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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

McLaren gives Artura a softer lid to create new drop-top Spider

Despite being heavier than the original coupe, the Spider produces more power and will also get from 0-100 km/h in the same three seconds.

With three years having passed since the debut of the hard-top coupe, McLaren has finally revealed the soft-top Spider version of the Artura with added power and a smidgen more spec.

Down in 11 seconds

The latter tweaks set to be applied to the coupe as well, Woking’s first plug-in hybrid cabriolet supercar looks comparatively unchanged from its sibling on first glance, though a closer observation confirms a number of tweaks excluding the obvious change in roof material.

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These include the side cooling vents being relocated to the engine cover, the windscreen surrounds modified to reduce wind noise with the roof down and a pair of buttresses added behind the rear seats.

Officially called a retractable hard-top, the roof is made from carbon fibre and can be had with an electrochromatic glass centre section at an additional cost.

McLaren replaces Artura's hard lid with a soft top
Part of the redesign involves the addition of a pair buttresses behind the seats. Image: McLaren

Retracting and opening by means of eight electric motors at speeds up to 31 km/h in 11 seconds, the Spider tips the scales at 1 560 kg, 62 kg more than the coupe, which according to McLaren, makes it the “lightest among convertible competition” by 83 kg.

Inside and out changes

In addition to the roof, the Artura Spider’s MCLA or McLaren Carbon Lightweight Architecture has been revised to accommodate the folding the roof, although no exact details of this was revealed.

Debuting on the Spider, and soon also on the coupe, are new 15-spoke 19-inches at the front and 20-inches at the rear alloy wheels wrapped in Pirelli PZero Corsa tyres, a new exhaust valve system, stronger engine mounts to compensate for the extra amount of twist, recalibrated springs and dampers and adjustment to the software for the EV, Comfort, Sprot and Track drive modes.

McLaren replaces Artura's hard lid with a soft top
No changes have taken place inside. Image: McLaren

Rounding the mechanical changes off is a revised ABS system, plus the standard fitting of carbon ceramic brakes made-up of a six-piston caliper design at the front and four at the rear, with respective disc sizes of 390 mm and 380 mm.

Inside, the interior remains unchanged, bar the option of a 12-speaker Bowers & Wilkins in place of the standard five-speaker audio as part of the technology package.

About that power…

Unsurprisingly, the biggest highlight is the more powerful twin-turbo 3.0-litre V6 engine that produces an additional 15 kW more than in the original coupe.

In combination with a 70 kW electric motor and battery pack, the Artura Spider develops a combined 515kW/720Nm directed to the rear wheels through an eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox that has also been revised for even faster and smoother changes.

McLaren replaces Artura's hard lid with a soft top
Located at the rear, the electrically assisted 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 produces 15 kW more than before. Image: McLaren

Despite its added weight over the coupe, the Artura Spider will still get from 0-100 km/h in the same three seconds, from 0-200 km/h in 8.4 seconds and on to an eventual top speed of 330 km/h.

Being a plug-in hybrid means the 7.4-kWh battery cannot be charged from a DC fast charging station, though according to McLaren, will take two hours 30 minutes from a conventional AC outlet. The claimed all-electric range is 33 km.

Not South Africa approved yet

Now available for ordering with pricing from £221 500 (R5 356 995) in the United Kingdom, the Artura Spider’s deliveries will commence from the middle of 2024 depending on the select market.

As is stands, confirmation for South Africa has not been provided.

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