After three years of top-secret work at a Gloucestershire location, the electric racing car pushing the boundaries of technology has had its world premiere at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
The rule-breaking the McMurtry Spéirling hyper car turned heads as it roared – yes, roared – up the track driven by development drivers five-time Le Mans winner Derek Bell MBE and 2015 British Hillclimb Champion Alex Summers.
The McMurtry Spéirling is described as a ‘radical’ rethink of what an electric sportscar can achieve and is a product of a team created by the founder of Wotton-under-Edge engineering firm Renishaw and acclaimed inventor and engineer, Sir David McMurtry.
Thomas Yates, managing director of McMurtry Automotive, and formerly of Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains, said: ‘We were of the mind that if we took all of the best technological advancements from motorsport since the 1960s and applied them to now and to a cutting-edge zero-emissions vehicle, with an emphasis on safety too, we could develop something special.’
Spéirling (meaning thunderstorm in Irish) is described as ‘a no limits, fully electric track car; designed, engineered and built in Britain’.
The Irish reference is a nod towards Sir David’s heritage, and the ‘thunderstorm’ recognising the 120 decibels from the fans that create 500kg of downforce, giving it incredible cornering ability at speeds of up to 200 mph.
‘It is like nothing the world has ever seen,’ according to McMurtry Automotive.
The ‘downforce’ device is just one of the technological breakthroughs banned in the petrol-propelled Formula 1 motor sport, which the Gloucestershire engineers picked up took to a new level, unconstrained by the sport’s governing bodies.
The single-seater Spéirling can go from a standstill to 186mph (300kmh) in under nine seconds, is just 1.5m wide, 3.2m long, and its 60kWh capacity allows 30-60mins running at GT3 racing car pace, ‘with great potential for faster running modes’.
It has a full carbon fibre monocoque with ‘crash structures’ and it has been suggested it represents ‘a possible future for electric track and race cars’.
In the next year, McMurtry Automotive plans to embark on a world record breaking programme with the car, which SoGlos will be reporting on. Watch this space.
By Andrew Merrell