McLaren goes with a clean-sheet chassis and engine for Artura supercar

Earlier this year, McLaren unveiled its Artura supercar. When it goes on sale later in 2021, it will become the brand’s new entry-level car, replacing the “Sport Series” cars like the 570S and 600LT. And it really is all-new. All previous McLarens (except the F1) have used different variants of the same V8 engine and versions of the same carbon-fiber monocoque tubs. But the Artura is powered by a V6 plug-in hybrid powertrain, and the carbon monocoque—which has to package the high-voltage battery pack—is similarly fresh. McLaren recently sat down with Ars over Zoom to give us a deep dive into the Artura’s tech; read on to find out what we learned.

MCLA

Until now, McLaren had outsourced production of its carbon-fiber “monocell” chassis to an Austrian company called Carbo Tech. But in 2020 McLaren opened its own composite manufacturing center in Sheffield, England, and the Artura’s chassis—dubbed the McLaren Carbon Lightweight Architecture—will be made in-house.

McLaren says more than 500 pieces of carbon fiber are laser cut and assembled in 72 pre-forms; these make up 11 subassemblies that come together to make the finished tub. It’s not an entirely carbon car, however. Like the current Sport Series McLarens, the Artura will use aluminum body panels. But it still manages to achieve a highly respectable curb weight of 3,303 lbs (1,498 kg).

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