McLaren chases a newfound measure of hybrid supremacy

At one time, if you wanted to drive at a sustained 250 MPH, you had two options. One was to head for the Bonneville Salt Flats when the Southern California Timing Association hosts Speed Week, the opportunity to arrow across the blinding white crust at supersonic velocity, if you dare risk the flesh and capital. The other was to enter the 24 Hours of Le Mans and scream down the Mulsanne straight before the chicanes were installed. A half-century ago, a longtail Porsche 917 teased at 240 and Mulsanne, and the tiny Rondeau prototypes of the early 1980s and the Peugeot 905 some 20 years later were the only cars known to flirt regularly with the magic number since then. Thanks to McLaren, however, the genuinely rich will have the chance to chase it on their own.

It’s called Artura, as the spy image here makes clear, and McLaren says this car will be the culmination of its experience in adapting hybrid powertrains to the most extreme performance imaginable. The Artura, due in the first half of 2021, will be the first car in the supercar category to use Woking’s new hybrid-specific platform, and will stand as a follow-on to the McLaren P1 of 2012 and to the more recent Speedtail Hyper-GT, which had a factory-certified top end of 403 km/hr, which works out to 250 MPH. Set for production in the U.K. at the McLaren Composites Technology Centre, the Artura will mate the marque’s High-Performance Hybrid powertrain technologies with an all-new twin-turbocharged V-6 engine, running on gasoline. This will be the first hybrid McLaren to see volume production, as opposed to being an ultra-lightweight competition or track-day car such as its semi-EV predecessors. As they say, details to come.

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