When the McLaren Artura launched just a couple of months ago, the motive for that car was clear as day.
The spiritual successor to the 570S, the Artura is the entry ticket into the McLaren stable. Just like how the 720S was a crucial car for McLaren to boost its pedigree as a performance car maker, the Artura holds a very important position in the company’s lineup.
Being the entry model is a very sticky place to be in. For one, you have to make a very compelling product that has all the essence of the halo cars and makes the customer feel as valued as the other cars. But take this mantra too much to heart, and you’re left with a situation where you have the entry model undercutting the other models or making them look like they’re of less value.
Anyway, the Artura kind of deals with the clash with the 720S by having a hybrid system, and a V6 engine. Many hardcore users are not a fan of all the hybrid tech in the system, and so the 720S offers somewhat of a purist feel to it, keeping the flagship product undeterred.
In terms of not cutting any corners, the Artura’s hybrid tech allows it to have almost as much power as the 720S, and the torque feels more instantaneous thanks to the electric motor.
Overall, including the vehicle dynamics, power and even the overall feel of the car, the Artura is a very compelling product. However, that’s not what makes it important to McLaren.
It’s no secret that due to the pandemic, McLaren has been through a lot of turmoil financially. They had to put workers on furlough to keep the costs down and narrowly avoided declaring bankruptcy due to a cash injection by Bahraini investors.
Zak Brown recalled many times the relief after the opening round at Austria 2020, where Norris got that podium. The team did not even know if they would be racing a couple of weeks ago and bam! a few weeks later they get a podium.
Anyway, while the finances are not as bad as they were, having a stellar entry-level McLaren would do wonders for their sales numbers, as well as keep the cash flow very healthy for the company.
Usually, the flagship/halo cars don’t make money, or in some cases, lose money. However, it’s the other cars in the lineup that make up this gap, as people will be drawn by the halo car, but leave with the well-standardised, higher margin car.
I really want the Artura to do well because it’s very clear what McLaren as a company is capable of achieving, and this car certainly deserves a lot of sales!