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Being the fastest car up the hill at the Goodwood Festival of Speed requires a combination of sheer chutzpah, loads of power and a whole lot of grip. Perhaps that's why the timed record stood for 23 years straight, until something that looks like a miniature Batmobile came along and demolished it.
The McMurtry Spierling electric fan car set the Timed Shootout record at the 2022 Goodwood Festival of Speed this weekend. Its time of 39.08 seconds, achieved by F1 and IndyCar driver Max Chilton, shaved more than two seconds off the previous record, a 41.6-second run set 23 years ago by Nick Heidfeld in a McLaren MP4/13 Formula 1 car.
That's not the only record the Spierling broke at Goodwood. In the same run that set the Timed Shootout mark, the car also picked up the Outright Hill record, previously held by Romain Dumas behind the wheel of the wild Volkswagen ID R race car in 2019. The ID R's time of 39.9 seconds is still mighty impressive, and you can tell from the video above that Chilton was wringing every inch of capability out of the Spierling during its record-breaking run.
The McMurtry Spierling is a wild car, unlike nearly any other to take on the Goodwood hill climb. Built as an engineering exercise free of traditional race-car regulations, this compact electric vehicle relies on a 60-kilowatt-hour battery to produce an unknown amount of power and torque -- McMurtry hasn't published any official outputs, only saying that it has a power-to-weight ratio of at least 1 horsepower per kilogram. A pair of electric fans pull the air from underneath the vehicle, generating an estimated 4,400 pounds of downforce, which is more than a Formula 1 car.
The company claims the Spierling can reach 60 mph in under 1.5 seconds, and unlike most EVs, it generates one hell of a racket in the process, reaching approximately 120 decibels with the fans running at full clip.