Almost as soon as the dust has settled from Le Mans the gaze of the automotive world is turned to the Goodwood Festival of Speed. A demonstration of outright performance enacted across a single 1-and-a-bit mile hill climb puts on a fantastic spectacle once a year for the public.
Which has me thinking about last year’s event, and the phenomenal McMurtry Speirling.
Whilst the company made it clear that the car was build to do exactly this sort of event, the performance of that machine meant it was almost 6 seconds quicker than the next fastest thanks to its trick aerodynamics, suction fan grip and brutal power delivery from the electric motors. Anyone who was there was left dumbfounded at the speed the Speirling passed by. The videos look quick but don’t really convey just immediacy of everything the car does.
Just watch the marshal’s reaction as it disappears from the line:
McMurtry did some incredible with that car. They got people talking. They got people interested in performance EVs in a way that no other OEM had managed (and I would argue still struggles to do).
And now, 12 months after their legendary run up Lord March’s driveway, McMurtry have announced that for a cool £820,000 you could own your very own. The company claim not only will the sealed-skirted McMurtry Pure exceed the capabilities of the car that holds the record, but that it’s 60kW battery will allow for “multi lap runs on full race circuits”.
If the rapid charging that’s also being claimed is exactly that, rapid, then this has moved the goalposts within the industry. This open’s up a driving experience the offers something new, something more exciting and more interesting than any EV has since Tesla Roadster.
Every EV touted at the performance market has one thing going for it; brutal acceleration. Once you’ve experienced and got over just how impressive it is, you start to realise how necessary it is as party trick when dynamically, the car is lacklustre. Everyone knows batteries add weight, and that is contrary to everything you want in a track focused car.
What McMurtry have done is removed the need for range (its track only) and can therefore shrink the battery, reducing weight.
They then, very cleverly, disguise the weight that’s left (around 1000kg) with the downforce-generating fan to create a driving experience that is not obtainable with a conventional ICE car. The “downforce on demand” means the fan speed is completely independent of the vehicle or engine speed, a limiting factor in most applications, and the reason that aside from the GMA T50, it’s never been done very well. (Note that the T50 uses the fan to supplement aerodynamic devices and manage airflow, rather than generating static downforce as per the McMurtry.)
Yes, it has a 7-figure price tag once you factor in taxes, and yes there are only going to 100 of them made. And yes, it is still in a prototype phase which means the final spec is still not locked down (production units are scheduled for delivery in 2025), but the claims, the promises and the capabilities that this is offering make this sound like a viable starting point for EV Trackday toys. Technology filters down, and companies like McMurtry drive things forward.
McMurtry are launching the Pure at Goodwood next month and I suspect, unlike other OEMs in the HyperEV space, they won’t struggle to fill their order books.
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