McLaren Artura: Aerodynamics and the Pursuit of Lightness
Visually, the Artura is unapologetically McLaren. Shaped like a slick arrow, it looks thrilling from every angle. The car’s curves provoke a true visual pleasure, but every arc and deviation, from the subtle shrink-wrapped inflections on its bonnet to the deep air intakes on its side fulfill a purpose. The embodiment of form following function.
[ The Functional Elegance Behind the McLaren Artura]
“We were guided throughout by three key phrases – purity, technical sculpture and functional jewelry,” says chief designer, Goran Ozbolt. “The purity is not only purity of line, but also in the integration of components. Technical sculpture references the need to be stunning to look at, but there for a reason, like the forms you see in nature. Functional jewelry is best explained by the fact that we don’t decorate, we do what is needed and make it beautiful.”
From the front, McLaren Artura’s aerodynamics are clear, its hammerhead lines split the air, sending it either down into the radiators or up and over the roof. The cavernous, unmissable air intakes which make the shape so unique, forces clean air into the high-temperature radiators which cool the powertrain.
The Artura is defined by small details like the vented louvres — found above the front wheels — that release pressure in the wheel arches while also guiding dirty air away from the air intakes. The sculpted rear spoiler and diffuser generate 110lbs of downforce, pressing the car into the road and creating agility at low speed and stability at high speed.
The path from petrol only to hybrid petrol-electric was fraught with challenges, not least maintaining low weight which is hampered by the heavy batteries. McLaren Carbon Lightweight Architecture (MCLA) is one of the numerous technologies McLaren has developed to solve this issue.
“The new McLaren Carbon Lightweight Architecture (MCLA) is quite literally at the core of the super-lightweight engineering philosophy that is inherent throughout the Artura,” says director of product strategy, Jamie Corstorphine. “We developed this all-new, High-Performance Hybrid supercar with all of our learnings from decades of working with advanced composite and other lightweight materials. Using world-first processes and techniques to deliver weight savings that offset heavier hybrid powertrains, ensuring greater energy efficiency and maintaining the outstanding agility and dynamic performance our customers expect.”
The key to MCLA is the carbon fiber monocoque which appears for the first time in the Artura. Composite technology like carbon fiber was first introduced to Formula 1 racing by McLaren and it continues to be utilized in their road cars. Weighing only 181lbs including the extra material required for the battery compartment and aero surfaces, the monocoque plays a vital role in keeping Artura’s weight down.
The pursuit of lightness can be seen across every inch of the Artura. A domain-based ethernet system was added, boosting electronic capability while reducing weight. The Artura has no mechanical reverse gear and instead uses the E-motor, this reduces the gearbox length and makes the car lighter.
The combination of lightness and aerodynamics is partly what makes the McLaren Artura such a revolutionary hybrid. It’s these small details that highlight McLaren’s quest for perfection, culminating in the Artura.
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Source: Elite Traveler