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Likes

  • Drop-top enhances sound and style
  • Impossible long power band and 8500rpm redline
  • Sublime steering

Dislikes

  • Cabin ergonomics take some getting used to
  • EV whir can be a less-than-enticing soundtrack
  • Exhaust note can drone on a constant note at freeway speeds

Obviously the headline item of the new McLaren Artura Spider is the ability to drop the top and feel the wind in your hair, or, should you live in Melbourne, at least the damp mist on your face.

But this new plug-in powerhouse has plenty more to offer than just its folding hardtop.

The coupe and convertible are more powerful, there’s a new and louder exhaust, faster gear shifts, a richer rev range, better suspension and better braking.

Oh, and there's a new feature designed to unlock your inner hooligan, but we’ll come back to that one in just a moment...

But at its core, the Artura Spider is a plug-in hybrid monster that goes someway to previewing the future of the supercar species.

Does electrification enhance the excitement? We strapped in to find out.

Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?
8 / 10

Prepare to enter the rarefied air of the supercar world. The McLaren Artura Spider lists at $525,010, or about $50K more than the hardtop Artura, which has also been updated for 2025 and lists at $477,310.

Either way you’re staring down the barrel of around half a million to climb into the new Artura. But kudos to McLaren for offering the new model’s power upgrades, courtesy of a relatively straightforward software update, to owners of the current-gen Artura at no charge.

Anyway, for that spend you get a whole heap of power and performance, of course, but there’s also some new safety stuff and a new launch control designed to unleash your inner hooligan.

It’s called the 'Spinning Wheel Pull-Away' feature, which is essentially a burnout mode allowing you to light up the rear tyres, and even flick through the gears as they’re spinning, attracting the attention of passers-by and the local police in equal measure.

You’ll find it is all angles and alloys outside.
You’ll find it is all angles and alloys outside.

Add to that a redesigned exhaust that delivers a louder and more natural soundtrack, and it begins to become clear the Artura wants to leave any suggestion that it is somehow a mild supercar in its rear-view mirror.

Elsewhere, you’re riding on staggered alloys which are 19 inches up front and 20 inches at the rear, wrapped in Pirelli P-Zero rubber.

And then there’s the roof, which is a lightweight carbon-fibre and composite design operated by eight individual e-motors.

Also new in the cabin is a wireless charge pocket, while a digital dash is joined by a slightly off-looking but effective low-mounted central screen. Standard is a five-speaker McLaren-branded stereo, and rear glass screen is automatic and heated.

Artura Spider interior pictured.
Artura Spider interior pictured.

Is there anything interesting about its design?
9 / 10

As is pretty par for the course with McLarens, the Artura's design is more about aerodynamics than aesthetics, with everything you see outside designed to either help you slip through the air, or stick to the road.

There is, however, one important new part of the design, and that is the roof, which opens in 11 seconds and at speeds of up to 50km/h, meaning you should never be caught in sudden rain.

Electrification doesn't hamper excitement in the McLaren Artura Spider.
Electrification doesn't hamper excitement in the McLaren Artura Spider.

Elsewhere, you’ll find it is all angles and alloys outside, while inside, it is a pretty driver-focused experience. I particularly love the steering wheel, which is totally free of buttons – a refreshing change which means it has one job and one job only.

Then there’s the central screen, which looks a bit like it’s just been plonked in the cabin, but works seamlessly. One note, though. It's positioned a little too low, meaning you have to take your eyes right off the road to look at it when driving.

The Artura's design is more about aerodynamics than aesthetics.
The Artura's design is more about aerodynamics than aesthetics.

How practical is its space and tech inside?
8 / 10

Practical? Not really, but then, what were you expecting? There are two seats, some 124 litres of luggage space in its under-bonnet boot, phone connections and… well, that’s about it.

One design element I do love, which counts as a practicality perk, is the glass finish applied to the rear buttresses, which don’t just look cool, but help you see out the back when peering over your shoulder.

Artura Spider interior pictured.
Artura Spider interior pictured.

What are the key stats for its engine and transmission?
9 / 10

The magic of the Artura’s powertrain isn’t the twin-turbocharged V6, but its dinner-plate-sized e-motor, which adds 70kW and 225Nm to the total outputs.

In EV mode, which lasts around 33km, that’s all the power you get. But when both power sources are in use, the e-motor essentially plugs any turbo lag or power holes, delivering smooth, constant and massively ample power.

How much power? Try 515kW and 720Nm — up some 15kW on the existing Artura — unlocking a sprint to 100km/h in 3.0 seconds, a run to 200km/h in 8.4 seconds and from a standstill to 300km/h in 21.6 seconds.

I don't think I've driven a car in which the distance between its twin personalities is so vast.
I don't think I've driven a car in which the distance between its twin personalities is so vast.

That power is fed through an eight-speed automatic and channelled to the rear tyres, with the help of an 'E-Diff', while pre-configured 'Electric', 'Comfort', 'Sport' and 'Track' modes arrive as standard, too.

There are also a heap of suspension and software enhancements, longer-laster braking, stiffer engine mounts to tighten the entire vehicle, faster damping, significantly quicker gearshifts and a broader rev range.

What is its fuel consumption? What is its driving range?
9 / 10

You can plug the Artura in, of course, and taking the 7.4kWh battery from zero to 80 per cent charged will take around 2.5 hours. McLaren reckons you can expect fuel use of around 4.8L/100km when both powertrains are in operation.

Be warned, though, there’s enough magic used to fill Hogwarts when it comes to calculating that number, and you can expect that figure to likely double if driving sedately, and skyrocket if you get on Tinder terms with the accelerator.

Artura Spider rear pictured.
Artura Spider rear pictured.

What's it like to drive?
9 / 10

I know it sounds strange, given how knife-sharp and angular the McLaren Artura Spider looks, but perhaps this plug-in powerhouse's biggest party trick is not how it operates at its 8500rpm redline, but how it behaves at low speeds in town or cruising on the freeway.

This is a properly comfortable supercar, happily tootling around in near-silence in in EV mode, or just cruising around, the improved damping smoothing out the road below and the exhaust note barely noticeable.

Honestly, there was a moment on this test drive when I found myself in EV mode with the roof down while travelling at around 70km/h, and I could hear birds chirping as I passed them, such was the calm ambience of the cabin.

This is a properly comfortable supercar.
This is a properly comfortable supercar.

Supercars aren't designed as daily drivers, but the McLaren Artura Spider is so effortlessly easy to live with you could use it as your weekday runabout, before unleashing it on the weekends.

Open the taps a little more, though, and suddenly that nature changes, unlocking a darker and more dynamic side to the McLaren's personality, courtesy of the 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6, putting the entire 515kW and 720Nm at your disposal.

I don't think I've driven a car in which the distance between its twin personalities is so vast. Plant your right foot and the acceleration (0-100km/h in just 3.0 seconds) is properly violent, while the gearing has been set up in a way that it is near impossible to hit the redline on a public road – at least without obliterating the speed limit.

Supercars aren't designed as daily drivers.
Supercars aren't designed as daily drivers.

The steering is a predictable highlight – super direct, and near-telepathic in the way it responds to your inputs. The eight-speed auto goes about its work with seamless efficiency, too.

The biggest highlight, though, is the Artura's agility. McLaren is famed for taking an approach to removing weight from its vehicles that is so ruthless it's a miracle they don't make prospective owners step on a scale before handing over the keys. And while its true convertibles are heavier than their hardtop counterparts, you can't tell in the Artura Spider.

Instead, the brand has worked to remove weight and tighten the drive experience, mostly through new and stiffer engine mounts and that single piece carbon-fibre tub, which is why there is no additional body stiffening required in the convertible over the coupe.

The steering is a predictable highlight.
The steering is a predictable highlight.

As a result, the Spider feels light, lithe and super reactive, devouring corners with no jiggling or roll and no different (in that sense) to the hardtop version we drove last year.

One of the other big changes the brand made this time around is to retune the exhaust, making it louder and more natural-sounding, and you can take advantage of that in the Spider, with the rich bass filling the cabin as though your own personal orchestra is being conducted by your right foot.

So, if you're in the camp that says electrification has no place in the world of supercars, you're wrong. Electrification doesn't hamper excitement here, it enhances it.

You could use it as your weekday runabout.
You could use it as your weekday runabout.

What safety equipment is fitted? What safety rating?
8 / 10

There's new stuff in the world of safety, too. For one, there’s lane monitoring, which McLaren — ever keen to maintain the purity of its drive experience — is quick to point out you can switch off, and when you do, that it stays off until you switch it back on again.

That said, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are optional, and you’re more chance of a Powerball win than seeing a Artura Spider crash-tested by ANCAP for an independent safety rating.

The Spider feels light, lithe and super reactive.
The Spider feels light, lithe and super reactive.

What warranty is offered? What are its service intervals? What are its running costs?
8 / 10

The Artura arrives with a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty as standard, while the battery is covered for six years or 75,000km. Five years of roadside assistance is thrown in, as are your first three years of services.

The Artura arrives with a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty as standard.
The Artura arrives with a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty as standard.

Verdict

McLaren’s most liveable offering proves hybrid heroes have a place in the supercar stable of tomorrow. Angry and affable in near-equal measure, it is utterly docile during the week and completely bonkers on the weekend.

Note: CarsGuide attended this event as a guest of the manufacturer, with travel, accommodation and meals provided.

Andrew Chesterton
Contributing Journalist
Andrew Chesterton should probably hate cars. From his hail-damaged Camira that looked like it had spent a hard life parked at the end of Tiger Woods' personal driving range, to the Nissan Pulsar Reebok that shook like it was possessed by a particularly mean-spirited demon every time he dared push past 40km/h, his personal car history isn't exactly littered with gold. But that seemingly endless procession of rust-savaged hate machines taught him something even more important; that cars are more than a collection of nuts, bolts and petrol. They're your ticket to freedom, a way to unlock incredible experiences, rolling invitations to incredible adventures. They have soul. And so, somehow, the car bug still bit. And it bit hard. When "Chesto" started his journalism career with News Ltd's Sunday and Daily Telegraph newspapers, he covered just about everything, from business to real estate, courts to crime, before settling into state political reporting at NSW Parliament House. But the automotive world's siren song soon sounded again, and he begged anyone who would listen for the opportunity to write about cars. Eventually they listened, and his career since has seen him filing car news, reviews and features for TopGear, Wheels, Motor and, of course, CarsGuide, as well as many, many others. More than a decade later, and the car bug is yet to relinquish its toothy grip. And if you ask Chesto, he thinks it never will.
About Author
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