The McLaren Artura is a hybrid supercar that won’t wake the neighbours.

The first, full production McLaren hybrid supercar is loaded with fresh technology yet looks very familiar. Underneath that svelte bodywork, Artura reveals how McLaren is building towards a hush-hush, electrified future.

Artura may shape up like, well, every other McLaren but what makes this car so different is what lies inside the aluminium and carbon fibre shell. An advanced plug-in hybrid, the two-seater lays the foundation for a new generation of models to be built in Woking.

Weight is an important issue in Artura because the plug-in hybrid system and battery pile on kilos. In fact, the McLaren features countless weight-saving features, including lightweight glass and a carbon fibre windscreen surround. Even the hinges on the dihedral door have been on an enforced diet.

Artura’s electric motor is mounted in the housing of the eight-speed gearbox, rather than the rear axle. Interestingly, there is no mechanical reverse gear – the e-motor provides backward motion too.

Together, motor and engine produce 531 lb ft of torque and 671bhp – 577bhp from the V6 and the rest from the e-motor. They help the Artura fly from 0-62mph in three seconds and on to a track-only maximum of 205mph.

Such heady output is still some way below McLaren’s original hybrid, the now legendary P1 that debuted in 2012 and produced 903bhp. Built in limited numbers, the P1 came with a price tag of £866,000 but is today worth in excess of £1.5 million.

Artura’s bodywork and powertrain also sit on an all-new chassis. The next generation carbon fibre structure is built in-house at a dedicated factory in Sheffield. It’s six kilos lighter than previously, yet manages to incorporate the battery housing and extra fixings too.

Despite this, Artura is still 50kg heavier than a McLaren 570S. However, considering the hybrid systems add 140kg, designers have managed an incredible job keeping the overall weight trimmed to 1,498kg.

Among other McLaren firsts for Artura is driver assistance – including that annoying lane departure alarm system now required in every new car. Thankfully, the melodic warning note won’t send you careering off the road in anger. If you can’t keep between the white lines, you probably shouldn’t be driving a supercar.

Driving along hair-pin mountain roads north of Malaga, it’s impossible to detect any of Artura’s weight gain. The e-motor provides instant torque, catapulting the car forward with an astonishing throttle response.

The benefits of an electric motor in this instance aren’t aimed at improving economy, or saving the planet. Officially, this is the most efficient McLaren ever, returning up to 61mpg. That’s nonsense in the real world but the 19-mile electric-only range does have side benefits.

For example, you can now start a supercar silently in the morning, without waking the neighbours. And while some poseurs like to shout with their twin exhausts, I promise there’s nothing cooler than silently gliding through a sleepy Spanish village powered by battery.

There’s no doubting the performance but apart from missing the aural drama of a McLaren V8, the Artura also feels strangely sanitised. It’s a feature of every electric car I’ve driven and we will just have to get used to it.

Artura’s hydraulically-assisted steering isn’t new but feedback to the driver is exceptional. McLaren’s Proactive Damping Control system has also been lightened and updated to boost handling.

Keeping the rear-wheel drive Artura on the road are Pirelli’s all-new P-Zero Cyber Tyres. As the name suggests, the four tyres feature a microchip that ‘talk’ to the car’s electronic systems and generate real-time data, including tyre temperature.

While I doubt any driver would have time to clock a digital temperature readout hurtling around the Ascari Circuit in Andalusia, where I drove the car, Pirelli rubber offers exceptional grip. That’s especially true when combined with the stopping power of Artura’s standard, carbon ceramic brakes.

Inside, McLaren promise a completely new interior but again it’s ‘spot the difference’. The instrument binnacle now moves with steering column adjustment for a clearer view of the numbers, while the drive mode controls sit atop the binnacle. Unfortunately, some of the plastic materials are less than premium.

The driver can choose from four powertrain modes, including E-mode for that silent motoring experience. Separate handling mode options are also accessible without taking a hand off the steering wheel – the ride height adjustment button for speed bumps is slightly hidden underneath the dash.

An all-new infotainment screen is light years ahead of what you will find in other McLarens. The Achilles’ heel of past models, this is finally a system worthy of the car, easy to operate one-handed and very intuitive. Remarkably, Artura is also the first McLaren to feature Apple CarPlay.

Potential buyers will be pleased to know the car comes with a five-year vehicle warranty, a six-year battery warranty and 10-year corrosion warranty. First deliveries are due from July 2022.

Artura starts at £189,200 but expect to pay well in excess of £200,000 with options. Suddenly, that puts the baby McLaren in ‘big boy’ Lamborghini Huracan and Ferrari F8 territory.