McLaren Nailed the Wireless Phone Charger, of All Things

Smart yet simple design typically delivers the best results.
mclaren-artura-spider
McLaren/TheDrive

I had the chance to drive the new 2025 McLaren Artura Spider last week, and it was all you’d expect from a modern-day supercar. It looks fast and expensive, and it is, well, fast and expensive. It’s also quite comfortable and all of its tech worked well during my day-long test. And that’s exactly what I’d like to highlight today: the tech. More specifically, the clever wireless phone charger McLaren is including on all 2025 Artura and Artura Spider models as a standard feature.

As I mentioned in my review, no one sets out shopping for a supercar with a “good backup camera” and “solid wireless phone charger” at the top of their must-have list. But, y’know, if you find one with those qualities in addition to the typical supercar fare, even better. The wireless charger, in particular, was a big deal to me because I have a love-hate relationship with them.

Jerry Perez

For starters, most wireless phone chargers just flat-out don’t work. They are super finicky and require you to place your phone with the utmost precision on the pad for charging to initiate. And then there’s the location of the charger itself. Some automakers force you to stash away your phone in a compartment near the shifter or even inside the armrest while it charges wirelessly. Other times the charging pad is the only place to stash other items like key fobs or or little odds and ends we often carry with us, forcing the driver to choose between storing things or charging their phone. Most of the time this is too inconvenient and I end up charging the old-fashioned way.

Lastly—and this is what sold me on McLaren’s design—is the position of the phone while charging. See, in most cars, you drop your phone in from the top and lay it flat on its back for it to charge. As a result, the moment you hit a bump your phone moves from its magical charging position and stops doing its thing. It’s infuriating. And God forbid you take a corner at speed because you just turned your phone into a projectile and it’s going to fly off the charger and land somewhere out of reach, and maybe shatter its screen for good measure.

McLaren’s approach is simple but genius: a cupholder-style wireless charger that doubles as a phone stand. As you can see in the photo above, you slide your phone into the stand and the charger immediately starts doing its thing. In the case of my iPhone 13 Pro, about 60% of the phone sits in the cubby while the top of the screen is still visible. If you’re waiting on an urgent notification or you’re just all about your DMs, you’ll still be able to see those banner notifications pop up from the driver or passenger seat. Even better, the charger is compatible with the larger iPhone Max or any other oversized device as long as it fits widthwise.

Stan Papior

My iPhone remained in place during a full day of pushing McLaren’s newest convertible supercar on twisty mountain roads. It was great not hearing it ricochet off a door panel while driving spiritedly. Been there done that. There is one downside to this setup, however, and that’s that the Artura Spider doesn’t offer wireless Apple CarPlay. If you want to use CarPlay you must connect your phone and use a different phone holder near the driver’s right knee that’ll accommodate the cord. It’s not ideal, but the upside here is that whether you’re just Bluetoothing your stuff or you’re hard-wired for CarPlay, there’s a dedicated place to store your phone safely and within reach.

And like I said, this is a standard feature, it’s included at no extra cost. That’s a better deal than the nearly $1,700 Ferrari commands for a wireless charger in a Roma, and it’s a similar situation for the Pursangue. And those don’t even hold your phone in place, so have fun looking for it under the passenger’s seat.

It’s all about the little things.

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