Which sports car brand builds the best hybrid car? Ferrari or McLaren?

Not every hybrid car is a Toyota! Both the Ferrari 296 GTB and the McLaren Artura combine a relatively small V6 with a powerful electric motor. We are looking for the best hybrid sports car.

The Ferrari 296 GTS and McLaren Artura are strikingly similar. In fact, they are technically on the same footing. It is true that the Italian supercar with its combined output of 830 hp develops considerably more power than the McLaren – which throws in the towel at 680 hp – but the Artura sets a price of ‘only’ 246,500 euros. That is no less than 78,305 euros less than the 296 GTB costs. In other words: a whole BMW 430i xDrive Convertible!

Which sports car brand builds the best hybrid car?  Ferrari or McLaren?

Given the difference in power and price, you can hardly call the McLaren Artura a competitor of the Ferrari 296 GTB. But their technological similarities certainly make them comparable. They both have a three-liter V6, with two malevolently blowing turbos between the widely spaced cylinder banks.


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And they both happily chase their tachometer over 8000 rpm. They both have an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, an electric motor (good for 167 hp in the Ferrari and 95 hp in the McLaren) and a battery pack of 7.4 kWh. Purely on power, our poster models reach a top speed of more than 130 km/h.

Which sports car brand builds the best hybrid car?  Ferrari or McLaren?

McLaren Artura

From the powertrain to the carbon monocoque, the McLaren Artura has been completely redeveloped. With a weight of only 1498 kilos – including fluids – the British supercar is 75 kilos lighter than the Ferrari 296 GTB, which is largely made of aluminum.

If you drive in Hybrid mode, the V6 engine is cranked up with a hell of a noise at 80 km/h. The transition from purely electric propulsion to fossil fuel combustion comes with a small shock. The soundtrack of the new V6 engine is more reminiscent of a state-of-the-art hydropower plant than a pounding blast furnace. But that fits perfectly with the no-nonsense character of this car. McLaren is allergic to artificial flavor enhancers.

Which sports car brand builds the best hybrid car?  Ferrari or McLaren?

Although the engine sound is closely related to that of the old V8, the throttle response is of a completely different order. The large turbo lag that sometimes bothered older McLarens has been drastically reduced and in the mid-range of the rev range you benefit from much more torque. The new powertrain is wide awake and seems to bottle up an aggression that could erupt at any moment.

Even if the McLaren is shaken up on a bad road surface, the chassis manages to maintain comfort – typical McLaren. Everything is in perfect balance with the hydraulically assisted steering, which provides excellent feedback. Thanks to the Alcantara-rimmed sports steering wheel, you never have the feeling that you will lose control from the steering wheel touch to the steering wheel touch. And that also inspires confidence at high speed.

Which sports car brand builds the best hybrid car?  Ferrari or McLaren?

Ferrari 296 GTB

The Ferrari 296 GTB doesn’t waste any time: as soon as you’re out of the starting blocks, the engine immediately delivers so much power that the McLaren almost transforms into a limp dishcloth. The Ferrari is a pure experience: from the biting brake-by-wire brakes to the extremely short switching moments when touching the paddles behind the wheel. Incidentally, the deceleration is all the more impressive due to the powerful recuperation of braking energy. An addition that is missing on the McLaren.

The Ferrari responds to the steering with calculated precision. It is true that it changes direction lightly, but due to the stiff dampers it is much more sensitive to external influences than the McLaren. As long as the road is perfectly paved, you have little to fear. But as soon as the surface shows more bumps and potholes, the Ferrari becomes very nervous.

Which sports car brand builds the best hybrid car?  Ferrari or McLaren?

On wet asphalt it can sometimes react somewhat unpredictable, but on a bone-dry surface the Ferrari freely throws its power. Then the car is lightning fast, with fabulous grip and perfect balance.

The Ferrari’s powertrain is phenomenal: the three-litre V6 generates an enormous amount of energy and responds extremely assertively to every movement of the accelerator pedal. In the mid-range of the rev range you already have no lack of power, but on the way to 8500 rpm things threaten to explode in the back. The noise you are treated to is unprecedented: the V6 howls, the two turbos hiss and the exhaust barks like a guard dog catching a burglar in the act.


The Ferrari 296 GTB beats the McLaren Artura. Without wanting to shortchange the British supercar, it’s better suited for a few leisurely reconnaissance laps than a battle with the stopwatch. You have to have the Ferrari for that.

However, if you are not a born driver, you will experience the McLaren as a more accessible car. Even with the shock absorbers in sport mode, you never get the feeling that you’re balancing on the limits without a safety net. You feel how sharp curbs are smoothed out, how the fine-tuned steering helps you through the corner and how the chassis inspires confidence. The Artura will never attempt to bite your head off, and you can never be sure of that in the Ferrari.

For the track, the Ferrari is a surefire weapon, there’s no doubt about that. But because of its larger margins, the McLaren is better suited for everyday use. Don’t get us wrong: the Artura is also very fast on the track, but the Ferrari 296 GTB moves in another dimension. If you’re looking for the ultimate adrenaline rush, the 296 GTB has no equal.

Foto’s: Jordan Butters

This article previously appeared in Auto Review 4/2023. The story in the magazine is longer and has more photos.

Source: Autoreview.nl by www.autoreview.nl.

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