McLaren is set to enter the new electric off-road racing series Extreme E in 2022, but it won’t go it alone.
The British race team and supercar manufacturer announced on Wednesday that it will partner with leading Canadian motorsport and engineering company Multimatic for its Extreme E effort.
The partnership will provide McLaren with access to Multimatic’s Vehicle Dynamics Development Center in Norfolk, U.K., for preparation of the vehicle McLaren will race. The site is home to a simulator and multiple suspension test rigs.
Multimatic race engineers Leena Gade and Teena Gade will provide engineering services. Both have served as engineers for race teams, including for Audi in the World Endurance Championship and Williams, Force India and AlphaTauri in Formula One.
Currently, all teams competing in Extreme E use a common electric off-roader known as the Odyssey 21. The vehicle is manufactured by Spark Racing Technology, the same company that builds race cars for the Formula E World Championship, 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%.
Each team has two drivers, one male and one female. McLaren has already named talented American rallycross driver Tanner Foust as its first driver.
When first announcing its Extreme E entry in June, McLaren said the move is part of a wider sustainability and diversity agenda. However, we could also see it as a first step toward creating some credibility for an electric crossover in McLaren’s road-car lineup.
For Multimatic, the involvement in Extreme E is a further synergy with the company’s growing business in the field of performance dampers, particularly in off-roading. The company’s DSSV dampers are already popular with off-roaders and features on vehicles like the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 and Ford’s new Bronco DR customer race car.