WHAT would you expect to find at Swinhay Farm, which is in Vernals Lane at Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire?
It’s in the Cotswolds, the prettiest part of England, and the address conjures up images of rolling green hills, contented cows and country pubs.
But despite its serene location, Swinhay Farm has in recent years become the home of McMurtry Automotive, which recently produced a wee Batmobile-like electric car that made eyes pop last year when it set a new record for the Goodwood Hill Climb.
The company was founded in 2016 by Sir David McMurtry and is managed by Thomas Yates, who was headhunted from the Mercedes Formula I team.
Its mission statement?
Committed to raising the bar for electric vehicles, we invent and prove new technologies to offer cars with unrivalled performance in dynamics, speed and range.
In a world where electric cars are growing in size and weight, chasing speed and range, we are boldly delivering compact vehicles with performance and range beyond compare.
Known as the Spéirling Pure, (Spéirling is Irish for ‘thunderstorm’) the mini hypercar is 3450mm in length – that’s shorter than a Suzuki Jimny – only 102omm tall and has a mass of less than 1000kg.
It packs two electric motors powered by a 60kWh battery system detonating 745kW of electrons to the rear axle.
But it also has a pair of big fans that suck the Speirling towards the ground and provide 2000kg of downforce at any speed.
The chap who steered it up the hill at Goodwood was ex-Formula 1 and Indycar driver Max Chilton, who might be known to Australian fans with good memories.
He raced in the 2013 Australian Grand Prix for Manor and for Marussia the following year.
“Proving the Spéirling’s advantage via the outright hillclimb record at Goodwood was a proud life achievement,” Chilton said.
“Since then, it’s been rewarding to see what customers can achieve in the driving seat too.”
At the last Goodwood Festival of Speed, the diminutive performance EV completed the course in 39.08 seconds, shaving 0.8 seconds off the previous record set by Romain Dumas in the VW ID.R in 2019.
The downforce-on-demand system was designed to benefit enthusiast owners who spend a lot of time on the track and they’ll be able to experience the G forces normally felt in top flight motorsport as cornering in excess of 3G can be achieved.
The company has also thought about the logistics of keeping the 60kWh battery charged during those intense track days, with fast-charging capability in under 20 minutes .
“The Spéirling Pure will herald a new era on the track,” Yates said.
“The sound, grip, acceleration, aesthetics and technology of this car are distinct.”
Despite its mini size, the McMurtry Spéirling can accommodate drivers up to two metres in height and 150kg in weight, thanks to its adjustable pedals and steering wheel.
Here’s the good news: the McMurtry Spéirling will be going into limited production, with a run of only 100 cars.
Work starts next year and deliveries will be made in 2025.
The new cars will be even a bit quicker than the one Max Chilton drove, with upgrades including 18-inch wheels that are slightly lighter than last year’s 19-inch set and are fitted with wider 270mm front and 300mm rear slick tires.
There’s also a new fan system with 15 percent improved efficiency and 14 percent less weight.
McMurtry Automotive has also made tweaks to the suspension, bodywork, and aerodynamics while adjusting the pedal box, electrical architecture, brakes, chassis, and power steering unit to cut mass.
You can order yours now.
Oh yes, the cost: £820,000. That’s about $1.56 million Australian.