Hybrids & Electrics

The 2022 McLaren Artura is The First Car Ever Built With This Unusual Engine

The 2022 McLaren Artura features a chassis built for a unique hybrid powertrain. Chief Engineer Geoff Grose sheds some light on the engine’s bizarre design. Is this feat of engineering the next step in hybrid supercars?

The 2022 McLaren Artura was built with a purpose

The McLaren logo on a vehicle emblem
The McLaren logo | Brian Cleary via Getty Images

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Chief Engineer Geoff Grose shared details of the Artura’s design process with Road & Track. It was important for the design team to maintain McLaren’s signature characteristics while simultaneously fueling its evolution. For instance, the Artura features hydraulic steering even though many competitors have made the shift to all-electric.

A 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 sits under the hood of the 2022 Artura. The pistons are built at a radical 120-degree angle. This engine design skirts dangerously close to Porsche Boxer territory while maintaining its own identity.

A flat engine would have served the same design needs as the 120-degree V6. Grose chose the obtuse angle to keep the Artura’s center of gravity low. A lower engine height keeps more weight in the vehicle’s mid-line or lower. Far from feeling like a Porsche spinoff, the distinctive engine has carved out its own place in automotive history.

The Artura is light, fast, and precise. Electrified and optimized, it’s still a McLaren at heart. The brand is known for its impeccable dynamics, and the Artura delivers.

McLaren downsized the Artura’s engine

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Powerful V8 engines have defined McLarens in the past. The automaker prioritized keeping the Artura as light as possible. Therefore, McLaren downsized from the brand’s usual V8 to a smaller V6.

A 120-degree angle means shorter crankshafts. This reduction in overall crank length makes for precision balance. The wider piston angle also gave Grose and McLaren room to employ a hot-vee setup.

The Artura’s turbochargers rest in the valley created by the engine’s wide-angle pistons. In short, this reduces turbo lag by cutting down the overall manifold length. Grose told Road & Track that the engine has “…this really direct pathway from the turbo straight out the back of the car. You almost feel like you can look down the tailpipe and see the turbine,”

The Artura’s engine has roots in F1 history

The 2022 McLaren Artura isn’t the first car with a 120 degree V6. In 1961 Sharknose Ferarri 156 hit the Formula 1 track with a wide-angle V6. 20 years later, Ferarri built another 120 degrees V6 for its first turbocharged F1 car.

The 2022 McLaren Artura defies expectations from end to end

Concept art of a lime green 2023 McLaren Artura

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The Artura’s engine isn’t the only feature that sets a new standard for the brand. Grose told Road & Track that McLaren saw an opportunity to improve performance in the rear end. For example, McLaren gave the Artura a brand new rear axle that weighs less and delivers better handling.

Moreover, the multi-link rear-axel will improve the McLaren’s braking stability and toe stiffness. Expanding the rear suspension will provide better agility and handling. Artura is McLaren’s first design to feature a triple wishbone rear suspension.

The Artura is breaking through design expectations; however, it still maintains the pure and simple driving experience that McLaren has become known for. Renewable energy supercars are here to stay. As more models come out, makers will continue to delight with clever and elegant engineering.