Remember Gordon Murray T.50? The supercar that has a fan to increase the downforce? Well, in recent years, there has been another so-call “fancar” and it’s also hailed from the U.K. From automobile startup, McMurtry Automotive is the Spéirling electric race car.
McMurtry made headlines when it turned up at last year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed with its Batmobile-esque McMurtry Spéirling electric race car. During its first test at the annual hill climb event, McMurtry boldly claimed that it will break multiple records in 2022 and it certainly did.
It set a new hill climb record of 39.08 seconds in Sunday Shootout with Max Chilton, former F1 driver, behind the wheel. Max’s speed run wiped out both the official and unofficial hill climb records. The former was 41.6 seconds set by Nick Heidfeld in a McLaren MP4/13 F1 and the latter was 39.9 seconds set by Roman Dumas behind the wheel of a VW ID.R.
Spéirling’s record has once again proved that electric power is the new king of the track. But in the case of Spéirling, it did have an extra “help” to keep it sticking to the tarmac and that is a pair of 60 kW vacuum fans that enable it to generate a mind-bending 2 metric ton (2.2 US ton, or 4,409 lbs) of downforce even when stationary. To put things into perspective, a Formula 1 car generates about 750 kilograms (1,653 lbs) of downforce at 160 km/h (100 mph).
McMurtry Spéirling also made history by becoming the first fancar to compete in officially sanctioned motorsport since the 1978 Swedish Grand Prix and winning the event.
Not a lot is known about this mini Batmobile-ish race car but we do know that it is rear-wheel drive and powered by two electric motors producing a total of 1,000 horsepower. The fact that it weighs less than a tonne (thanks to its mostly carbon fiber construction), means the Spéirling effectively has a power-to-weight ratio of 1:1.
While most electric vehicles are pretty mild on the noise level, this electric GT makes quite a ding when both vacuum fans are powered up. We heard it can create as much as 120 dB – that’s just 10 dB below an F1 car – and we all know long an F1 car can be. It’s deafening.
As for performance, this car is out of this world. It wipes 0-100 (0-62 mph) in mere 1.5 seconds and it takes just 9 seconds for it to get from naught to 300 km/h (186 mph).
And oh yes, it is quite adorable too because it is super tiny by any race car standards. It measures just 3.2 meters (10.5 feet) long, 1.5 meters (4.9 feet) wide, and a meter (3.3 feet) tall. It is significantly smaller than a 2022 Toyota GR Corolla which is about 4.4 meters (14.3 feet) long and 1.79 meters (5.9 feet). Didn’t we say it is adorable?
Impressive as it is, the McMurtry Spéirling is still in its development stage and is poised to break even more records. However, there’s good news. There’s going to be a road-legal version. Though it is not clear when it will actually happen and for how much.
Images: McMurtry Automotive.