The hybrid McLaren Artura ushers in a new era for the brand, but don’t expect an all-wheel drive version.

    With Sport Series production having come to an end, the British brand will have a different model structure moving forward.

    “The Artura brings a new structure to our model line-up whereby we have a GT offering, a two-tier supercar offering comprised of Artura and 720S, and then our Ultimate Series models at the top,” said McLaren global public relations head Piers Scott.

    “That gives us very clear space from a price/positioning point of view, with Artura sitting perfectly at the mid-way point between the GT and between the 720S.”

    McLaren has also confirmed there are no plans for an all-wheel drive version of the Artura, of which global deliveries will begin in the third quarter of 2021.

    “We’ve got no plans to engineer an all-wheel drive version on this chassis. There are some benefits of all-wheel drive but there’s also a weight penalty,” said chief engineer Geoff Grose.

    “We’re always evaluating those things but we believe quite strongly we’ve got plenty of traction at the rear, we’ve got good weight distribution, we don’t need it to achieve what we want to achieve with the car.”

    The Artura is underpinned by the new McLaren Carbon Lightweight Architecture and packs a twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre petrol V6 and an electric motor.

    Total system outputs are 500kW of power and 720Nm of torque, with a pure-electric range of 30km from its 7.4kWh lithium-ion battery.

    It’s good for a 0-100km/h sprint time of 3.0 seconds, a 0-200km/h time of 8.3 seconds, and a top speed of 330km/h.

    If you’re concerned about the sound it makes, McLaren has assured it won’t use fake engine noises.

    Instead, sound from the exhaust is piped into the cabin.

    The Artura uses a new e-differential on the rear axle, though it has stuck with hydraulically-assisted steering and McLaren’s Proactive Damping Control.

    Along with the battery housing, the MCLA has a new electrical system that allows McLaren to include a full range of active driver assists and a fresh infotainment system.

    Inside, there are also new Clubsport seats designed to allow tall drivers to stretch out even with the backrest reclined.

    The Sport Series went out with a bang with the 620R, a road-legal version of the 570S GT4 race car.

    Unveiled in December 2019, it packed a 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V8 petrol engine producing 456kW of power and 620Nm of torque.

    Production ended earlier in 2021.

    The short run of the 620R also marked the end of the 540C, 570S, 570GT and 600LT, leaving the 720S, 765LT and GT as the only V8-powered McLarens.

    Also retaining V8 power is the Elva, which sits at the top of the McLaren range under the Ultimate Series banner, an appellation used for models like the Senna and Speedtail.

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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