McLaren lifts lid on new Artura Spider and gives hybrid supercar extra power

Just in time to start thinking about summer road trips

The new drop-top version of the McLaren Artura has been revealed, and with it a boost in performance for the already-rapid hybrid supercar.

Although the car’s lower body is essentially identical to that of its fixed-roof sibling, the Spider is distinguished by its one-piece folding hard-top, which retracts in just 11 seconds.

And while the Spider gets the same plug-in hybrid powertrain as the coupé, McLaren has used the car’s unveiling as a launchpad for a new 20bhp power hike for both versions. Existing owners of the coupé need not grumble, though, as that power boost is being offered as a free-of-charge update.

Electrified performance

With that, all Artura models now produce an ample 690bhp from their 3-litre V6 petrol engine and electric motor. As well as getting more power, the system has been recalibrated to provide better power delivery, while the exhaust has been revamped to provide a “cleaner” sound when the engine is running.

And thanks to new settings, the car can flick through its eight-ratio gearbox even more rapidly, with shift speeds claimed to be reduced by 25 per cent.

McLaren has also tweaked the car’s battery to provide a slightly greater electric range of 21 miles on a single charge — up from 19 miles.

One of the lightest of its type

As well as making those improvements across the Artura range, McLaren says the Artura Spider is one of the lightest convertible supercars on the market, weighing 1,560kg. That’s just 62kg more than the coupé, and thanks to the lightweight but strong carbon-fibre monocoque that underpins both the coupé and the Spider, most of that weight increase is down to the folding roof mechanism, rather than any extra strengthening to compensate for the removal of the overhead solid structure.

Like the powertrain and bodywork teams, the chassis engineers have also been hard at work, tweaking the car’s suspension with new hardware and electronics, applying those upgrades to both the convertible and coupé models.

McLaren says all these changes allow the Spider to achieve “outstanding circuit ability”, as well as much the same performance figures as the coupé. It accelerates from 0-62mph in three seconds flat and will hit 124mph in just 8.4 seconds. After 21.6 seconds it’s possible to hit 186mph, and it’ll keep going all the way to the maximum speed of 205mph.

To slow the car down, both McLaren Artura versions get carbon-ceramic brakes with new lightweight callipers, as well as new brake cooling ducts. That means slowing from 62mph to a standstill takes 31 metres, according to McLaren, while dropping from 124mph to a standstill will require just 124 metres.

Aerodynamics is key to the Artura’s ability

Airflow plays a key role in the Artura — both in coupé and convertible forms — so McLaren has fitted the Spider with its own aerothermal cooling system that allows the powertrain to remain cool while reducing air buffeting for the car’s occupants.

That includes more sculpted roof buttresses, which channel air into the ducts used to keep the engine bay temperatures down, and windscreen surround gurneys that reduce buffeting in the cockpit.

When the roof is up, meanwhile, the panel’s shape has been designed to channel air towards the cooling outlets, accelerating the flow of warm air from the engine bay.

Inside, the Artura Spider gets much the same interior as the coupé, with customers offered a wide choice of trims and materials. There’s an intentionally “clean” steering wheel devoid of buttons — in stark contrast to the tech-heavy Ferrari wheels — and a tidy Clubsport seat design that’s standard in most markets. McLaren has also fitted its latest-generation infotainment technology complete with smartphone connectivity.

For those who want to personalise their vehicle, McLaren has announced a revised range of options, including interior and exterior carbon components and a new, faster vehicle nose lift. Silver badging is a no-cost option, while ‘Stealth’ badging — black badges with a black McLaren logo on the wheels — is standard.

Prices for the Artura Spider start at £221,500 for the standard car, while three further interior specifications are offered for £5,050 each. The Performance option is sportier, the TechLux option focuses on technology, and the Vision is designed to feel more adventurous.

“The new Artura is absolutely the complete next-generation supercar, whichever model you choose,” claimed McLaren Automotive CEO, Michael Leiters.

“We have upgraded the powertrain and the chassis systems to deliver more power, more dynamic performance and even higher levels of connection with the driver — without any compromise in everyday driving.

“And now alongside the new Artura coupé we have the Artura Spider, a new convertible that has all of these improvements and brings another dimension of open-air McLaren supercar exhilaration to our range.”

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