Carbon fiber: check. Crazy aero: check. New hill climb record: Check.
A run "up the hill" at the Goodwood Festival of Speed is a right of passage for anyone at the Festival. People pay real money to get run up the hill by pro drivers, and manufacturers love to boast about their times up the hill. It's also an incredibly tiny course, with an equally short record time.
Previously, that record was held by the Volkswagen ID. R, and electric racer built for Pike's Peak. Now, this micro-Batmobile, known as the McMurtry Speirling, holds the record. It might just be one of the fastest EVs on the planet as well, hitting 60 mph faster than even the nonexistent Tesla Roadster, at 1.5 seconds. You can watch the record get beat in real-time below.
If you didn't watch (you should), the Speirling managed the run in 39.08 seconds, taking 0.01 seconds off the ID.R's 39.9-second record. That plume of dust you see constantly trailing the fun-sized, 1000-hp EV isn't from the wing. Instead, it's from a Gordon Murray-style fan system, something even the record-holding ID.R didn't have.
Basically, what that fan does is suck the car onto the ground. In fact, it theoretically produces more downforce than the Speirling has mass, meaning it can, like an F1 car, drive upside down in the right circumstances. The fan pulls air from under the EV, creating a low-pressure zone that pulls the car onto the ground, thus creating downforce.
The actual engineering is a little more complicated, but that's about as well as it can be summed up in a reasonable amount of time. The GMA T.50 uses the same system. Of course, downforce and power only get you so far. That's about where the ID.R ran out of tricks. The Speirling's size is its greatest ally.
In all, the Speirling measures only 10.5 feet from end to end, and only around 5.5 feet wide. The hill at Goodwood is incredibly narrow (check the photos below). It's tough to push a larger car around this track because you've simply got less room to maneuver and explore a racing line. That's not the case with a car that's barely larger than its pilot, ex-F1 talent Max Chilton.
Thanks to its absurd power, small size, and tech so crazy even Formula 1 won't allow it, the Speirling managed to take the record, but only just. We're not sure how you get faster from here, but we'd love to see the thing that can beat this.