No McLaren has ever looked like this.
It's been a transformative year for McLaren. The marque's first series-production hybrid is here in the form of the V6-engined Artura. Earlier this year, the brand waved goodbye to its Sports Series lineup, and this week, CEO Mike Flewitt announced that he would be stepping down from his role. With so much change in the air at McLaren, maybe it comes as less of a shock that McLaren Racing is entering Extreme E in 2022.
This is an all-electric off-road series, so McLaren will need something totally different from the likes of the 570S to compete. Well, that something has now been teased on social media.
On Instagram, McLaren welcomed the #McLarenXE to the social media platform. That caption was shared with the teaser of what must surely be McLaren's electric SUV racer that will head to Extreme E.
The top half of the body is visible and we can see muscular fenders, headlight cutouts, and what looks to be paintwork in a dark matte finish. But below the bodywork is what counts - peeking out of the darkness are huge off-road tires. The McLaren XE page itself shared individual images of the side profile. Here, we can see the SUV's narrow glasshouse and swoopy lines, as well as rear wheel arches that go up extremely high. Clearly, this EV racer has tremendous ground clearance.
"From the outset, McLaren has always been at the forefront and never afraid to push new boundaries," said Zak Brown, CEO of McLaren Racing, back in June. "The new venture is true to our roots of participating in a variety of categories, innovation, and bravery."
Although McLaren has previously stated that it won't build an SUV, stranger things have happened. The XE racer may just provide a glimpse of what a future McLaren SUV could look like, should it ever reach production.
No technical details have been shared yet but the Extreme E-SUV Odyssey 21 unveiled in 2019 specifically for the Extreme E competition gives us some idea of what to expect from McLaren's racer. The Odyssey 21 produces over 500 horsepower, can get to 62 mph in 4.5 seconds, and can climb 52-degree gradients. It also looks a lot like McLaren's teaser.
McLaren's off-road racer will be fully revealed on November 3.