McLaren announce new SUV! Relax, it's electric and just for racing!
6th November 2021
When McLaren enters Extreme E in 2022, it will do so with Multimatic as its Vehicle Dynamics Partner. The McLaren Extreme E team has joined the innovative all-electric off-road series and will compete in the five-race global championship in 2022.
Extreme E offers an opportunity to test clean technology innovations in some of the world’s toughest environments, whilst highlighting the impact of climate change. The series is focused on raising awareness of sustainability, by showcasing a low carbon future via the adoption of electric vehicles and by promoting diversity, equality and inclusion.
McLaren will use Multimatic’s Vehicle Dynamics Development Centre to prepare its all-electric ODYSSEY 21 Extreme E SUV ahead of the 2022 race season. Situated in Norfolk, UK, the facility is home to an innovative multi-post rig, one of the company’s Driver in the Loop (DiL) simulators and a state-of-the-art K&C rig.
Multimatic will provide the support of two world-class engineers to the collaborative programme. Leena Gade will serve as the team’s Race Engineer, while Teena Gade will undertake Performance and Systems engineering.
Best known for scoring three outright 24 Hours of Le Mans victories as a race engineer with Audi Sport, Leena Gade joined Multimatic as Vehicle Dynamics Centre Manager and Race Engineer in 2018. In addition to running one of the UK’s most respected Vehicle Dynamics development facilities, she is the President of the FIA’s GT Commission and a leading voice on the FIA Commission for Women in Motorsport. For the past three years she has also race engineered Mazda’s DPi programme in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Teena Gade’s engineering background is just as impressive as her older sister’s. She has worked across the spectrum of motorsport engineering, from Formula 1 with Williams, Force India and AlphaTauri, through to World Rally with Prodrive and Skoda and sportscar racing with various teams. She also worked as a data and systems engineer on the JCB Diesel Max land speed record programme.
“This is an exciting challenge for us at Multimatic as it is a new arena so it provides huge opportunity for learning,” said Leena. “McLaren has put together a great team and we have already started work. I’m thrilled to also be working with Teena on this project. We worked together in Superleague Formula many years ago but not to the extent that we are now. I’m often asked what the secret formula is in our family but it’s actually very simple: Our parents always told us that we could do whatever we wanted to do as long as we worked incredibly hard at it.”
Executive Vice President of Multimatic Special Vehicle Operations, Larry Holt added: “We have had a long history of collaboration with McLaren and this is a new chapter in the relationship. Zak (Brown) has consistently proven his instinct for where are our industry needs to head, and this latest move into Extreme E is another that I fully agree is imperative to focus attention on sustainability, reduced carbon emissions and ultimately the viability of the sport. Leena and Teena share that same passion for making change and so the decision to take-on the vehicle dynamics aspect of the McLaren programme was a no-brainer. A further synergy of the initiative is that it coincides with Multimatic’s growing business in the off-road damper sector and so the learnings that come from developing the vehicle dynamics for the massively challenging events associated with Extreme E will undoubtedly strengthen our knowledge and capability in that space. Oh, and Zak and I share a passion for winning!!”