Some refer to it as a “shrunken Batmobile.” Would you race a shrunken Batmobile if you could? The McMurtry Spéirling turned up at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed. However you think it looks, a lot of data went into the development of the Batmobile.
What you don’t see are huge fans in back for downforce
First, this is a single-seater, rear-wheel-drive, and it’s electric. The power-to-weight ratio is 1 hp/kg but that is deceiving. That’s because this race car has huge fans in the back for controllable downforce.
Now that we have your attention; that downforce comes via a paddle on the steering wheel. So this adds another part of the driver’s machine that he or she can control. Just as drivers love having a manual transmission to help with engagement, this is another dimension in that engagement.
According to insideevs, the fan motors add an additional 80 hp at full spin. But they also generate a ton of noise. Like 120 decibels of noise. For comparison, a military jet taking off from an aircraft carrier with the afterburners turned up generates 130 dB. So this literal sucker can make almost the equivalent of that amount of noise.
The Spéirling race car packs 1,000 electric horsepower
The AutoTrader vid gives a clue as to what the McMurtry Spéirling sounds like. But all of the downforce efforts work in conjunction with the 1,000 hp contained. The 60 kWh batteries can spin the car around a track for between 30-60 minutes before they need to be swapped out for charged ones.
McMurtry Automotive says the Spéirling endeavor weighs under 2,000 lbs. Observers at Goodwood said the demonstration looked like the race car was glued to the road. With the downforce generated, it may have been.
The thing that McMurtry is banking on, besides its downforce magic, is its size. This is a small race car. But that also means fewer materials used, which translates to less weight. So the builders have a certain confidence level, and also something to prove.
Unfortunately, right now there is no race for this race car
Right now this is a race car waiting for a race. Or, should we say racing organization. While that may or may not form in the near future, in the meantime the Spéirling will run demonstration runs. The goal is to break some track records to demonstrate its potential.
McMurtry also believes that with the dawn of electrification of racing, it is not unlike the dawn of racing itself. To them, that means “uninhibited technical evolution.” In some respects, it is looking at this as the golden age of racing.
This is a blue-sky endeavor. All racing enthusiasts should keep their eye on this effort to see not only what it achieves itself, but what it might achieve in the realm of racingdom.