Woking called on Ricardo to come up with a clever V6 engine for the new 2022 McLaren Artura, the lightest hybrid supercar on the market
First, a shout out to a little known company quietly doing all the hard work in the background. Based in the south of England right on the Channel, Ricardo started out more than 100 years ago making tank engines before going on to innovate in just about every area of the auto industry.
This one guy called Enzo Ferrari once commissioned Ricardo to do a 16-cylinder racing engine, which never actually raced because of WWII. And you’ve heard of the McLaren F1 – Ricardo did that transmission, and the one that one Le Mans in Audi’s R8 endurance prototype, and did the research for the twin-clutch in the Bugatti Veyron. The company contributes to numerous racing series around the world, and had its hand in the Ford GT, Jaguar XJ220, Aston Martin Valkyrie, a bunch of Jaguars, Land Rovers, and BMWs, and motorcycles too.
Most notably however, Ricardo designed, developed and built the only engine in use at McLaren for over a decade, and they did it in 18 months. The twin-turbocharged V8 is a 90-degree configuration with a flat-plane crank, doing service in everything from the original 2011 McLaren MP4-12C to the 403km/h Speedtail. Great engine, but to be honest, it got a little repetitive…
Woking has now launched a new model, the 2022 McLaren Artura, the company’s first series-production hybrid supercar. An electric motor delivers 94 horsepower and 225Nm of torque instantly, and supports a zero-emissions driving range of 30km. The star of the show is the new 120-degree 3.0-litre V6 with turbochargers nestled between the cylinder banks in a ‘hot-V’ formation, rated at 577 horsepower and 585 Nm of torque. The all-aluminium V6 is 50kg lighter than the V8 and 190mm shorter, with a short and stiff crankshaft that revs this force-fed engine all the way to 8,500rpm. With a total of 671 horsepower the McLaren Artura does zero to 100km/h in three seconds flat and zero to 200km/h in 8.3 seconds, just half-a-second shy of the 720S. Ricardo did it again.
Available to order now from about $255,000, the Artura boasts a five-year vehicle warranty, six-year battery warranty, and 10-year body warranty, so McLaren can walk the talk. And this V6, the most fuel-efficient engine McLaren’s put in any of its cars, pairs up to a new eight-speed transmission integrating an electronic differential. Despite the batteries on board and an electric motor, the Artura weighs less than 1.5-tonnes ready to go, which means it’s on par with supercars that don’t have hybrid powertrains – it’s only about 60 kilos heavier than the new Porsche 911 GT3 if it’s PDK-equipped. McLaren managed to get the e-motor down to 15.4kg, less than half the weight of the 38kg motor in the P1. Even the wiring loom is 10 percent lighter, and they went to extreme lengths, patenting a lightweight adjustment mechanism for the optional new Clubsport bucket seats.
The design is familiar by now if you’ve ever seen a McLaren, but it’s an all-new vehicle architecture underneath with a carbon fibre monocoque shell as the core, a unit that incorporates the battery housing and weighs just 82kg. As for the looks, McLaren launched the new Artura in a metallic lime hue it calls Flux Green, but we reckon it doesn’t do the car any favours, so here’s one in Ember Orange instead.