Cars > Peek

McLaren takes the roof off the Artura

Despite the added weight, performance is similar to the fixed-roof variant

A subtle midlife update for the rich person undergoing a midlife crisis. PHOTO FROM MCLAREN

McLaren has unveiled the open-top variant of its twin-turbo V6 plug-in hybrid Artura, and also given the model a little power boost and a facelift.

A full 700hp is now raging inside its carbon-fiber shell, which is an increase of 20hp over the old version. Coupe owners who now fancy the same power increase will be delighted to learn that it’s also available to them via a free software update from their local dealer.

That’s because the power increase is entirely digital and done by remapping the engine, rather than changing anything in the metal.

Even coupe owners can take advantage of the additional power from a free engine remap. PHOTO FROM MCLAREN

The petrol-fueled powerplant alone churns out 605hp from its compact and only 160kg light package, while the axial flux electric motor adds another 95hp to the mix. It also enables the car to drive up to 33km in fully electric mode, thanks to a 7.4kWh battery pack.

Power is sent to the rear wheels through a revamped eight-speed transmission that can now shift 25% faster. The setup also includes an electronically controlled differential.

A redesigned exhaust so you can hear it better with the roof down. PHOTOS FROM MCLAREN

The firm also reworked the exhaust system that now includes a tuned resonator and upward-pointing conical tailpipes for an improved experience of the six-banger symphony.

Apparently, it now features a cleaner sound that will engulf the passengers, but if the stock version still sounds too tame for you, then there’s also an optional sports version. That one pipes even more music into the cabin thanks to an exhaust ‘symposer’ and should satisfy even the hardest-of-hearing driver.

The lightweight retractable hardtop makes for no tangible difference between the convertible and the coupe. PHOTOS FROM MCLAREN

One of the highlights of this machine is no doubt the retractable hardtop that opens the car up to the elements in a mere 11 seconds and while driving at up to 50km/h. It can also be ordered with an electrochromic glass panel that either brightens the cabin when the roof is closed or blocks up to 99% of sunlight.

The whole mechanism has added only 62kg to the weight of the car, which cuts a tidy figure from all angles. Thanks to this small increase in weight, performance figures are almost the same as for the coupe.

It's still really fast and has a dedicated burnout mode. PHOTOS FROM MCLAREN

The sprint from zero to 100km/h is done in three seconds, 0-200km/h in a mere 8.4, and 0-300km/h in 21.6. Top speed is stated as 330km/h, which makes it one of the fastest hair dryers around.

The launch control now has a new mode called “Spinning Wheel Pull Away,” which might as well be called “YouTube Influencer Mode” and enables those not skilled enough to do a manual burnout to still look like they know what they’re doing behind the wheel.

This looks like a cozy cabin to spend your time in. PHOTOS FROM MCLAREN

Four drive modes (Electric, Comfort, Sport and Track) give the best settings for every situation, while the cabin will come with McLaren’s Clubsport seats as standard in most regions.

These chairs promise the best of both worlds: sufficient comfort during everyday driving for the sometimes not-so-young-anymore clientele, and solid grip on the racetrack when things get more serious.

Two high-definition screens deliver information and entertainment, while a five-speaker stereo (standard) or a 12-speaker Bowers & Wilkins surround-sound system (optional) keeps the music pumping.

Is this worth P15.75 million to you? PHOTO FROM MCLAREN

A new 15-spoke silver wheel comes as standard, and various finishes (as well as the Calibre 10-Spoke Super-Lightweight wheel) are paid-for options, as are titanium wheel bolts that shave a full 400g of the car’s unsprung weight.

If all this has whetted your appetite, then McLaren will happily take your order now, providing you have at least £221,500 (P15.75 million) to spend.

That UK-based price includes a three-year service plan, a five-year unlimited mileage warranty, a six-year or 75,000km battery warranty, and even roadside assistance for five years. Configure yours here.

Frank Schuengel

Frank is a German e-commerce executive who loves his wife, a Filipina, so much he decided to base himself in Manila. He has interesting thoughts on Philippine motoring. He writes the aptly named ‘Frankly’ column.