It has been a rough few years for McLaren Automotive. Some luxury and sports car brands have weathered the challenges of the past 24 months surprisingly matter of factly, relying on the desirability of their cars, the good faith of customers and no doubt having a few quid in the bank to get them through. But McLaren hasn’t had it so easy.
The McLaren Group sold a division of its business, not to mention its Woking headquarters (only to lease it back) in 2021. The automotive division parted company with a CEO last year. The Formula 1 team itself was even linked with a sale at one stage.
And through it all, the company was having a particularly tough time getting its latest crucial new model, the Artura plug-in hybrid supercar, out of development and into showrooms. Even now, the struggle doesn’t seem to be entirely over. Technologically ambitious and almost entirely new from bumper to bumper, the Artura (whose model name is a portmanteau of ‘art’ and ‘future’) is a car of quite inspired design and packaging, and really expert tuning and execution.
It gives you faith not only in the capabilities of McLaren’s key designers and product planners, but also in the strategic wisdom of a company that knows its business, values its reputation and back catalogue, and wants to bring its existing customers with it into a world of electrified supercars, rather than simply replace them with a new band of clientele of new tastes and priorities.