ensures no additional structural work is needed for the Spider. That reduces the amount of total weight added between the coupe and the Spider (the drop-top Artura is only 62kg heavier than the coupe) to keep the Artura’s handling sharp.

The roof mechanism itself takes 11 seconds to raise or lower and can be specified with electrochromic glass (which allows the glass to tint itself in harsh sunlight) which will also automatically dim when the car is locked. ‘We’ve also chosen to put the roof controls on the upper windscreen surround out of the way,’ says the Artura Spider’s chief engineer, Andy Beale; ‘we didn’t want to mess up the Artura’s minimalistic interior or create any packaging issues.’

On top of that, though, the Artura Spider’s windscreen also includes some aerodynamic of its own. Instead of having a wind deflector attached to the top of the windscreen, there are small gurney flaps incorporated into the top edge of the windscreen frame to deflect air away from the cabin. There are even glazed rear roof buttresses to help visibility.

What other improvements are we talking about here?

The Spider, as well as the ‘MY25’ Artura, includes a power boost of 20bhp over the original, with max power now being rated at 690bhp and 531lb ft. All of that shove still comes from the brand’s new 3.0-litre V6 hybrid powertrain, with Beale telling us that ‘the extra 20 horsepower is in the second half of the rev range, and builds a crescendo up to 8500rpm.’

The powertrain itself benefits from new mounts, and the Artura’s eight-speed transmission includes revised calibrations and includes a new pre-fill feature that allows for 25 per cent faster shifts.

That translates into a 0-62mph sprint over with in three seconds, and 0-186mph possible in 21.6 seconds. The Artura’s top speed is rated to 205mph.

The most interesting part? The fact that existing Artura owners can benefit from the 20bhp power boost if they like.

Wait, what?

Yup. Naturally, given the Artura is relatively new, you’d be a bit miffed reading that there’s a tweaked version due out so soon, wouldn’t you? So, McLaren will invite existing owners to dealers that will turn up the wick on their engines via a software remap, matching the ‘MY25’ Artura and Artura Spider. For free.

‘The only time I’ve been aware of something like that was McLaren doing it previously with the 12C,’ says Beale. ‘All it is is a change in the combustion strategy within the IC engine. It’s not something that will be available over the air, but will just mean a dealer plugging in and we turn the car up.’

Anything else I should know?

How does a launch control mode that allows some wheelspin sound? McLaren’s new ‘Spinning Wheel Pull-Away’ mode (catchy, huh?) allows the car to do exactly that, if you like, when using the launch control function.

As well as new colours and ‘stealth’ detailing, additional safety kit has been added including blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. But fear not, McLaren’s not keen on your car nagging you: ‘the lane departure warning has its own button on the dashboard – you don’t have to go through a menu to get to it – and it remembers your preference the next time you drive,’ says Beale. Phew.

A new wireless phone charger is included in the centre console, too. But, unlike most wireless pads that are horizontal, McLaren has designed one that hugs your phone as it stands vertically. Handy for those who are ‘driving enthusiastically,’ according to Beale.

When and how much?

McLaren says the new Artura Spider, as well as the refreshed coupe, are available to order now with the first models arriving in ‘mid-2024.’ Want one? You’ll need to stump up £221,500 before options in the UK.

By Jake Groves

CAR's deputy news editor, gamer, serial Lego-ist, lover of hot hatches