This teeny electric car, the McMurtry Speirling, just broke a 23-year-old record at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Max Chilton, former F1 and IndyCar driver, set the record at the event’s hill climb shootout with a 39.08 second run.
The big reason for this success is the Speirling’s fan assisted downforce. Normally, race cars use aerodynamic wings with sculpted floors to produce high amounts of downforce that push the car towards the ground. This allows the car to hit the corners with way more grip than gravity allows. The McMurtry uses powerful fans to pull the car to the ground. When the car is at rest is produces two tonnes of downforce and when there’s speed involved it’s even higher.
To be fair, part of the reason why the car is faster than an F1 car is because fan-assisted downforce is banned in most racing classes which includes Formula 1. Thankfully, Goodwood doesn’t have any such restrictions so that manufacturers can try out their craziest ideas.
We have no idea how much power the car makes as it hasn’t been revealed by McMurtry. What we do know is that it has a one-to-one horsepower to kilogram ratio and it weighs less than a tonne. So estimates are around 700kW of instant electric thrust which should help get the car to 100km/h in roughly 1.5 seconds.
The previous record holder was another F1 driver, Nick Heidfeld, who achieved a 41.6 second sprint behind the wheel of a McLaren MP4/13 in 1999.
The unofficial practice record holder was the Volkswagen ID.R driven by Romain Dumas.
For more things that get your adrenaline pumping, check out this new extreme sports documentary from HBO, Edge of the Earth.
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