McLaren Racing has just shown off the livery and driving team for its Extreme E off-road racing entry in 2022.

    The electric Odyssey 21 McLaren Racing off-road race car was displayed at the COP26 UN Climate Conference in Glasgow.

    Separate from McLaren Automotive, McLaren Racing is the latest racing team to join the all-electric Extreme E series for the 2022 season.

    This racing series sees all-electric off-road racers compete around the world in five different locations, raising awareness of the impact of climate change.

    “McLaren has always been at the forefront and never afraid to push new boundaries,” said McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown.

    “Extreme E is paving new ground in motorsport as a force for good in confronting some of the biggest challenges facing our world today and in the future.”

    Every racing team in the Extreme E series is given an Odyssey 21 electric off-road racer, produced by Spark Racing Technology, to race in the series.

    The McLaren Racing entrant will be piloted by New Zealander rally driver, Emma Gilmour, and US racing driver, Tanner Foust.

    Gilmour is best known for her experience in rallying, rallycross and cross-country rallying, and is a compatriot of the team’s founder, Bruce McLaren.

    “Growing up in New Zealand, Bruce McLaren and McLaren Racing are seen as the pinnacles of motorsport,” said Emma Gilmour, McLaren Extreme E driver.

    “To be competing in Extreme E next year with McLaren is a special opportunity.”

    The race car’s livery was hand-drawn by artist and illustrator, Vic Lee, and represents the racing calendar through the Arctic, Amazon, Desert and Ocean biomes.

    McLaren Racing confirmed it was entering the racing series earlier in 2021, with Leena Gade from the engineering firm, Multimatic, joining the team as its race engineer.

    “This is an exciting challenge for us at Multimatic as it is a new arena so it provides [a] huge opportunity for learning,” said Leena Gade.

    “McLaren has put together a great team and we have already started work.”

    Every team that enters in the Extreme E racing series isn’t able to change the chassis, powertrain, battery, suspension or tyre fundamentals of the Odyssey 21 racer and can only apply their team’s livery.

    For the first season, teams had the choice to either use the Extreme E’s bodywork, or work with with an automotive partner to put its own bodywork on the shared chassis.

    It’s uncertain if this will continue in the second season that’s expected to commence in Saudi Arabia on February 19-20, 2022.

    All Odyssey 21 racers are powered by twin electric motors producing a total system output of 400kW of power. This is good for a claimed 0-100km/h sprint in 4.5 seconds.

    This is powered by a 54kWh battery pack with 40kWh of usable energy built by Williams Advanced Engineering.

    The all-electric off-road racer measures in at 2300mm wide, 1864mm tall, and 4401mm long with a wheelbase of 3000mm.

    It also weighs 1780kg thanks to a tubular frame constructed of Niobium reinforced steel alloy.

    Putting the power to the ground are specially-engineered tyres by Continental for “extreme terrains”, with each team allocated one set of tyres per race, along with two used tyres from the previous race.

    Currently there are two other teams bearing automaker nameplates.

    Spanish Volkswagen Group subsidiary, Cupra, runs a team in association with German tuning and motorsport company, ABT.

    Cupra has confirmed that it’ll launch here in the middle of 2022 with three models and a broad range of engines on offer, including plug-in hybrids. Pure-electric cars will follow.

    General Motors subsidiary, GMC, also runs a team with Chip Ganassi Racing, an American auto racing organisation.

    This entrant in particular has a unique grille, graphics and bodywork inspired by the GMC Hummer EV that’s set to begin deliveries in late 2021.

    The Extreme E racing format is set over two days with two time trials on the first day, then two semi-finals and the final on the second day.

    Each race is two laps with one lap driven by the female driver and the other driven by the male driver that promotes gender equality and a level playing field.

    “The teams will determine which driver goes first to best suit their strategy and driver order selections are made confidentially,” according to the Extreme E official website.

    “A ‘Hyperdrive’ boost will also be available to each driver on each lap of the race.”

    Jack Quick

    Jack Quick is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne. Jack studied journalism and photography at Deakin University in Burwood, and previously represented the university in dance nationally. In his spare time, he loves to pump Charli XCX and play a bit of Grand Theft Auto. He’s also the proud owner of a blue, manual 2020 Suzuki Jimny.

    Buy and Lease
    Uncover exclusive deals and discounts with a VIP referral to Australia's best dealers
    Uncover exclusive deals and discounts with a VIP referral to Australia's best dealers