British carmaker and racing team, McLaren is set to compete in Extreme E, an electric vehicle racing series that tours remote locations. McLaren Racing will hit the road in 2022 as the 10th team in the five-race series, hoping to broaden its reach and diversify its offerings. In an official statement, Head of McLaren Racing, Zak Brown confirmed participation in Extreme E.
“While Formula One will always remain at the center of our world, like IndyCar and esports, our entry into Extreme E is additive to the McLaren Racing franchise and will complement and help support all our programs.”
Launched in 2021, Extreme E is gaining momentum as a racing series that promotes climate awareness and sustainable motorsports. Extreme E is an FIA-sanctioned international off-road racing series that uses spec electric SUVs to race in remote parts of the world, such as the Amazon rainforest or the Arctic.
For Extreme E’s inaugural season, all teams use the electric off-roader known as the Odyssey 21. The vehicle manufactured by Spark Racing Technology is the same company that builds the Formula E race cars, and its claimed performance specs include a 0-62 mph time of 4.5 seconds and the ability to climb gradients of up to 130%. Sponsors of Extreme E include clean energy company AFC Energy, plastics bio degrader Poly Materia, and plant-based burger-maker Neat Burger.
The decision to compete in Extreme E follows McLaren’s shift in focus toward motorsports, which is not the first time McLaren has taken part in an electric racing series. The British squad has also been a supplier of key components, including batteries, for Formula E. In Q1 2021, McLaren completed a $261 million strategic investment in McLaren Racing for funding its teams till 2023.
However, the company is also investing in EVs outside the racecourse. All-new McLaren models will be hybrids by 2026, with plans to get a fully electric vehicle on the road by the end of the decade. McLaren is one of several car companies embracing the growth of EV. McLaren reported 520 automotive wholesales while generating $260 million in revenue in Q1, an 118% increase year-over-year.