McLaren debuts first series-production hybrid supercar, the Artura

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McLaren has released details of its much-anticipated high-performance hybrid, the Artura, which will be the company’s first PHEV.

At the heart of its powertrain is an all-new, 2,993cc twin-turbocharged V6 gasoline engine. With a power output of 576bhp, and 585Nm of torque, the dry-sump aluminum engine is compact and lightweight; at just 160kg it weighs 50kg less than McLaren’s current V8 and is significantly shorter, enhancing packaging efficiency.

McLaren has opted for a wide, 120° v-angle for the engine, which is designated the M630, the wide vee allowing the turbochargers to be positioned within the vee. The company states this delivers packaging advantages as well as contributing to a lower center of gravity. It notes that the 120° layout aids performance by reducing the pressure losses through the exhaust system, thanks to the shorter distance from port to turbine for the exhaust primaries.

From a packaging perspective, the hot-vee design will also make it easier for the engine to be transferred to other chassis platforms. McLaren adds the engine is designed to run with a gasoline particulate filter to optimize emissions performance.

The V6 is mated to an axial flux motor generator mounted in the transmission bell housing, with the axial flux topology providing both a shorter package and greater power density than an equivalent output radial flux machine. The motor can add an extra 94bhp to the engine’s output and McLaren states its power density is 33% greater than the unit fitted to its last hybrid, the P1.

The dual propulsion systems are linked via an engine disconnect clutch, driving a newly developed twin-clutch transmission. Despite having one more ratio than the existing McLaren transmission, the gear cluster is 40mm shorter in length. It also requires no reverse gear – the E-motor can simply be engaged backward to reverse the car.

The E-motor is powered by a battery pack comprising five lithium-ion modules, offering a usable energy capacity of 7.4kWh and a pure EV range of 30km. The battery is refrigerant cooled using cooling rails, and the assembly – including a power distribution unit which transfers battery power from the rear of the vehicle to the ancillaries in the front – is mounted on a structural carbon-fiber floor. This assembly is then bolted onto the rear base of the monocoque, optimizing stiffness, weight distribution and crash protection.

The Artura is designed with full plug-in hybrid (PHEV) capability and McLaren claims it can be charged to an 80% charge level in just 2.5 hours with a standard EVSE cable. The batteries can also harvest power from the combustion engine while driving, depending on the driving mode selected.

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently he is responsible for content across UKI Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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