After eight years at the helm of McLaren, Mike Flewitt is stepping down from running the company's road car division. During his tenure, the former head honcho insisted the folks from Woking would not jump on the SUV bandwagon, unlike the likes of Aston Martin, Bentley, Lamborghini, with Ferrari and its Purosangue up next in 2022.
Purists mustn't fret as McLaren hasn't broken that promise since this spectacular off-roader comes from the racing division. Specifically, it's an all-electric SUV that will take part next year in what will be the second season of the Extreme E series. Behind the wheel will be Emma Gilmour, the first female driver to take part in the recently founded competition. She will be part of a duo with none other than Tanner Foust.
Gallery: McLaren Extreme E electric off-roader
The lovely orange livery was hand-drawn by artist and illustrator Vic Lee and his drawings depict the Amazon, Desert, and the Arctic Ocean to highlight where the Extreme E series will be heading next year. A visual nod to Bruce McLaren – born in New Zealand much like Emma Gilmour – has been applied onto the roof, along with McLaren Racing's "Count Us In" pledge noticeable at the front.
As for the off-roader itself, it has some juicy specs. According to the official Extreme E website, all vehicles competing in the zero-emissions racing series feature dual electric motors providing a combined output of 543 bhp (400 kilowatts), good for a 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in four and a half seconds. The electric machine boasts a 54-kWh battery pack and tips the scales at 1,780 kilograms (3,924 pounds).
Just like all the other cars competing in Extreme E, McLaren's high-riding EV is imposingly wide, at 2.3 metres (90.5 inches). To put that number into perspective, our roundup of the widest cars currently in production put the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ on the number one spot, but it was still considerably narrower, at 2.09 metres (82.6 inches) without the side mirrors. Heck, it's even wider than a Hummer H1 or a Toyota Mega Cruiser.
The 2022 Extreme E championship is scheduled to kick off February 19-20 next year in Saudi Arabia, the first of five rounds, although the final calendar has yet to be announced.