Home » The 2025 McLaren Artura Spider Is So Stunning That Paparazzi Took Photos Of My Sweaty, Middle Aged Self Getting Out Of It

The 2025 McLaren Artura Spider Is So Stunning That Paparazzi Took Photos Of My Sweaty, Middle Aged Self Getting Out Of It

McLaren's Artura Spider is a technological marvel that wrings immense power from a tiny package.
Mclaren Artura Ts2
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If you’re a decent human being, driving a supercar – even if it is, in my case, someone else’s McLaren Artura Spider – should make you take a second to think about Jimmy Carter and the whales and probably Harambe. A very hypothetical $273,800 base MSRP makes this McLaren very much the entry-level supercar, especially when you’ve been able to pay $100,000 for a one-ton pickup for years now, and maybe the McLaren’s hybrid-assisted mileage evens the playing field with an F-350 a little. But you still have those moments (especially when you’re surrounded by paparazzi taking your photo just in case you’re someone) where you’re thinking, maybe this could have planted some trees.

The 2025 McLaren Artura Spider isn’t that much different from the Artura Coupe, but as I didn’t drive that car, and I’m guessing you didn’t either, that probably isn’t a relevant tidbit. What is relevant, and an admittedly astonishing technological achievement, is getting a combined 690 horsepower from a hybrid convertible that offers useful all-electric range and weighs just 3,212 pounds dry (3,439 with a full load of gas, water, and oil). A RAV4 Hybrid sits at around 3,700 pounds and only gets you 219 net HP, and the roof doesn’t go down. Checkmate, McLaren.

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[Full Disclosure: McLaren flew me first class to the French Riviera, where when not driving very very fast through the Alps, I stayed in four-star hotels, had dinner with Formula 1 drivers, and one night helped run up a bar tab of I think well over 1,000 euros with a handful of other strong-livered autowriters and hard-partying McLaren people. If you’re wondering how McLaren is doing as a company, this is probably your answer.]

2025 Mclaren Artura Spider Profile

My Volcano Blue tester came with $56,700 in options, for a $330,500 MSRP, which does not account for port and processing charges and any dealer markups, although McLaren seems to keep those largely under control, at least for production models. Getting into a Senna may be another matter. The Performance interior (Nappa leather and Alcantara, titanium, and RGB lighting) and electrochomatic glass roof were the two biggest ticket options, each at $9,400. The Driving Assistant pack with blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise, and more, was $8,350; and the Technology pack with LED headlamps, Park Assist 360° camera, and 12-speaker Bowers and Wilkins stereo, added $7,400 to the pricetag. I did not turn the stereo on, because how jaded do you have to be to do that in a McLaren? The charmingly English-accented voice nav sounded good over it, at least.

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2025 Mclaren Artura Spider Front Doors Up

The Artura Spider Makes a Good First Impression

The idle is dynamite. Most supercars idle high, fast, and angry, but the Artura is down in the muscle car end of the spectrum, deep and percussive. It’s a lot like a big inboard boat engine burbling. When we all walked to the paddock full of orange and blue cars after a morning drivers’ meeting, they were already warmed up and running. Even on a cool morning in the low 60s, there was a lot of heat exiting from underneath the cars and out of their assorted vents, and walking amongst the group of McLarens all idling was like striding into a hive of giant, grumpy bees. McLaren spends a lot of time working on – and talking about– active exhaust trickery to augment both performance and the user experience.

2025 Mclaren Artura Spider Gathering

The company is very proud that the soundtrack is 100% natural without speakers piping anything in, what you hear from the driver’s seat is just the actual sound of the exhaust. McLaren puts this effort into all of its models, so this aural tuning isn’t just because V6s – even super wide angle, 120-degree V6s like the Artura’s – tend not to sound great. And give McLaren’s engineers credit, they’ve done what they can. More on that later.

Layout Rear-mid engine, RWD
Engine Hybrid 2,993 CC 120° twin-turbocharged V6
Transmission Eight-speed Pre-Cog SSG DCT
Motor Bellhousing integrated 7.4kWh axial flux
Suspension Front double wishbone, upper wishbone and multilink rear with adaptive dampers
Brakes Front 390 MM/rear 380 MM carbon ceramic discs, six-piston front/four-piston rear calipers
Power 690 HP @ 7,500 RPM (combined), 531 LB-FT @ 2,250 RPM (combined)
MSRP $273,800; $330,500 as tested

Like most McLarens – and unlike a lot of supercars, and a lot of new EVs, actually – you can more or less walk up and drive the Artura. There are no buttons on the steering wheel (although there are four stalks behind it), and the mix-and-match powertrain and suspension modes are selected via two very satisfyingly haptic thumb toggles on either side of the instrument binnacle. A bright and usable eight-inch vertical touchscreen sits in the middle of the dash and is operated by a knurled solid aluminum click wheel. The screen is lower than I’d like, but that’s one of those supercar compromises.

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2025 Mclaren Artura Spider Cabin Overhead Copy

2025 Mclaren Artura Spider L Thumb Buttons

Screenshot 2024 06 19 At 11.53.36 am

Behind the screen is a wireless phone charging slot that did not fit my large phone. The console has USB-C connectors and I assume the corresponding Apple hardware, which worked fine. McLaren told us not to shut off the car for the entire day because we’d lose the navigation waypoints, but you can use the right thumb wheel to put it into EV mode and just let it sit like that as long as the 7.1kWh battery pack holds out.

2025 Mclaren Artura Spider L Dash Buttons

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2025 Mclaren Artura Spider Roof Controls Copy

After showing me how to raise the nose for speed bumps (it takes four seconds and is a cool party trick) and put the roof up (11 seconds, up to 31 MPH), I rumbled out of the parking lot and into 45 minutes of heavy French motorway traffic. I don’t actually mind urban driving in these situations, because even if you’re a supercar owner, you still have to drive on the road with other people.

Visibility is great out the front and not so great out the back, because there’s a lot of car back there. French traffic includes countless motorcycles obeying exactly zero traffic rules, so I didn’t feel particularly nervous about being seen, unless you count not wanting to attract the attention of the gendarme – none of whom I saw until I was on foot in Monaco later in the day. I toggled back and forth from Sport to Comfort modes several times, and aside from the shift points changing, my uncouth ass did not notice a major difference in ride quality, which was also my experience the one other time I drove a McLaren. Track mode is a different story, and generally not one you want to invoke on a bumpy road.

2025 Mclaren Artura Spider Rear 34

It’s Hard To Make A V6 Not Sound Like A V6

What I didn’t love was the sound of the Artura’s 3.0-liter, twin-turbo M360 engine when it wasn’t doing very much. Over about 5,000 RPM to the 8,500 RPM redline, it’s got a very supercarish scream which I don’t think will disappoint anyone, part of which is probably the optional $5,400 Sports exhaust on the car I was driving. In between, especially on the highway, it drones like any other V6. Some of my peers tried to convince me that because it’s a wide-angle Vee it sounds like a Porsche [Ed note: a recent 911 with a flat six, presumably], but as I only really know what old Porsches sound like, the McLaren engine sounded much more Toyota to me. I am certain that anyone who buys an Artura and does not like the sound will have the wherewithal to get a custom $35,000 titanium exhaust installed.

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You can have all of the Proactive Damping Control and carbon fiber monocoques you want, but if there isn’t a fundamentally good car underneath, you still won’t have a good time. For such a high-tech car, McLaren includes some deliberately more traditional elements for the sole purpose of making it better to drive. Number One on my list of the car’s traditional-is-better features is the hydraulic power steering, which delivers an experience steer-by-wire still can’t emulate. It’s extremely natural and well-damped, with lots of road feel via 235/35/R19 P ZERO Corsas up front (and 295/35/R20 in back). I was surprised there aren’t a ton of brake options; all models get 390 mm front and 380 mm rear carbon ceramic discs with aluminum six-piston monobloc front and four-piston rear calipers. Your only choice is the color.

2025 Mclaren Artura Spider Wheel Brake Copy

McLaren says it’ll stop from 62 MPH in 102 feet, true supercar territory. A 124 MPH (200 KPH) stop comes in 407 feet, a stark lesson in momentum. The front suspension is a more or less conventional double wishbone. In back, you get an upper wishbone and two lower links with active dampers from, huh, Monroe. The car sticks so hard I had to check to make sure it wasn’t AWD. More active power management comes via an electronically controlled rear differential.

2025 Mclaren Artura Spider Engine Cover

The Artura’s twin turbos are tucked into the vee of the engine to help with packaging, and the units boost the 3.0-liter mill to 596 horsepower at 7,500 RPM, and 365 lb-ft of torque at 2,250 RPM. The battery/axial flux motor combination adds 94 HP and 133 lb-ft, and weighs 287 pounds altogether. The motor is integrated into the bellhousing and does not offer regenerative braking, instead charging slightly when you’re coasting, and directly off the engine during low-load situations. You can fine-tune most settings in the car, including how much to prioritize regen.

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You don’t hear much from the turbos inside the cabin, and the e-motor takes care of any momentary turbo lag there might be. The turbos sound amazing from outside the car, with a constant variety of whistles and whines.

Probably my favorite piece is the SSG (Seamless Shift Gearbox) sequential transmission, which gets an eighth gear in the Artura Spider as part of the hybrid powertrain. The Hofer (not Graziano, as originally written -MH)  dual-clutch unit holds a clutch as close to the next gear pack as possible and bangs off hair-trigger, F1-sounding shifts. I found myself running up and down the range more than necessary in manual mode just to hear it.

The 2025 McLaren Artura Spider Will Make You Do Bad Things

When I set out, I told myself I’d take it easy. I’m an adequate driver at best, and always have the specter of stuffing something expensively or going off the side of a mountain in the back of my head. I also really didn’t want to have to negotiate a French speeding ticket, or a night in la prison.

2025 Mclaren Artura Spider Tracking Action
It’s better the faster you go. Photo: Stan Papior/McLaren

I was a good person on the highway, maybe a little pass here or there, maybe shooting into the occasional gap but always aware of the speed cameras in the tunnels and the UK plates on the car. But I did have a lunch stop to get to 100 miles away, and I did need time for photography, and then I was off the highway and heading into the Alps.

I’m not sure I’ve ever driven a car harder on public roads and felt more secure. There is always more braking than you can use, so you can go deep into a corner, stomp them like you’re on a racetrack, get the car settled, and trust there’s enough grip to carry you through. It didn’t get squirrely even once, in any conditions. The worst that happened was it cut power to avoid wheelspin coming out of switchbacks, which I could hear happening to other cars.

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After a brown-pants sort of incident in a Mustang GT500 many years ago, I’m very cautious about applying power too early in a corner, but the Artura revs so ridiculously fast that you can dog it like that and still get the holeshot. And you have to, don’t you? Just to listen to it scream, and to keep it up towards the 7,500 RPM peak of the powerband. It’s one of those cars that shrinks around you when the going gets hard and simplifies the task ahead of you into three parts: Brake, steer, accelerate, repeat.

Coming off a mountain and into a valley, I ducked into a Ciffréo Bona builder’s supply yard somewhere near Le Rouret for photography. Between my high school French, their no English, and some young guys working there clearly being car nuts, I communicated my needs and put the roof up for the first time all day. With the car in EV mode for maneuvering, its many cooling fans did their best to deal with the consequences of mountain passes.

I thought I’d welcome the break as I was already windburned and hot, but I really, really wanted to get back in the car. Aside from a short stop to help another writer with panning photography on the Route Napoléon in Escragnolles, I kept it going over the mountains, creeping through villages, passing bicyclists, and linking turn after turn together though the endless June sunshine.

We were supposed to end the day at the Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo after a lap of the Grand Prix circuit. It was after 6:00 PM by the time I got off the A8 highway and traffic got heavier and heavier as I approached Monaco, soon descending into pure stop-and-go on increasingly narrow streets. It was around this point that I started to get very concerned by the gas gauge and cut the AC to eke out a few extra minutes. It didn’t get any better when the GPS steered me into the portico of the Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo, and its extremely French and extremely unhappy porters.

2025 Mclaren Artura Spider Pulling Up

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I eventually crept to the hotel on fumes, where bewilderingly both tourists and paparazzi decided they should take pictures of the whole scene just in case the sweaty, exhausted middle-aged man in a blue sports car turned out to be someone important. Unless one of them was my mom, they were disappointed. But even in a-Rolls-on-every-corner Monaco (and with Bruno Senna’s monogrammed McLaren Senna across the street), people were looking at the Artura Spider. In a place like Monaco, that says something.

It Was a Love/Like Relationship

I didn’t quite fall head over heels in love with the 2025 McLaren Artura Spider. Every car is a compromise. The 2025 McLaren Artura Spider’s compromises are a tight cabin, lots of noise (both good and bad), and extremely limited practicality – there’s a 5.4 cubic-foot frunk, and that’s it. In return, though, you get a car that will go to the dance with you when it gets a chance.

2025 Mclaren Artura Spider Trunk

I like it an awful lot. It’s fantastic to drive in a remarkably wide range of conditions, and it’s full of thoughtful, driver-centric touches, like the little lip molded into the top corners of the windshield to reduce cabin turbulence. It has miles of useful EV-only range, gets almost 20 MPG in normal driving, and even has McLaren’s five-year/unlimited mileage warranty and three years of free scheduled maintenance.

2025 Mclaren Artura Spider On Balcony

But it takes a lot for me to commit emotionally to a car. It’s not you, McLaren, it’s me. (Although I’ve driven the 750S and that thing? That thing I love.) The company used to have a reputation for building cars that were somehow less involving, like people used to say about the Nissan GT-R. That’s clearly not true, as the Artura is an extremely charming car, but maybe it’s a little too good. It was so easy to go so very fast, and maybe I should have been more afraid? The Artura Spider will cover a multitude of your sins and make you look like a hero, even when you don’t deserve it. I’m not good enough to look like a hero, but the car made me one anyway. I think deep down, I feel like I didn’t deserve what the car did for me. It’s better than I am.

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Strangek
Strangek
22 days ago

Nice write up, I’ll take a blue one please!

Ben
Ben
22 days ago

For a second I thought this was David Tracy’s Fancy pseudonym. 😉

I can believe that these stand out, even in a place like Monaco. I did a track “experience” a few years ago in Vegas and when you got there they had all of the cars parked for visibility. The Ferraris and Lambos weirdly kind of blended together, but the McLaren’s stood out from the crowd. I’m still not sure whether in a good or bad way, but they look like nothing else on the market.

one night helped run up a bar tab of I think well over 1,000 euros with a handful of other strong-livered autowriters and hard-partying McLaren people.

Meh. At my company we did that in about an hour one night when we were snowed in in Dublin. They intended to have an open bar at the hotel to keep people from going out in the bad weather (it wasn’t that bad, but they only get snow like once every 10 years there so everyone was freaking out), but after about an hour we had hit four figures already and they had to shut it down.

Of course, the rule was supposed to be no top-shelf stuff, but naturally some entitled a-hole had to start ordering rounds of top-shelf whiskey for his whole table and ruin it for the rest of us.

Max Finkel
Max Finkel
22 days ago

I still can’t tell any of them apart

Bob Boxbody
Bob Boxbody
23 days ago

That is a beautiful car, and I love the blue!

Freelivin2713
Freelivin2713
23 days ago

At 1st I thought David Tracy wrote this! Ha ha…welcome David!
These cars look amazing especially in both blue and orange…real colors!
“$56,700 in options”
That’s a new car! Or for me, 100 rusty classic cars to start my own junkyard field…w/ $ that’s JUST for the options on this car…for the total price I could get maybe 1000 rusty classics! That would be heaven

And They Called Him Gearhead
And They Called Him Gearhead
23 days ago

First of all, solid write up. And hello fellow #802 friend!

But now… UGH. I’m sorry… I hate to be this guy but…

“The Graziano dual-clutch unit…”

The transmission / transaxle in the Artura is an all new unit used -only- for that model made by a company called Hofer. McLaren uses Graziano 7-Speed Dual Clutch units for every other modern model they have ever made.

And They Called Him Gearhead
And They Called Him Gearhead
23 days ago

Thank you for responding! SME for McLaren here so… unfair advantage.

Outofstep
Outofstep
23 days ago

My brain broke for a second and I thought that David Tracy had changed his name. It’s been a long day. This was a good read. Welcome, not David Tracy.

Outofstep
Outofstep
23 days ago

Haha. It reads right to me. You’re going to do well here.

Box Rocket
Box Rocket
23 days ago
Reply to  Outofstep

I thought David and Torch made a new entity for sponsored posts, then remmeenred I’d seen the by line elsewhere before.

Dottie
Dottie
23 days ago

Great read! Love the blue on it

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
23 days ago

I’m not a supercar guy because I’ll never have the money—nor the skills to make use of one. That said, I did enjoy the article. The Artura seems like a little gem, and it sure sounds like McLaren is listening to people who like to just drive.

Box Rocket
Box Rocket
23 days ago

Thanks for the article!

While I doubt I’ll be able to justify a supercar purchase, if I could a McLaren would be at the top of the list. It’s encouraging to read that they’re still responsive to owners’ feedback, and that they’re making the cars ever more more visceral.

Dis they just have the one color each of orange and blue there, or did they have the palette and note which they were? I like playing on their configuration site but can’t decide if I like McLaren Orange over Papaya Spark, for instance.

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