Goodwood Test: McLaren Artura 2023 Review

The best McLaren yet..?
28th March 2023
Ben Miles



Time is rushing on rapidly, and we’ve now hit the point where even relatively low-volume supercar manufacturers cannot ignore it. The Artura is McLaren going part-electrified for reasons other than pure performance for the first time.

The main question here is going to be whether a plug-in hybrid McLaren serves a purpose. It’s a supercar, it’s meant to be mental. Hybridisation made the McLaren P1 even more mental, not better for the world. Does wafting around for a short period at low speeds in all-electric mode make sense?

We like

  • Hybrid power delivery is brilliant
  • Magnificent chassis
  • Can run in electric mode

We don't like

  • Derivative looks
  • Not happy in full electric mode
  • Low EV range



Website structure dictates that I start here, but really I’d quite like to bury my thoughts on the Artura’s visage further down, lest it colour your view on my opinion on the car as a whole. Why? Because this is lacklustre at best. If you’ve ever been near a 570S and a 720S then you’ll look at the Artura, cock a head, and wonder why we’re making a fuss over something McLaren has made for years.

At the front, the Artura gets some now-standard McLaren cut in lights, as first seen on the 720S, and from then it could just be the 570. Similar roofline, mostly same rear with some McLaren GT elements added in. It’s a bit like they either couldn’t be bothered or forgot to really design it. In fact, the section between cockpit and rear wheels seems to not have any design features whatsoever.

But let’s move on, because the design doesn’t matter once you’re inside the Artura.

Performance and Handling


And that is because, to spoil the twist straight away, this is the most rounded McLaren I have ever had the fortune to drive. It takes some of the stunning handling characteristics of the 720, improves them, adds an engine that suffers from none of the issues that the V8 had from time-to-time, and brings it together in an easy and engaging package.

Starting with the powertrain, because this is a series of firsts for McLaren. To start off, it’s not a big V8, but a V6. A 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged V6 to be precise. There’s 120 degrees to that vee, also a first, which has allowed McLaren to put those turbos between the banks, packaging the engine tightly like that in an F1 car and bringing the centre of mass down.

The Artura has an eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox, into the bellhousing of which has been positioned an electric motor. There are precisely eight gears, the task of reversing is entirely taken by the electric motor. The trad V6 brings 585PS (430kW) while the electric motor adds 95PS (70kW). That means a combined 680PS (500kW) and 584Nm (431lb ft), perhaps not the most amazing numbers, but what’s special is how they are realised.


Most of the time, that little electric motor’s job is pure torque fill. While the two turbochargers wake up on the big lump, the electric motivation provides a thump to the back. You’ll feel the car accelerate in a much more linear fashion than any McLaren before it, from the moment you pick up the throttle. Take the GT, which requires you to live above 6,000rpm to extract its maximum, whereas the Artura at almost no point demands a sudden drop of cogs to get it shifting. Sixty rushes on in three-seconds flat, a number comparable to the big boy 720, and top speed has been limited to 205mph.

The chassis is pure McLaren, but with the company’s first e-diff added in. This electronic addition at the back works with a pair of clutches to fling the Artura’s power in the right direction at all times, and you can really feel how it works. Turn in is paired with an open rear, allowing the back to just drift into place before you call upon the power, at which point it snaps shut to send power everywhere and force you forward with the kind of pleasing thump that makes you smirk. The front suspension has been tuned for a pin sharp turn in, which means that you can find yourself swearing at the Artura’s ability to face a tight corner at speed while you try to find its limits.

The steering is heavy, which has caused some differences of opinion, but I like it. This is a hydraulically-assisted rack rather than electric, and it hits my personal preferences. The communication is top notch, which is helpful with a car so willing to just chuck itself around corners.



I was never a fan of the old McLaren interiors, with the alien looking mounting of the screen just below two circular air vents. It also didn’t feel like it worked as well as its rivals.

The Artura feels more modern. The screen now stands proud of the centre console and is angled toward the driver. The software on it is still not totally intuitive, but all functions are simplified for ease of press. The vents are built into the dash, rather than standing proud and a feature line down the middle pulls the dash design together.

Controls for chassis and powertrain – still separate – are now on rockers either side of the dashboard and the centre console only has five buttons, gears, start and hazard lights. This feels like McLaren getting it more right than before, even if some things can still be fiddly, like the controls for the seats.

Technology and Features


Obviously the key thing here is the plug-in hybrid system. Its EV-only range is 19 miles, but expect that to drop significantly in the real world. Charging comes from a flap on the other side of the car to the petrol tank and is done through the standard DC charger. The electric motor is not mounted to either axle, but pretty cleverly packaged within the bell-housing of the gearbox. It works… fine as a pure EV, but constantly feels like this is not what the Artura was meant for. Acceleration without the petrol motor is insignificant – it’s a 95PS unit, not 500 – and the transmission whine is quite intrusive.

Inside, we’ve only tasted the Artura with the £4,400 “Performance Interior” pack, which brings the leather, Alcantara wheel and lovely metal-finished gear paddles. The infotainment system (eight inches) and digital dash (ten inches) are simple, but not incredibly intuitive. The rotary dial on the side at times works better than the touchscreen, but the sound system (McLaren’s own four-speaker setup) works reasonably well.



It remains quite hard to quantify the Artura. Yes the kinks that obviously beset its first press launch seem to have been ironed out – although our car did have a fit and refuse to start at one point – and there’s something truly special there. But while the hybrid tech enhances every aspect of driving the car, that stops as soon as you ask it to look after itself.

When driven as a whole it’s an enriched McLaren experience for the changes that the Artura has undergone. The electric motors make the power delivery much more linear, far more predictable than its predecessors, and certainly than the manic GT. The new chassis and suspension setup are intuitive and the electric diff feels like something honed over decades rather than a first try.

But as a plug-in hybrid? Then it makes very little sense. There’s no real gain for efficiency as the Artura’s range is tiny and it frankly hates being in EV mode. The payoff is that if you have charged the Artura you’ll have that hybrid boost for longer before it runs out than if it was “self-charging”. The answer here seems to be to get the Artura and never ever run it in EV mode. Then you’ll have possibly my favourite car that Woking has ever produced.


Engine 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged V6 with electric motor
Power 680PS (500kW) @7,500rpm
Torque 720Nm (531lb ft) @ 2,250rpm
Transmission Eight-speed automatic gearbox
Kerb weight 1,498kg
0-62mph 3.0 seconds
Top speed 205mph
Fuel economy 61.5mpg
CO2 emissions 104g/km
Price From £189,200 (£211,700 as tested)

Our score

4 / 5

This score is an average based on aggregated reviews from trusted and verified sources.

  • Top Gear
    4.5 out of 5
  • Autocar
    4.5 out of 5
  • Auto Express
    4.5 out of 5