Think of Monaco, and images of hilly terrains, Formula 1 cars navigating the kerbs of the swimming pool, and elegantly dressed individuals celebrating in Casino Square might come to mind. It’s precisely what I envisioned, but it is likely no accident that the first 60 minutes of the 2024 McLaren Artura Spider press drive were spent navigating through heavy traffic, mundane city streets, and giant French speed bumps. This genius move allowed me and other journalists to experience the Artura in environments most owners will encounter. The Artura excels in daily commutes with supreme comfort and style. The high-performance hybrid powertrain, producing 690bhp (700PS), might be explosive at full throttle, but its laid-back nature in hybrid mode paired with excellent visibility makes it ideal for city driving. Sauntering through the streets in EV mode offers a unique satisfaction. However, the McLaren is not near silent; there is a mechanical whirr from the axial-flux motor and the clutch packs. It’s not an unpleasant noise, just more prominent in the Spider.

But this mid-engined supercar, capable of 0-100km/h (0-62mph) in 3.0 seconds and a top speed limited to 330km/h (205mph), truly shines in the mountains with everything turned up to max. Here, the McLaren traits we’ve come to love are evident: the chassis, steering, seating position, and ride all perform beautifully, showcasing the expertise of the McLaren Technology Centre. The hydraulic steering offers precision and clarity, and combined with the remarkable chassis, instills confidence to push hard. The great visibility and effective brakes ensure you can drive very quickly, exploiting the powertrain. The Artura Spider is user-friendly, with a hint of understeer signalling the limits of the Pirelli Corsas beneath you.

As with the Coupe, the McLaren Artura Spider features an ultra-strong ‘MCLA’ carbon tub chassis made in Sheffield, ensuring no additional bracing is needed for the convertible top. This design choice keeps the weight increase minimal, resulting in a kerb weight of just 1,560kg, only 62kg more than the coupe. Remarkably, the Artura Spider remains lighter than its convertible competitors, including the Maserati MC20 Cielo, Lamborghini Huracan Evo Spyder, and Ferrari 296 GTS, highlighting McLaren’s enduring commitment to performance and lightweight engineering.

The gearbox is phenomenal, with quick shifts. In Sport mode, there is a touch of drama, while in Track mode, the shifts are razor-sharp and nearly seamless. The 2025 updates for both the Coupe and Spider, retrofitted to all previously delivered Arturas, bring power up 19bhp to 690, with 95bhp from the electric motor. Do not think the power delivery feels naturally aspirated; there are still hints of turbo lag lower in the rev range. This isn’t a bad thing, as the almighty surge of the boost building adds to the ferocious sense of speed. Engineers have improved the engine tone, but I hoped for more. The V8 McLaren models bring another element of theatre with terrific thwacks and whip-cracks on upshifts under load. Perhaps the Artura LT could bring more aural theatrics.

Visually, the Artura Spider, in my opinion, is stunning. It’s all function before form, with every crease and cut enhancing aero efficiency. The car is pretty, purposeful, and athletic without looking over-styled or too fussy. The roof works a treat, going up or down in just 11 seconds at speeds up to 50km/h (31mph) and in near-silence too. The cabin is typical McLaren, quite pared back with most controls, including CarPlay, integrated into the central floating screen with drive modes on rockers mounted on the instrument binnacle.

The 2025 McLaren Artura Spider bring welcome updates that the Coupe will also feature. The overall package is tremendous, whether pushing had on your favourite Col, or dropping your kid to college. The breadth of ability, extended further with the addition of the no compromise Spider variant, make the Artura a very compelling package as a single-supercar solution.

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