McLaren will enter the new sport of Extreme E in 2022, and has signed Tanner Foust as its first driver.
Foust is a proven driver across multiple disciplines, including rallying, drifting, desert racing and hill climbs, though he is perhaps best known for being one of the co-hosts of the American version of “Top Gear” that ran from 2010 to 2016.
Among his motorsport achievements are championships in Americas Rallycross, Global Rallycross, and Formula D, as well as four X Games gold medals for rallying and gymkhana.
McLaren will name a second driver for Extreme E in the near future. Under the rules of Extreme E, McLaren will need to pick a female driver to join Foust, which will be the first time the Woking-based squad will have a female racing driver among its ranks.
Extreme E is currently into its inaugural season. All teams use a common electric off-roader known as the Odyssey 21, which is built by Spark Racing Technology, the same company that builds Formula E's race cars. Claimed performance specs include a 0-62 mph time of 4.5 seconds and the ability to climb gradients of up to 130%.
McLaren is actually the third car brand to join the series. The first two were Volkswagen Group's Cupra and fellow Spanish brand Hispano Suiza, and electric-vehicle startup Fisker has also hinted at the possibility of forming a team. There are also teams backed by current Formula One star Lewis Hamilton and former champions Nico Rosberg and Jenson Button.