McLaren Artura first drive: A hybrid supercar that adds EV torque to the mix

Better for the environment and the track.

Roberto Baldwin/Engadget

There’s a concern that electrifying supercars will kill their spirit. A breed of vehicle known for massive roars, outrageous designs, and cornering that smooshes your internal organs from side to side while the vehicle sticks to the road.

But electrification is coming and how that’s handled can mean the difference between a vehicle that wins over naysayers or one that fails and gives the gas-or-nothing crowd one more piece of evidence that everything is ruined when a battery is added. McLaren’s Artura is not only an engineering marvel built upon a brand-new architecture; it’s also sure to get everyone on board with the idea of cramming an electric motor into a supercar.

The Artura can do zero to 60 in three seconds. That’s EV fast, and it’s thanks to the supercar’s plug-in hybrid setup. Wedged between a twin-turbo V6 and the 8-speed transmission sits a tiny electric motor that’s powered by a 7.5kWh battery pack. It adds low-end torque at launch and while exiting corners while the gas engine catches up.

On the more environmental side, according to the EPA the Artura can travel 11 miles while in EV-only mode. McLaren noted that it could get up to 15 with more surface street driving. It’s not in the league of the other PHEVs on the market, which offer ranges above 30 miles per charge. Remember though, it’s a supercar with all the joy and excitement that comes with that package.

We got a chance to try it out on the roads around Las Vegas, Nevada, and ended the day with 14 laps around a track. In both situations, it impressed. Watch the video below for the full story.