The Goodwood Festival of Speed is under way and hundreds of vehicles are lined up to try and claim the fastest time for the famous hill climb. You’ll find everything from motorcycles to exotic sports car to pure race cars competing. This year, all of them got bitchslapped by this tiny electric car.
The McMurtry Spéirling is the brainchild of Sir David McMurtry, the billionaire co-founder of engineering and scientific technology firm Renishaw. In 2016, he asked a group of ex-F1 engineers in come up with a clean-sheet electric car with the “twin goals of driver engagement and vehicle performance.” This is the result.
As a car, the McMurtry Spéirling looks like a mini bat mobile. The car is positively tiny at only 126 inches long, 59.1 inches wide and 41.3 inches tall. It makes the Lotus Elise look like a giant hippo!
This is a tiny single-seater that will embarrass any gas powered car it meets at a track days. Using the tagline “Smaller, Faster, Further,” the Spéirling employs a 60-kWh battery to power two electric motors that sends over 1000 hp to the rear wheels.
Because of its small size and fairly small battery pack, the Spéirling weighs only 1000 kg for power-to-weight ratio of 1000 hp per tonne! However, what makes this thing go around corners with a force greater than 3 G are the twin fans underneath the car. The fans produce up to 2000 kg of downforce from a standstill and pretty much glues the car to the road. Combined with the e-motor’s instant torque, and the Spéirling will rocket from zero to 60 mph in less than 1.5 seconds and zero to 186 mph in less than 9 seconds! Top speed is over 200 mph.
Because the car produces more downforce than its weight, it’s possible to drive the Spéirling upside down in a tunnel and not fall down. The amount of downforce can be control by the driver using a knob on the steering wheel. At full speed, the fans are as loud (120 db!) as as jet engine during take off, and sounds like one too. A quiet EV, this is not!
With F1 driver Max Chilton behind the wheel, the McMurtry Spéirling completed a practice run at Goodwood on Friday with a time of 41.29 seconds over the 1.16 mile course. On Saturday the Spéirling complete a qualification run in 40.056 seconds with British hillclimb champion Alex Summers at the wheel. If Mr. Chilton can find another 0.157 seconds of speed on Sunday’s main event, the McMurtry Spéirling will claimed the fastest time ever (held by the VW ID.R, another EV) at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Tune in tomorrow to see if Max can do it.