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McLaren Artura First Drive Review: Twins with Ferrari

MALAGA, Spain – Back in the early 2000s, when my mother was still rapidly spending her earnings from her profitable divorce from her second husband, she would occasionally send me and my boyfriend presents . A Hanukkah, she sent us a matching pair of flannel gowns from LL Bean. At least three other male couples we know received this gift from a mother that holiday season, so perhaps there are some osmotic zealots wavering in the ether, but this doesn’t make it more appropriate. Not only do I feel about the gowns the same way I feel about sweatpants – they are the epitome of the most tragic abdication of human endeavor – but, after a one-time visit to Saugatuck , Michigan, a Midwest gay haven in matchy-matchy polo shirts and Bermuda shorts, my partner and I developed a strict policy: No same-sex couples.

Decades later, Ferrari and McLaren Both have released rear-wheel drive, mid-engine, six-figure, 180-inch sports coupes that feature a twin-turbo 120-degree V6 paired with an electric motor and an electric motor. integrated motor. the battery package can be plugged in. I just finished a road trip and track time with the McLaren Artura, and it begs the question: Is this some more of that permeable zeitgeist, or are the companies twinning?

I haven’t driven yet Ferrari 296 GTB, but I can talk about the ways in which these cars don’t exactly match. Unlike the Ferrari, one of the Italian brand’s most powerful regular production road cars, with a combined ICE/EV output of 818 horsepower and 546 pound-feet of torque, the McLaren Artura does with 671 hp and 531 lb-ft. twist, placing it down the ranks in the brand’s lineup. But while Ferrari has £3,700 to motivate, McLaren only has 3,300. This means their 0-60 times are matched evenly, at around 3 seconds, and their top speeds are identical at 205 mph.

McLaren achieves this in the same way it usually does, through a focus on saving weight. This includes lunatic wizards like using a carbon fiber and aluminum substructure, thinner front windshield, electric motor light enough to wear like a bracelet, and the aforementioned compact V6 engine. It also implements an ethernet-based electrical system to reduce the weight of all the wiring that modern vehicles require for their multitude of infotainment features.

With its short wheelbase, compact overall, and all that power, the Artura really feels tired on the tyres – by the way, there’s Pirelli’s first production iteration of sensors and Smart Tires based on Bluetooth, allowing the car to instantly know exactly which tires 235/35 / ZR19 (front) and 295/35 / ZR20 (rear) are in the car – street, track or snow – how warm of the rubber inside the sidewall compared to the rim and exactly how much air is contained inside. George Orwell says ignorance is power, so I’m not sure why we would want to know all of this, and the one time I actually had to use the feature on the track, the McLaren technician had face passed the red warning light and deflated the rubber to a pressure he deemed more appropriate. Evolution!

Because, or in spite of, all this engineering effort, the Artura accelerates with commanding sensitivity and very little drama, especially in manual mode (the paddle movement). And the combination of the very stiff carbon fiber construction and softer suspension setup, common to the brand’s big touring-focused vehicles, gives it a compliance that other types Other cars are harder than missing supercar. Although it lacks the hydraulic body control typical of other McLarens, its hydraulic steering, a rarity in modern cars, provides excellent feedback. Or maybe it’s the smart tire that communicates with the smart steering wheel, now moving, along with the instrument gauge, like the one on my 1977 car. Porsche 928. Progress, again!

In addition, the large carbon ceramic disc provides excellent brake, useful when sections of local geology suddenly appear in a hidden corner on a spaghetti-twisted mountain road. However, achieving the bite, like eating the forbidden fruit of a candy apple, requires some initial firmness, then, unpredictably, with a crunch or creak.

The Artura’s self-motivation, if only for 11 miles, uses only electric power, providing a sort of “oh, neat” factor, useful for sneaking around with pedestrians or escaping in silence. silence to or from extramarital trials after sneaking down the drain. But I couldn’t detect much of the “intake torque” that the tiny electric motor is meant to provide at very low rpm, especially, as mentioned above, when the transmission is in low rpm mode. automatic. Artura, like some other sixs crossbred, there’s so much technology baked into it that it tends to hunt, twist, for its algorithm-based ideals of potency and efficiency, especially when driving in the city or in races. Crossing Highway Aborted – Number Two! Sixth gear! No devices at all! This leads to hiccups here and there, as annoying as when your phone refuses to execute a command, but perhaps a little more dangerous. (Also, your phone doesn’t cost $233,000.) Manually shifting the new eight-speed transmission, or driving sideways on the track, fixes this problem. So just do it, whenever possible.

Luckily, you can do it with the Artura, because for an exotic supercar, in this age of unsurpassed power and performance, the whole package is liveable every day. This is a brand attribute of McLaren and reminds me of the company’s first production road car in its modern version, MP4-12C (from the era when McLaren named cars after their own license plates). It even looks pretty light for a supercar, walking (or running) the line between anodyne and a generated AI. It’s a supercar for those who don’t want to stand out. Is it a market segment?

I will not try to answer this question. It’s a rhetorical device, like the aforementioned red herring to compare the McLaren to the car I haven’t driven. I ask you to enjoy me, however, even if this piece may resemble the Zen-like sound of a flying cloak.

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