All posts in “McLaren”

McLaren Automotive CEO admits there’s a plan for an SUV

Road & Track put McLaren Automotive CEO Michael Leiters through his interview paces, trying to assess how the ex-Ferrari man wants to return the carmaking operation to the top of the charts. Leiter, in place since late 2022, has mainly finished patching the holes in the ship like some organizational issues, delays with the Artura, and securing enough money to stay in business. There’s a long way to go to restore the glow of 12 years ago, when the MP4-12C impressed all with its combination of capability and drivability, however. The company still makes great cars, but of the current lineup, it’s the 750S and 765LT that shoulder McLaren’s aspirational allure; the GTS and Artura haven’t been nearly as convincing to the supercar set, and the balance sheet shows it. RT says 2023’s full-year loss of more than $1 billion on 2,137 global sales equated to McLaren losing more than $500,000 per car.

Naturally, Leiters didn’t get into how the current products might change to address that, but he vowed that supercars and Ultimate Series cars like the P1 and Senna would remain the “first focus.” The CEO believes one way McLaren can hit the front of the pack is by achieving what no competitor has so far: A lightweight EV supercar. There’s one such in development, the curb weight target is around the same 3,300 pounds as the Artura PHEV. “For me, a supercar that weighs two tons is no supercar,” he said. For comparison, the Lamborghini Revuelto is claimed to weigh about 3,900 pounds, the Rimac Nevera comes in at 5,100 pounds.

He also admitted that McLaren’s working on an SUV. Rather, the automaker’s working on a vehicle with “shared performance,” meaning it will fit more than two people, because SUV is still a bad word among superluxury makers until the first SUV is out the door making big bucks. The CEO’s ideal powertrain would be a plug-in hybrid based on a McLaren engine, but the car might not be a solo project, Leiters open to partnering with another automaker to “create synergies” so long as the result makes sure “not to lose anything which is core to McLaren and the DNA of the brand.” The idea’s familiar, we’ve just rarely seen it pulled off at this price point — something around $400,000, supposedly — outside of the Volkswagen Group. 

The CEO had more to say on a range of topics, from too much serial production to too many limited editions, why an EV supercar could still make sense despite a softening market, and why the next Ultimate Series car doesn’t need to be all-wheel-drive even if it’s more powerful than the 903-horsepower P1. Head to RT for the full interview.

McLaren Information

McLaren’s next ultra-exclusive flagship revealed at the end of this year

McLaren will be show the next installment in its Ultimate Series later this year — the range that claims the Senna, Senna GTR, Speedtail, and Elva at the moment. But really, we’re talking about a successor to the cars with a 1 in their names, as in F1 and P1. An Automotive News story says the latest superstar from Woking, England, is expected to cost about $2 million when it arrives in 2026.

It will be sold out long before then, however, if it isn’t already, because McLaren’s only making 400 of them. On top of that, the selection process has gotten more exclusive, McLaren saying those who bought the $2.5M Solus GT track car (pictured) will be offered the first chance to buy the Ultimate Series car. The Solus GT was originally a Vision Gran Turismo fiction that the English firm made 25 real-life examples of, each powered by a 5.2-liter V10 making 829 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque.

Dealers emerging from company meetings in Las Vegas told AN that McLaren showed a rendering of a new car codenamed P18 that combines the more graceful lines of the P1 with “the technical aspects of the Senna.” The car won’t feature the company’s hallmark butterfly doors, either, but is fitted with gullwing doors instead. The police sketch description mentions a new eye-socket headlight design, “floating fenders,” intakes in the hood plus a snorkel in the C-pillar and more intakes at the rear buttresses, and active aero around the hem that includes a front splitter, the rockers, and a deployable wing with a “jewel-like” extension mechanism.

The P18’s powered by an all-new V8 hybrid powertrain unrelated to any other current McLaren product. The internal combustion engine is said to be developed with Riccardo, the hybrid system is said to be 70% lighter than the hybrid unit in the Artura GT. The battery is a “high-density, lightweight” unit derived from the pack in McLaren’s F1 race car. And it sounds like steering precision will be just as fine as ever, McLaren sticking to hydraulic steering to go with a new hydraulic suspension. 

As for a market name, CarBuzz clocked four trademark applications McLaren filed in the UK: W1, MP1, U1, and H1. Any of these could make the grade, or none of them might. And with the reveal not planned until Q4 this year, it’s possible more filings are inbound.

In a separate interview about McLaren’s remade design language, new chief design officer Tobias Sühlmann told Car magazine, “There will be a bigger portfolio, possibly, and we need to look into different power technologies. Is there more than two seats? Yeah, possibly. And we need to develop a form language that separates each model from each other – that is quite important.”

Based on persistent rumors, it’s possible that by the time the new Ultimate Series car arrives in early 2026, we’ll know more about a new McLaren or two that forms the basis of the bigger portfolio of models with more than two doors and two seats.

2025 McLaren Artura Spider loses roof, gains power and performance

Hitting the one-year mark for a new McLaren hardtop model means it’s time for a convertible version. The timeline got fudged with the Artura, the hardtop delayed a tad while McLaren worked out some technical issues. But here we are, the Artura Spider not only packing a clear view to the sky, but 19 more horses from its 3.0-liter V6 and a brace of additional performance tweaks. The mid-mounted engine has been tuned from 577 hp to 596 hp, torque unmoved at 431 pound-feet. Working with the electric motor in the transaxle, combined output is now 690 hp and 531 lb-ft. 

New engine mapping boosts torque delivery, and the retuned gearbox improves shift speeds. McLaren said the eight-speed dual-clutch transmission now keeps the hydraulic fluid pressurized to near the “kiss point” that activates a gear change. Called “pre-fill” in company parlance, swapping cogs takes 25% less time than before. Using launch control, the Artura blitzes from 0 to 60 miles per hour in a claimed 3 seconds, and on to an electronically limited 205-mph top speed. A new feature called Spinning Wheel Pull-Away — which sounds like a Saturday afternoon kung-fu movie move — is the opposite of launch control, allowing the driver to work up a rooster tail of smoke when pulling off the line or out of a car meet. 

Eight motors stow or restore the top panel in 11 seconds, at up to 31 mph. The standard panel comes in carbon fiber, while an electrochromic unit can cycle through five stops from opaque to transparent. Curved polycarbonate panels in the buttresses improve three-quarter visibility and help direct air into the revised vent arrangement on the engine cover. 

Elsewhere, new mounts provide better restraint for the powertrain, revalved rear dampers provide better responsiveness, and recalibrated ABS provides shorter threshold stopping distances. More valving work done to the stock exhaust, and new conical, upward-facing pipes, are said to create cleaner, richer sound.

Standard equipment grows with the inclusion of lane-departure warning and road-sign recognition, the Bowers and Wilkins audio gains new rear speakers and, just for the Spider, a center speaker between the seats. The lithium-ion battery is more efficient with its 7.4-kWh usable capacity, enough to increase pure-electric range in European testing to 21 miles, but not here, holding at 11 miles. And at the corners, there’s a new silver 15-spoke wheel as standard fit, plus an optional gold finish for the wheel range.

All of the changes made under the skin are new to the 2025 Artura Coupe as well. Even better for Coupe owners making do with lesser output, a visit to the McLaren dealer gets a free engine upgrade to add the 19 horses.

Order books are open, and deliveries commence later this year, the Spider starting at $273,800.

Driving the GMC Canyon, and pour one out for the Camaro | Autoblog Podcast #812

In this episode of the Autoblog Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore is joined by Road Test Editor Zac Palmer. They start by discussing the the cars they’ve been driving, including the 2023 GMC Canyon AT4, ECD Jaguar E-Type EV, ECD Land Rover Defender 110 and the Genesis GV60. Next, they hit the news starting with the Chevrolet Camaro production ending. Rumors about the Hyundai N Vision 74 are bandied about, and then the two discuss the latest McLaren iteration named the GTS, which is a refresh of the GT. Lastly, the pair discuss who they think were the most influential leaders in the automotive industry throughout 2023

Send us your questions for the Mailbag and Spend My Money at: Podcast@Autoblog.com.

Autoblog Podcast #812

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Every McLaren 600LT in the U.S. recalled over fire risk

McLaren has issued a recall that applies to every example of the 600LT and 600LT Spider registered in the United States. Built during the 2019 and 2020 model years, the cars included in the campaign are fitted with a faulty joint in the cooling system that could cause a fire.

Assigned recall number 23V-484 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the campaign includes 652 units of the 600LT built between July 4, 2019, and July 16, 2020. McLaren estimates that the defect is present in 100% of the recalled cars. It explains that the “outboard right-hand radiator joint between the temperature sensor housing and the hose running from the outboard radiator to the housing can potentially leak due to inadequate sealing of the joint.” The leak can occur while driving at “high vehicle loads,” like on a track.

If the joint fails, coolant can come in contact with hot components in the engine bay and cause a fire. McLaren’s engineers looked into the issue and traced the problem to the joint’s basic design. Luckily, it sounds like the fix is fairly simple. Owners will be asked to bring their 600LT to an authorized dealer so that a technician can replace the coolant hose, the temperature sensor housing, and the clamp. McLaren adds that the redesigned clamp will ensure the joint doesn’t leak, though it hasn’t explained how the new design differs from the existing one.

The company hasn’t decided when it will notify owners of affected cars.

More V8s on the way: McLaren extends relationship with engine builder Ricardo

McLaren recently announced that it would be extending its partnership with engine manufacturer Ricardo “into the next decade.” The relationship will produce V6 and V8 engines, including both hybrid and non-hybrid variants, at a time when most automakers are eying partial or complete electrification.

The two companies are intimately acquainted, having worked together since the McLaren 12C in 2011, and the partnership has already spanned 34,000 engines. Ricardo builds the engines in its facility in Shoreham, England, and ships them 50 miles to McLaren’s base in Woking. The engine builder said it would “make further significant investment” in its production facility and noted that it already employs more than 100 engineers and technicians on the McLaren powertrains project.

McLaren Automotive’s CEO, Michael Leiters, said that the new “high-performance, hybrid V8 powertrain will form an integral part of McLaren’s next-generation product lineup, delivering best-in-class performance and thrilling driver engagement.” Ricardo’s CEO, Graham Ritchie, echoed that excitement: “We are extremely pleased to have concluded this new engine supply agreement with McLaren Automotive for their next-generation high-performance V8 powertrain, which extends the long-term relationship between both companies into the next decade.”

Despite the enthusiasm, it’s interesting that McLaren is still homed in on gas V8s. Lamborghini’s entire product catalog will be electrified by the end of 2024, and the Italian supercar maker said it would release its first EV before the end of the decade. Ferrari plans to release an EV in the next few years and noted that 40 percent of its sales will be electric by 2030.

McLaren confirmed plans to design hybrid powertrains with this agreement, so it will be interesting to see how the company transitions over the next few years. In any case, the McLaren-Ricardo partnership has produced some impressive vehicles thus far, so there’s plenty to be encouraged about with this extension.

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Goodbye Chevy Bolt, hello baby Ram and electric Chrysler 300 replacement? | Autoblog Podcast # 779

In this episode of the Autoblog Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore is joined by Senior Editor Jeremy Korzeniewski. They kick things off this week with some news. The Chevy Bolt and Bolt EUV will be discontinued. The McLaren 750S gets revealed and a four-door new flagship McLaren are rumored. Did Chrysler show dealers an electric 300 replacement, did we spy a new compact Ram, and are we closer to a production version of the Genesis X Convertible? Also, Greg recently visited Michigan Central Station, which Ford is revitalizing.

In this week’s fleet, your hosts discuss driving the Genesis Electrified GV70, Chevy Tahoe RST Performance Edition and the Polaris RZR XP. Finally, they take to Reddit for this week’s “Spend My Money” segment.

Send us your questions for the Mailbag and Spend My Money at: Podcast@Autoblog.com.

Autoblog Podcast # 779

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McLaren 720S successor teased with startup sound, rear view

A report from February this year pegged April as the official reveal date for the McLaren 720S’ successor, and it’s proven true. McLaren released a teaser on Twitter today, saying that the reveal of a new “benchmark supercar” is coming at 7 p.m. ET tomorrow, April 25.

This vehicle will undoubtedly be the 720S successor, which is currently rumored to be named the 750S. The teaser video associated with the news is a video clip in which the soon-to-be-revealed supercar is started up. You can hear the engine of the 750S fire up and idle for a few seconds before the audio is cut. Listen below.

The report about this new supercar suggested that the 750S will receive an updated version of the 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 used in the 720S. However, power will be raised to approximately 740 horsepower instead of the previous car’s 710 horsepower. The teaser footage isn’t very revealing, but we can see some red LED taillights appear out of the darkness in the video. They look similar in shape and size to the taillights on the 720S, but we don’t know what the rest of the vehicle will look like.

Make sure to tune in tomorrow evening to see what McLaren has in store for us with its next supercar that is following hot on the heels of the PHEV Artura.

McLaren 720S is officially dead

Reports of the McLaren 720S‘s death are not greatly exaggerated. In fact, they are completely correct. Following a report from Automotive News, we reached out to McLaren directly, and a representative confirmed that the supercar is no longer in production. The official statement is as follows:

“We are not taking further customer-specified build orders for 720S, but cars are available through our retailer network.”

With the discontinuation of the 720S, the remaining car in the “Supercar” line, as McLaren calls it, is the recently introduced Artura hybrid. It makes 671 horsepower, a fair bit less than the 710 of the 720S. But it seems the Artura will not be a de facto successor, as there’s something else coming.

The McLaren representative couldn’t say anything about that new car, but the Automotive News report went into some detail, citing McLaren’s president of the Americas region. He makes it sound like the follow-up will still be somewhat derived from the outgoing 720S. We’ll be curious if it utilizes the Artura’s hybrid system, but coupled to a more powerful gas engine. We’ve actually seen 720S testers specifically labeled as hybrid test cars, so it seems quite likely.

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2023 McLaren Artura recalled for fuel leak-related fire risk

McLaren has issued a recall that applies to more than 150 units of the Artura, its new hybrid supercar. The vehicles included in the campaign are fitted with high-pressure fuel lines that can loosen, leak, and ultimately cause a fire because they’re not secured with the right hardware.

Assigned recall number 22V-908 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the campaign includes 164 examples of the Artura built from October 8, 2021, to November 14, 2022. Affected VINs range from SBM16AEA3PW000177 to SBM16AEA1PW000372.

McLaren explained that the recalled cars were built with high-pressure fuel lines held on by cold-formed nuts; the examples that are not part of the recall were manufactured with fully-machined nuts. It added that cold-formed nuts can loosen from the fuel pump over time, especially “during dynamic driving maneuvers commonly associated with track running.” In turn, this can create a fuel leak which increases the risk of a fire. McLaren noted that two cars developed a fuel leak on a track but adds that there are no injuries or accidents related to the defect.

Owners of affected cars will need to take their Artura to the nearest McLaren dealership to get the fuel pipes replaced free of charge. As for the root of the problem, the British company stated it switched to cold-formed nuts in March 2021 due to a shortage of fully-machined parts.

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McLaren sells historic cars to raise cash to fund Artura upgrades

Cash-strapped McLaren Holdings Ltd. has recently sold some of its prized heritage car collection to Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund Mumtalakat Holding Co. to raise capital. 

The supercar maker was forced to seek an injection of funds after identifying “certain technical upgrades” on its Artura hybrid supercar that triggered delivery delays, McLaren said earlier this week during its third-quarter earnings. Its main shareholder — with Mumtalakat owning a near 60% stake — agreed to support the company with an additional £100 million ($123 million), the company said. 

A McLaren spokesman confirmed the sale of some heritage vehicles to the company’s main shareholder in return for the cash infusion, without elaborating on the details of the cars sold. 

McLaren’s heritage vehicles count 54 rare Formula 1 racing cars and F1 supercars, according to its 2021 annual report. The same report states that the company sells cars from its collection from time to time. 

“We are in active talks with all shareholders regarding a recapitalization of the group,” McLaren said on the call, indicating the additional funds won’t be enough. It’s also continuing talks for potential partnerships. 

McLaren reported a loss of £203 million in the nine months through September, compared with a £69 million loss a year ago. Liquidity at the end of the third quarter declined to £87 million, down from £171 million. 

The British marque has sought emergency financing multiple times over the past few years from shareholders amid long delays in the launch of the Artura. The latest round of fundraising comes just months after its shareholders — which also include investment firm Ares Management Corporation and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund — gave £125 million through convertible preference shares.

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McLaren Solus screams into Monterey Car Week with 5.2L V10

Say hi to the McLaren Solus, a track-only supercar transformed from the virtual gaming world and into reality. McLaren just revealed this winged and wildly-shaped beast at Monterey Car Week in California — there will only be 25, and every last one of them is spoken for.

The most unique part of this McLaren is its powertrain, as it’s propelled by a unique 5.2-liter V10 (not a twin-turbo V8!). We didn’t see that one coming. McLaren says the engine makes 829 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque on its way to a redline somewhere above 10,000 rpm. It’s going to scream, and before you ask, McLaren makes clear that it’s nowhere near street legal. Claimed 0-62 mph acceleration is 2.5 seconds, and the top speed is simply listed as greater than 200 mph. 

For the first time in any McLaren, the engine is an integral part of the chassis, removing the need for additional structures or subframes outside the car’s carbon fiber monocoque. The engine is hooked up to a bespoke 7-speed sequential shift gearbox with straight cut gears that you won’t find in any other McLaren, too. 3-D printed titanium is used throughout the car for items like the halo cockpit protection structure. The suspension is a double wishbone design with the front damping being inboard with a pushrod design. The rear suspension is mounted to the gearbox casing — yes, this is some serious stuff . It features 18-inch center-locking wheels, is fitted with LeMans Prototype spec tires and braking is handled by 6-piston monoblock calipers with carbon discs.

This Solus originally saw the light of day as a virtual gaming concept of a hypercar in the Gran Turismo Sport video game. Now, McLaren says it’s the closest thing it’s built to the sensation of driving a Formula 1 car. Curb weight is a miniscule 2,205 pounds, and all of that wild aero — including ground effect tunnels in the full structural floor — is capable of producing “more than” 2,645 pounds of downforce.

It’s a single seater with an aircraft style sliding canopy that opens, allowing you to pop in and out of the car. Each Solus will get a driving seat molded to the owner’s body shape, along with a full race suit, gear and racing coaching to go with. As you’d expect, the Solus can be customized in every way imaginable via McLaren’s MSO program. Deliveries are meant to start in 2023, and no price was provided by McLaren.

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McLaren F1 with unique headlights ready to make auction headlines

With Monterey Car Week coming up, we’re entering the high season for high-dollar auctions. It was just last August when a 1995 McLaren F1 with just 242 miles on it set a record at the Gooding & Co. Pebble Beach auction, selling for just under $20.5 million all-in. And we all know that in the past year the price of used cars has skyrocketed (OK, that’s a joke, we’re talking about an F1 here). But seriously, what price will RM Sotheby’s secure for what it’s billing as a “one of one” F1 that’s headed for the block Aug. 18?

The “one of one” aspect has to do with the car’s headlight configuration. Sotheby’s says chassis 059 of the 64 road cars built was the only F1 to leave the factory with this slimmer headlight arrangement that was meant to increase output. The auction house says headlights were the F1’s Achilles heel: “In night-time driving, output of the stock headlights was noticeably poor, not something that one wants to contend with at 240 mph.” This car was intended to rectify that, with headlight internals borrowed from a BMW Z1. McLaren later fixed the problem in other F1s by swapping and improving lamps within the original headlight housing, but leaving this example as you see it today. 

Now, is that enough to make this F1 truly unique? We’ll find out. The difference is subtle, if you compare it with last year’s sale, F1 No. 025, shown here:

The silver Sotheby’s F1 is a two-owner car. (The original buyer already owned F1 No. 017 but traded that one in for this car in April 1998; the second owner has had it for 10 years.) The car has less than 16,400 miles, which of course is a lot more than last year’s barely-even-sat-in example. Still, you don’t see one of these up for sale every day. Just, mostly, every August. 

Almost as interesting as the car itself is how Sotheby’s plans to sell it. The F1 will be sold “alongside” the Monterey lots, but instead of public bidding, it will be open to sealed bids, somewhat along the lines of the Bring a Trailers and Cars & Bids of the world. Once you’ve submitted, the house’s sealed-bid site will let you know where you rank. Minimum accepted increments for bids on a car in this stratospheric price bracket will be $50,000. Bidding will take place for 48 hours starting at 4 p.m. PDT Aug. 18. All in all, it’s not quite as dramatic as a gaveled live auction — but then again, a lot can happen, and a lot of money can be brought to bear, in 48 hours.

As for the more traditional auction, do check out the rest of the Monterey Sotheby’s catalog, which includes a perfectly purple 1993 Jaguar JX220 among its other delights.

McLaren Artura Trophy lets loose the GT4 race car

McLaren already showed off the new Artura GT4 race car this year, but now there’s another Artura racer being added to the stable. This is the McLaren Artura Trophy, and at its core, it’s an Artura without any Balance of Performance (BoP) restrictions taken into consideration. 

Without having to limit power, add weight or reduce downforce, the Artura Trophy is said to have similar performance to a GT3 class race car as opposed to the GT4 that it’s based on. Just like the Artura GT4, though, the Trophy throws out the road car’s hybrid system in favor of gasoline power only. However, the 120-degree twin-turbo V6 outputs a strong 577 horsepower all on its own. It features an enhanced exhaust system to improve sound, too.

The Artura Trophy was designed with a single-make race series in mind, and that’s exactly where it will compete next year. Independent teams will be able to purchase and run the Artura Trophy in a series called “McLaren Trophy,” and they’ll be eligible to field both amateur and Pro-Am pairings. This series will serve as support to the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe and follow them along to the iconic tracks they’ll race at around Europe. Five total races are planned for 2023, and the tracks include Paul Ricard, Hockenheim, Spa-Francorchamps, Misano and Barcelona-Catalunya. Those who have a McLaren 570S Trophy will also be eligible for entering into this series.

After the McLaren Trophy races are done, though, McLaren says it’s easy to turn the Artura Trophy into a GT4 class race car. Engine management software allows you to re-map it for Balance of Performance compliance, and you can remove aero elements to get it into spec, too.

When you buy an Artura Trophy, McLaren rolls out a whole concierge package for you. This includes hotel bookings, transportation to and from the track and a luxurious paddock that McLaren says is inspired by what you see at Formula 1 races.

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You have less than 2 days left to win a 2022 McLaren GT

Autoblog may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. Pricing and availability are subject to change. No donation or payment necessary to enter or win this sweepstakes. See official rules on Omaze. 

Enter this sweepstakes today and get 50 bonus entries by using the code AUTOBLOG50 at checkout.

Let’s not bury the lede: you have a chance to win a 2022 McLaren GT. That would instantly improve almost anyone’s garage game tenfold. All you have to do is enter here.

Here are the specs for the McLaren GT, according to Omaze:

  • Max Seating: 2
  • Powertrain: Twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 engine
  • Transmission: 7-speed dual-clutch automatic
  • Drivetrain: Rear-wheel drive
  • Exterior Color: Ember Orange
  • Interior Color: Black
  • Horsepower: 612 hp
  • Torque: 465 lb-ft
  • Acceleration: 0-60 mph in 3.1 seconds
  • Top Speed: 203 mph
  • Fuel Consumption: 15/21/17 mpg city/highway/combined
  • Fuel Capacity: 19 gallons
  • Approximate Retail Value: $243,875.00
  • Cash-Alt: $182,906.25
  • Special features: Dihedral “butterfly” doors; 20″ and 21″ MSO wheels; 12.3″ instrument screen; 7″ portrait infotainment screen; 12-speaker Bowers & Wilkins sound system

Here’s what we thought about it, the last time we drove one:

“As the winter settles in, I find myself reflecting on the most memorable cars that I’ve tested this year. Chief among them, the McLaren GT.

“I drove the GT on a damp midsummer evening. After a lengthy heatwave, temperatures dipped into the low 60s and it was raining lightly. Not the ideal time to drive a $263,000 supercar. And yet, it was impossible not to be excited and curious. 

McLaren has come a long way in a short time. With a decade under its belt as a standalone automotive operation, the company is delivering on ambitious growth plans and now counts four product lines in its portfolio, ranging from the Ultimate to this GT.

“It’s a surprising trajectory considering McLaren is best known for making shooting stars, like the 1990s F1 that captured the zeitgeist for supercars of that era. The F1 was followed by the indelible Mercedes-McLaren SLR from 2003-2010. 

“It wasn’t until 2011 that McLaren Automotive — freshly spun off from the racing team — attempted a credible road-going car that could actually be purchased and driven by normal enthusiasts. That car, the 12C, was a first step that ultimately led to proliferation of vehicles and technology for McLaren.

“After a few hours of spirited driving the GT, my conclusion boiled down to one word: maturity. It over-delivered as a grand tourer, though the car is about as much of a GT as the Ford GT, which is to say, not much. My back was a little tight when I returned home, fatigued but not abused. The McLaren GT is a driving workout on par with an Audi R8 or Lamborghini Huracán.

“Performance? It has plenty. But also notable, the fit-and-finish is solid, the looks are striking and it felt like the product of a company that’s been doing this for awhile, which McLaren hasn’t. Certainly competitive with Ferraris and Lamborghis and interesting in its own way. A small shop like McLaren is always going to face challenges achieving scale and consistent prosperity, and the pandemic wreaked havoc on the automaking and racing units. Still, the GT is indicative the company can expand without overreaching.”

According to Omaze, “no donation or payment is necessary to enter or win this sweepstakes.” Donations benefit Make-A-Wish. Per Omaze, “Make-A-Wish creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. Not only can these wishes help kids build the physical and emotional strength they need to fight a critical illness, they also restore hope for families, volunteers, medical teams and entire communities. Right now, for every wish granted, there are three more that need financial support. Your generosity will help Make-A-Wish grant even more life-changing wishes for children when they need it most.”

If you want this head-turning McLaren in your driveway, enter here. The deadline to enter is July 22, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. 

McLaren Artura First Drive Review: Twinsies with Ferrari

MALAGA, Spain — Back in the early 2000s, when my mother was still rapidly spending down the proceeds of a profitable divorce from her second husband, she would occasionally send gifts to me and my boyfriend. One Hanukkah, she mailed us a pair of matching flannel robes from L.L. Bean. At least three other male couples we knew received this gift from a mother that holiday season, so perhaps there was some osmotic zeitgeist wafting in the ether, but this did not make it any more appropriate. Not only do I feel about robes the same way I feel about sweatpants — that they epitomize the most tragic abdication of human effort — but, following a one-time visit to Saugatuck, Michigan, a haven for Midwestern queers in matchy-matchy polos and Bermuda shorts, my partner and I had developed a strict policy: No Gay Twinning.

Decades later, Ferrari and McLaren have both released six-figure, mid-engined, entry-level, 180-inch, rear-wheel-drive sports coupes featuring twin-turbocharged 120-degree V6 engines combined with an electric motor and an integrated battery pack that can be plugged in. I just completed a road drive and track time with the McLaren Artura, and it raises the question: Is this some more of that osmotic zeitgeist, or are the companies twinning each other?

I haven’t yet driven the Ferrari 296 GTB, but I can speak to the ways these cars don’t precisely match. Unlike the Ferrari, which is among the Italian brand’s most potent regular production road cars, with a combined ICE/EV output of 818 horsepower and 546 pound-feet of torque, the McLaren Artura makes do with a paltry 671 hp and 531 lb-ft of twist, placing it downrank in the brand’s lineup. But whereas the Ferrari has 3,700 pounds to motivate, the McLaren has just 3,300. This means that their 0-60 times are evenly matched, at around the 3 second mark, and their top speeds are identical at 205 mph.

McLaren achieves this parity the same way it usually does, via a monomaniacal focus on weight saving. This includes such lunatic wizardry as utilizing an all-new carbon fiber and aluminum sub-structure, thinner front windshield glass, an electric motor light enough to wear as a bracelet, and the aforementioned compact V6. It also implements an ethernet-based electrical system to reduce the weight of all the wiring contemporary vehicles require for their innumerable infotainment features.

With its short wheelbase, overall compactness and all that power, the Artura actually feels lithe on its tires — which, by the way, feature Pirelli’s first production iteration of its sensor and Bluetooth-based Smart Tire, allowing the car to instantly know exactly which type of 235/35/ZR19 (front) and 295/35/ZR20 (rear) tires are on the car — street, track or snow — how warm the rubber is inside the sidewall as opposed to at the rim, and precisely how much air is contained within. George Orwell said ignorance was strength, so I’m not certain why we’d want to know all of this, and the one time I actually got to use the feature on the track, the McLaren tech who was present overruled the red warning light and deflated the rubber to a pressure he deemed more appropriate. Progress!

Because of, or despite, all this engineering effort, the Artura accelerates with commanding alacrity, and very little drama, particularly in manual (paddle-shifted) mode. And its combination of a very stiff carbon fiber structure and softer suspension settings, common to the brand’s grand touring-focused vehicles, gives it a compliance that is missing from other more hardcore supercars. Though it lacks the trick hydraulic body control system featured on other McLarens, its hydraulic steering, something of a rarity in modern cars, provides excellent feedback. Or maybe it was the smart tires communicating with the smart steering wheel, which now moves, along with the instrument binnacle, as the one on my 1977 Porsche 928. Progress, again!

In addition, big carbon ceramic discs provide excellent braking, handy when chunks of the local geology appear suddenly in a blind corner on a spaghetti-twisted mountain roadway. However, achieving bite, like getting into the forbidden fruit of a candy apple, requires some initial firmness, followed, oft-unpredictably, by a crunch or a squish.

The Artura’s ability to motivate itself, if only for 11 miles, solely on electric power, provides a kind of “oh, neat” factor, useful for gotcha sneak-ups on pedestrians or silent escapes to or from extramarital trysts after sneaking down the drainpipe. But I couldn’t detect as much of the “infill torque” that the tiny electric motor is meant to provide at very low rpm, particularly, as referenced above, when the transmission was in automatic mode. The Artura, like some other six-figure hybrids, has so much technology baked in that it has a tendency to hunt, meanderingly, for its algorithmically-derived ideal of potency and efficiency, especially in city driving or during aborted highway passing maneuvers — Second gear! Sixth gear! No gear at all! This results in a hiccup here and there, as frustrating as when your phone refuses to take a command, but perhaps a bit more dangerous. (Also, your phone doesn’t cost $233,000.) Shifting the new eight-speed transmission manually, or driving flat-out on the track, cures the car of this issue. So, just do that, whenever possible.

Fortunately, you kind of can with the Artura, because for an exotic supercar, in this age of outrageous power and performance, the whole package felt rather livable, every day. This is a brand attribute for McLaren, and reminded me of the company’s first production road car in its modern iteration, the MP4-12C (from the era when McLaren named cars after their own license plate numbers). It even looks kind of mild for a supercar, walking (or running) the line between anodyne and AI generated. It’s a supercar for those who don’t want to stand out. Is that a market segment?

I’m not going to attempt to answer this question. It’s rhetorical device, like the aforementioned red herring of comparing the McLaren to a car I haven’t driven. I ask that you indulge me, however, even if this piece may resemble the Zen-like sound of one robe flapping.

Related video:

Make this summer one to remember by winning a 2022 McLaren GT

Autoblog may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. Pricing and availability are subject to change. No donation or payment necessary to enter or win this sweepstakes. See official rules on Omaze. 

Unless you’re an only child, there’s no doubt you’ve experienced the competitiveness that Mother’s Day brings. This year you can take it up a notch beating out the bath bombs and brunch that your siblings are bringing to the table with something no one has any chance of topping: the keys to a 2022 McLaren GT.

Here are the specs for the McLaren GT, according to Omaze:

  • Max Seating: 2
  • Powertrain: Twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 engine
  • Transmission: 7-speed dual-clutch automatic
  • Drivetrain: Rear-wheel drive
  • Exterior Color: Ember Orange
  • Interior Color: Black
  • Horsepower: 612 hp
  • Torque: 465 lb-ft
  • Acceleration: 0-60 mph in 3.1 seconds
  • Top Speed: 203 mph
  • Fuel Consumption: 15/21/17 mpg city/highway/combined
  • Fuel Capacity: 19 gallons
  • Approximate Retail Value: $243,875.00
  • Cash-Alt: $182,906.25
  • Special features: Dihedral “butterfly” doors; 20″ and 21″ MSO wheels; 12.3″ instrument screen; 7″ portrait infotainment screen; 12-speaker Bowers & Wilkins sound system

Here’s what we thought about it, the last time we drove one:

“As the winter settles in, I find myself reflecting on the most memorable cars that I’ve tested this year. Chief among them, the McLaren GT.

“I drove the GT on a damp midsummer evening. After a lengthy heatwave, temperatures dipped into the low 60s and it was raining lightly. Not the ideal time to drive a $263,000 supercar. And yet, it was impossible not to be excited and curious. 

McLaren has come a long way in a short time. With a decade under its belt as a standalone automotive operation, the company is delivering on ambitious growth plans and now counts four product lines in its portfolio, ranging from the Ultimate to this GT.

“It’s a surprising trajectory considering McLaren is best known for making shooting stars, like the 1990s F1 that captured the zeitgeist for supercars of that era. The F1 was followed by the indelible Mercedes-McLaren SLR from 2003-2010. 

“It wasn’t until 2011 that McLaren Automotive — freshly spun off from the racing team — attempted a credible road-going car that could actually be purchased and driven by normal enthusiasts. That car, the 12C, was a first step that ultimately led to proliferation of vehicles and technology for McLaren.

“After a few hours of spirited driving the GT, my conclusion boiled down to one word: maturity. It over-delivered as a grand tourer, though the car is about as much of a GT as the Ford GT, which is to say, not much. My back was a little tight when I returned home, fatigued but not abused. The McLaren GT is a driving workout on par with an Audi R8 or Lamborghini Huracán.

“Performance? It has plenty. But also notable, the fit-and-finish is solid, the looks are striking and it felt like the product of a company that’s been doing this for awhile, which McLaren hasn’t. Certainly competitive with Ferraris and Lamborghis and interesting in its own way. A small shop like McLaren is always going to face challenges achieving scale and consistent prosperity, and the pandemic wreaked havoc on the automaking and racing units. Still, the GT is indicative the company can expand without overreaching.”

According to Omaze, “no donation or payment is necessary to enter or win this sweepstakes.” If you do choose to donate, $10 will get you 100 entries, $50 will get you 1,000 entries, and $100 will get you 2,000 entries. Donations benefit Make-A-Wish. Per Omaze, “Make-A-Wish creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. Not only can these wishes help kids build the physical and emotional strength they need to fight a critical illness, they also restore hope for families, volunteers, medical teams and entire communities. Right now, for every wish granted, there are three more that need financial support. Your generosity will help Make-A-Wish grant even more life-changing wishes for children when they need it most.”

If you want this head-turning McLaren in your mom’s driveway, enter here. The deadline to enter is July 22, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. 

Other Omaze sweepstakes:

Win Mother’s Day by giving your mom a 2022 McLaren GT

Unless you’re an only child, there’s no doubt you’ve experienced the competitiveness that Mother’s Day brings. This year you can take it up a notch beating out the bath bombs and brunch that your siblings are bringing to the table with something no one has any chance of topping: the keys to a 2022 McLaren GT.

Here are the specs for the McLaren GT, according to Omaze:

  • Max Seating: 2
  • Powertrain: Twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 engine
  • Transmission: 7-speed dual-clutch automatic
  • Drivetrain: Rear-wheel drive
  • Exterior Color: Ember Orange
  • Interior Color: Black
  • Horsepower: 612 hp
  • Torque: 465 lb-ft
  • Acceleration: 0-60 mph in 3.1 seconds
  • Top Speed: 203 mph
  • Fuel Consumption: 15/21/17 mpg city/highway/combined
  • Fuel Capacity: 19 gallons
  • Approximate Retail Value: $243,875.00
  • Cash-Alt: $182,906.25
  • Special features: Dihedral “butterfly” doors; 20″ and 21″ MSO wheels; 12.3″ instrument screen; 7″ portrait infotainment screen; 12-speaker Bowers & Wilkins sound system

Here’s what we thought about it, the last time we drove one:

“As the winter settles in, I find myself reflecting on the most memorable cars that I’ve tested this year. Chief among them, the McLaren GT.

“I drove the GT on a damp midsummer evening. After a lengthy heatwave, temperatures dipped into the low 60s and it was raining lightly. Not the ideal time to drive a $263,000 supercar. And yet, it was impossible not to be excited and curious. 

McLaren has come a long way in a short time. With a decade under its belt as a standalone automotive operation, the company is delivering on ambitious growth plans and now counts four product lines in its portfolio, ranging from the Ultimate to this GT.

“It’s a surprising trajectory considering McLaren is best known for making shooting stars, like the 1990s F1 that captured the zeitgeist for supercars of that era. The F1 was followed by the indelible Mercedes-McLaren SLR from 2003-2010. 

“It wasn’t until 2011 that McLaren Automotive — freshly spun off from the racing team — attempted a credible road-going car that could actually be purchased and driven by normal enthusiasts. That car, the 12C, was a first step that ultimately led to proliferation of vehicles and technology for McLaren.

“After a few hours of spirited driving the GT, my conclusion boiled down to one word: maturity. It over-delivered as a grand tourer, though the car is about as much of a GT as the Ford GT, which is to say, not much. My back was a little tight when I returned home, fatigued but not abused. The McLaren GT is a driving workout on par with an Audi R8 or Lamborghini Huracán.

“Performance? It has plenty. But also notable, the fit-and-finish is solid, the looks are striking and it felt like the product of a company that’s been doing this for awhile, which McLaren hasn’t. Certainly competitive with Ferraris and Lamborghis and interesting in its own way. A small shop like McLaren is always going to face challenges achieving scale and consistent prosperity, and the pandemic wreaked havoc on the automaking and racing units. Still, the GT is indicative the company can expand without overreaching.”

According to Omaze, “no donation or payment is necessary to enter or win this sweepstakes.” If you do choose to donate, $10 will get you 100 entries, $50 will get you 1,000 entries, and $100 will get you 2,000 entries. Donations benefit Make-A-Wish. Per Omaze, “Make-A-Wish creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. Not only can these wishes help kids build the physical and emotional strength they need to fight a critical illness, they also restore hope for families, volunteers, medical teams and entire communities. Right now, for every wish granted, there are three more that need financial support. Your generosity will help Make-A-Wish grant even more life-changing wishes for children when they need it most.”

If you want this head-turning McLaren in your mom’s driveway, enter here. The deadline to enter is July 22, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. Pacific.

Other Omaze sweepstakes:

McLaren 765LT Spider Road Test | Clearing the air on Angeles Crest

LOS ANGELES — A sunny L.A. spring day is the ideal complement to taking possession of a nearly $500,000, Ambit Blue McLaren 765LT Spider. Add to that an hours-long midday stint on a nearly empty Angeles Crest Highway and a recipe is crafted for a nearly utopic automotive experience.

The presence of my boyfriend in the right seat was the proverbial cake frosting, save for the fact that he dislikes convertibles and driving quickly. We compromised. If he would join me for the ride, I would attend a museum tour with him at the Lanterman House in La Cañada Flintridge – a suburban town at the road’s western terminus – and treat him to lunch afterward. Drive, Discover, Dine: Date Day. 

Dr. Jacob Lanterman moved to sunny Southern California from dreary western Michigan in the early part of the 20th century, seeking and espousing the health benefits – and relief from pulmonary illnesses like tuberculosis – believed to be offered by the lovely weather and fresh air. He became a major landholder in the Crescenta Valley, at the base of the San Gabriel mountains, built himself and his family a 10,000-square-foot Arts and Crafts-style home out of concrete and steel in 1915 to defend against the fire and earthquakes he’d witnessed in San Francisco, and began subdividing and selling parcels. But the valley’s lack of access to a year-round water supply choked the process.

His grandson, Frank, who lived in the house for his entire life, became a long-serving Republican California state assemblyman, and managed to pass legislation allowing the town access to the same fresh water supply that served Los Angeles, ushering into his pockets loads of cash, and ushering into the valley sprawl, traffic, and smog. Rep. Lanterman countered by introducing the nation’s first legislation mandating pollution reduction devices on cars. California thus became the first state to create tailpipe emissions standards, and require the componentry needed to scrub (some) harmful soot and fumes from the always-inefficient burning of fossil fuels. (Frank sponsored many less helpful initiatives as well.)

Speaking of the inefficient burning of fossil fuels, the McLaren 765LT Spider, which is able to pump 91 octane through its mid-mounted twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 and produce 755 horsepower. And while it sports four gargantuan exhaust portals – lined up (and sounding) like the business end of a mortar – it at least spews far less air-corrupting garbage into the atmosphere than your grandmother’s LeSabre thanks to those tailpipe emissions standards, which allow the air surrounding Angeles Crest, while not perfectly clear, to generally no longer feel like grime stew.

This was a bonus for me during my reverential drive up and down the highway, as deep breathing is requisite when piloting a half-million dollars worth of peak British exotic through about 1,000 hairpin turns already occupied by hostile bicyclists, ripping motorcyclists, tumbling granite and suicidal wildlife.

It is difficult to enunciate the perfection of the 765LT Spider. I could critique the extortionate pricing like the $730 car cover, the $5,500 paint color or the $2,120 carbon fiber front license plate plinth. I could gripe about the fact that a car that costs this much doesn’t include Apple CarPlay. I could note that clambering into the car, and its highly-bolstered carbon-shell seats, requires contortions that would challenge a champion ecdysiast. I could whine that once you’re in there, there’s literally no place to put your stuff except a little webbed pocket on the firewall. But that would be nitpicking.

This car is an absolute blast, in the literal and figurative sense of the word. Acceleration is blistering – 0-60 mph arrives in 2.3 seconds, 100 in just twice that – enthralling and eminently repeatable. Though the car’s belt line was around my neck, forward visibility is shockingly ideal; one can practically see the road as it appears just beyond the front bumper, important when attacking the aforementioned blind curves. The braking, with ceramic composite discs, and calipers borrowed from the trackable Senna hypercar, is immediate, wonderfully balanced, and perfectly modulated.

The seven-speed dual-clutch transmission works telepathically in automated mode, but is far more alluring to rifle off shifts with the steering wheel-mounted paddles; in the sportiest setting they replicate a chiropractor’s adjustments. Grip is nothing short of agglutinate, aided by Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tires, developed especially for McLaren, in sizes 245/35/R19 (F) and 305/30/R20 (R). Approaching their limits is like approaching the limits of the universe. And the engine, while not the most melodious, certainly sings. There is not so much a power curve as an inexhaustible reservoir of omnipresent vigor. One can mash the accelerator any time in any gear and experience the exhilaration of takeoff. 

The last time I drove this road was in the Ferrari SF90 Stradale. The experience was very different, and it helped me understand why billionaires have more than one exotic. The Ferrari’s plug-in hybrid powertrain and all-wheel-drive grip made for even more astounding acceleration and handling. But the McLaren was more engaging, more of a connected partner. The Ferrari drove better, but the McLaren made me feel like a better driver. (Don’t ask my boyfriend if he would concur. He said his eyes were closed most of the time.)

Also, the McLaren is a convertible, which – despite the protestations of bitter naysayers who despise joy – makes every road car better. It allows occupants to be immersed in the world, to exhilarate in life-giving energy as the scenery rips by. And it allows them to enjoy the air. We can thank Frank Lanterman, in part, for that.