It was at the 2021 Goodwood Festival of Speed that British firm McMurtry debuted the Speirling, a tiny (it’s just 126 inches long) but powerful electric track car that does away with drag-inducing aerodynamic features in favor of a fan-powered ground effect system that generates downforce. We’re talking the ability to generate more than 4,400 pounds (up from 1,100 pounds previously) of downforce at a standstill.
For this year’s festival, which runs June 23-26, McMurtry plans to make an attempt on the event’s Sunday Shootout hill climb, aiming not only for the win but also the record. The current record for the 1.16-mile hill climb that winds its way around the grounds of Goodwood House is the 39.9 seconds set in 2019 by Romain Dumas, behind the wheel of the 670-hp Volkswagen ID.R time attack special.
The Speirling definitely has a chance given its incredible downforce, which is more than what a Formula 1 car produces up to 150 mph, coupled with a high output generated by a pair of electric motors driving the rear wheels. Powering the motors is a 60-kilowatt-hour battery.
McMurtry hasn’t said how powerful the Speirling is but claims the car has approximately one horsepower for every 2.2 pounds of weight. The weight of the car is claimed to be less than 2,200 pounds.
Performance claims include a 0-60 mph time of less than 1.5 seconds and a top speed of 150 mph, the latter being capped due to the transmission setup McMurtry plans for the hill climb. Normally the top speed is over 200 mph.
Tasked with driving is ex-F1 driver Max Chilton, who was hired in February as head development driver for the Speirling.
Max Chilton with the McMurtry Speirling
“The largely constant downforce is an innovative feature to exploit as a driver,” Chilton said in a statement. “It’s very different compared to what I’m used to driving in F1 and IndyCar, and testing this year has required me to adapt my driving style to maximize performance.”
Qualifying for the hill climb will take place on June 25, with the shootout to run the next day.
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