McLaren has released the first full-body image of its upcoming Artura, and confirmed that the first High-Performance Hybrid will be digitally revealed on February 17th. The teaser picture doesn’t give too much away, although photoshop tweaking suggests that it’ll borrow more than a few design features from the 720S and GT. That’s to be expected, of course; rest assured that what lies beneath the skin is very much all new – carbon architecture and turbocharged V6 included.
That’s all been on the chopping board for some time – even the Artura name was confirmed back in November – but the exact details are still under wraps. Regardless, expect next to nothing to be carried over from McLaren’s existing models, with the PHEV six-cylinder set to deliver a complete change of character. After all, the manufacturer’s line-up has become synonymous with the Ricardo-built V8, enjoying the strengths – and weaknesses – of the turbocharged unit since the 12C.
The Artura’s new (and Sheffield-made) Carbon Lightweight Architecture is no less important. For one thing, it’s set to underpin all versions of the High-Performance Hybrid class. It’ll almost certainly be adaptable to increasing levels of electrification, too – although it’s unclear at this stage just how much battery power the new model will be supplied with. It seems reasonable to assume that the Artura will feature beyond 600hp, if only so that it properly fills out its position in the wider range. But the split of V6 and electric drive obviously remains a closely guarded secret.
Beyond that, there’s the fact that the Artura is the first variant in a line-up that’s intended to power McLaren through a decade of unprecedented change – while retaining the brand’s USP; namely an obsession with lightweighting and carbon fibre. We’re inclined to think the car already looks the part, but the devil, as ever, is in the details. The manufacturer has typically proved more than capable in that department. Next week, we’ll know for sure what hybridisation actually means for its near-term future.