Skip advert
Advertisement

New McLaren Artura Spider is an aerodynamic tour de force

McLaren’s first series-production plug-in hybrid supercar loses its roof, but none of its performance

As is tradition, McLaren has taken a hacksaw to the roof of its latest production model, lopping off the lid to create the all-new Artura Spider. The maker claims performance is “almost indistinguishable” compared with the coupé, thanks in part to a 19bhp power boost that will soon be made available free of charge to existing McLaren Artura customers.

Advertisement - Article continues below

With the roof up, the McLaren Artura Spider looks nearly identical to the coupé. The nose is unchanged, and only once you reach the top of the A-pillars do you start to notice any visual or aerodynamic tweaks. Here, a pair of gurneys have been incorporated into the top of the windscreen – designed to reduce buffeting when the roof is lowered.

The Spider is based on the same core carbon-monocoque construction as the coupe, and McLaren says most of its additional weight (62kg) comes from the one-piece retractable hard-top. Made from carbon fibre, it’ll open or close in 11 seconds at speeds of up to 31mph. McLaren product director Jamie Corstorphine told us there is “no loss of rigidity” with the top tucked beneath the carbon-fibre tonneau cover. 

That roof can be optioned with electrochromic glass, which McLaren claims can block up to 99 per cent of sunlight at the flick of a switch. Customers can also raise or lower the rear window independently of the roof. With the hard-top stowed away, visibility is improved by a set of transparent glazed buttresses unique to the Spider – a feature that also incorporates the rollover structure, as well as aiding air flow towards the back of the car.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

There is further aerodynamic trickery around the engine bay, necessary due to the fact that the 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 is completely covered when the roof is tucked away. The cooling vents and ‘hot vee’ chimney are located further back on the Spider, for example, while there’s an additional pair of rear deck inlets unique to the drop-top. Even the shape of the roof is designed to channel flow towards the engine, and in turn, push unwanted hot air out the back.

That aforementioned performance boost comes courtesy of a recalibrated hybrid powertrain, though the extra 19bhp is provided solely by the V6 motor. Total combined output is 690bhp, while peak torque stands at 720Nm, with its delivery apparently optimised by “minor changes to electronic mapping”. McLaren says the Artura Spider will accelerate from 0-62mph in three seconds flat and do 0-186mph in 21.6 seconds. The top speed is limited to 205mph.

The damping has also been revised for 2024, with McLaren claiming increased response rates of up to 90 per cent. The eight-speed dual-clutch transmission has been tweaked too, with shift speeds up by as much as 25 per cent. 

In addition, the maker is using this opportunity to introduce a new launch-control setting it dubs its ‘Spinning Wheel Pull-Away’ feature – in effect, a burnout function that disengages the electronic stability control to allow for “dramatic wheelspin when accelerating from a standstill”. As before, power is sent to the rear wheels via an electronic differential.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

To ensure customers feel the full aural benefit of its new open-top supercar, McLaren has tweaked the exhaust setup with a new valve system, which Corstorphine says gives a “cleaner” sound to “envelop” the driver and passenger. An optional sports exhaust will also be offered for greater engagement; the system uses genuine sound waves from the exhaust system to send extra noise from the tailpipe into the cabin.

Of course, being a plug-in hybrid, the Artura Spider is capable of running without its combustion engine for short periods of time. Despite there being no change to usable capacity, increased efficiency means the 7.4kWh battery now allows for a slightly longer 21-mile EV range. This is a 200mph-plus supercar with CO2 emissions of 108g/km, and combined fuel economy of almost 60mpg.

Other changes over early Artura models include a new set of engine mounts, which the company’s engineers say offer a tangible improvement in powertrain movement “especially when under load” – allegedly improving stability, steering feel and overall agility, delivering a “more precise, more involving drive”.

Inside, the Artura Spider largely mirrors its coupé counterpart, with its fully digital driver’s binnacle and small, portrait-oriented touchscreen, which continues to support Apple CarPlay but not Android Auto. The instrument cluster moves up and down to mirror the position of the steering wheel, which remains free of buttons or switches for a “clean” design. A pair of gearshift paddles sit behind the wheel, as in all McLaren models.

McLaren says its Clubsport seat will be fitted as standard in most markets. It claims the design offers the support of a lightweight bucket seat, but with the motion expected of a moveable backrest. A “more traditional, but appropriately sporting” heated seat with electric memory adjustment will also be available.

New ‘Stealth’ badging will be standard on the Artura for the 2025 model year, though silver badges will be a no-cost option. Customers can specify a Bowers & Wilkins stereo specific to the Spider, featuring an additional rear centre speaker designed to optimise the “convertible-specific acoustic requirements”.

All cars get a new 15-spoke silver wheel as standard, while a gold ‘Orum’ finish is also available. A 10-spoke Super Lightweight wheel joins the options list and can be specified with optional titanium wheel bolts that McLaren claims save 400g of unsprung mass.

The Artura Spider is available to order now, priced from £221,500 (£32,300 more than the coupé), with first deliveries expected in the summer.

Click here for our list of the best supercars...

Skip advert
Advertisement
Deputy editor

Richard has been part of the team for over a decade. During this time he has covered a huge amount of news and reviews for Auto Express, as well as being the face of Carbuyer and DrivingElectric on Youtube. In his current role as deputy editor, he is now responsible for keeping our content flowing and managing our team of talented writers.

Skip advert
Advertisement

Recommended

Top 10 best ‘Easter eggs’ in cars
Best car easter eggs - header image
Best cars & vans

Top 10 best ‘Easter eggs’ in cars

Easter Sunday – commonly referred to as ‘stuff your face with chocolate day’ – is rapidly approaching, so what better way to celebrate than exploring …
29 Mar 2024
Best supercars on sale 2024
Best supercars - header image
Best cars & vans

Best supercars on sale 2024

These are the cars at the absolute pinnacle of performance, driving thrills and head-turning style, the best supercars on sale…
23 Feb 2024

Most Popular

New 2024 Vauxhall Frontera is a family-friendly SUV priced to worry rivals
Vauxhall Frontera - front
News

New 2024 Vauxhall Frontera is a family-friendly SUV priced to worry rivals

Vauxhall’s value-focused Frontera SUV will replace the Crossland with ICE and EV powertrains
9 Apr 2024
Car Deal of the Day: stylish Peugeot 2008 is a steal at an incredible £142 a month
Peugeot 2008 facelift - full front
News

Car Deal of the Day: stylish Peugeot 2008 is a steal at an incredible £142 a month

Buyers can snap up the Peugeot 2008 small SUV at a bargain price; it’s our Car Deal of the Day for 10 April at just £142 a month
10 Apr 2024
Alfa Romeo Milano 2024 preview: walkaround, specs and full details
Alfa Romeo Milano - front 3/4 static
News

Alfa Romeo Milano 2024 preview: walkaround, specs and full details

Alfa Romeo re-entered the small SUV sector with the new Milano offered in pure electric and petrol forms
12 Apr 2024