McMurtry Spéirling: is this 1,000bhp baby EV Batmobile the future?

McMurtry Spéirling: is this 1,000bhp baby EV Batmobile the future?


It may look like Kinder’s started popping toy Batmobiles in its eggs, but this dinky device apparently beats a Chiron to 186mph – with turbines in place of a rear wing. The stats on the prototype are promising, and daft – think around 1,000kg, and around 1,000 electrically powered horses to move it. What’s even more promising (and perhaps equally as daft) is there’s a one-make series of these being touted. We’re sold. Adorable madness. There’s plenty to scramble your brain and get your head around, so allow Magazine’s Ollie Kew to walk you around this weird and wacky thing. And apologies for the sound. The person in charge of that is now on tea-making duties. Forever. Chris Harris on… Restomods: FIRST DRIVE: Singer’s DLS Project: Magazine Speed Week 2021: Want to watch a bit of on the internet? Welcome to the most comprehensive collection of official clips you’ll find on YouTube. Whether you’re searching for a caravan challenge, Ken Block in the Hoonicorn, cars versus fighter jets, Stig power laps or the latest Chris Harris Drives, you can find all the iconic films here.Want to share your views with the team?

normally we wouldn’t bring a car on top gears speed week if we couldn’t drive it at top speed but we will make an exception for this to make mercury speeding an electric car that might change the way you do your track days now obviously you haven’t heard of mcmurtry and you haven’t seen this rather natty peregrine falcon logo before but if you are going to have the fastest bird in the world on the back of your car then it better be pretty fast and it is better be pretty aerodynamic as well and that that’s what the mercury is really all about i mean look at it it’s kind of this miniature batmobile mixed with a bit of lmp2 car except look no huge rear wing on the back you can’t have a great big rear wing if you’re an electric car because that’s generating drag and it’s killing your precious range so this is not just about straight line performance it’s a total reinvention of how an electric car generates downforce yeah yeah yeah now i don’t know about you but i do love a car with such crazy aerodynamics that you don’t just look at it you can also look kind of through it and the mercury’s got loads of that as the air’s kind of forced out of these vents at the front it’s then sucked into these channels down the side of the car under the flying buttresses and then out via the rear suspension and next to that are two more exits and that’s the key to this car’s party trick because these well these are exhaust pipes and while an electric car have those well at the other end of these tubes are two electric fans buried somewhere deep in there when they’re running at full pelt this car will generate half a ton of down force now normally you’d be depending on a big wing about here to make that kind of aero but that only generates downforce when the car’s moving at top speed the fans they work at any speed so you can have your half a turn of downforce but while you’re parking okay so i think that’s enough aerodynamic theory for now we should deal with some cold hard numbers and for that i’ve been joined by an expert david turton from mercury automotive now before we get started you need to tell the ladies and gentlemen boys and girls where you actually used to work so i spent half my career working as a mechanical engineer for both williams and mercedes f1 right so if you’ve worked at mercedes f1 you know a lot about making very very fast track cars so can you tell me a bit about the philosophy behind this strange mini batmobile we’ve got so the philosophy about this car is what could the future be of electric motorsport so to achieve extremely high range and speed in electric car you’ve got to get the weight down and the drag down so that is basically shrink wrapping the car around the driver so that’s reducing the frontal area in all dimensions making it extremely slippery body shape but you still need down force for a lap time so we by having a fan based downfall system like an inverse hovercraft we can set the car to the track and it’s actually a really energy efficient way of getting your downforce we consume less power at racing speeds which means we can have a smaller lighter battery and go faster and further right so you’re already thinking a lot outside the box there typical formula one bloke so i can understand that it’s small i understand why you’re punching a small hole in the air but just in terms of like conventional electric car thinking we’re still powered by a lithium-ion battery are we yeah so we have a 60 kilowatt hour battery pack which is amazing to fit in a car of this size yeah that’s the same size as like a volkswagen id3 kind of battery but in something that’s like a little toy race car that’s right and the battery is actually in the side pods and underneath the driver’s leg so the kind of philosophy is take the driver put the safety structures around in the wheels and the motors and the remaining space is to fill with batteries uh in between the wheels to create a super low drag um overall content yes you’ve got this incredible silhouette and then obviously you need to power it so have you gone for motors all four corners so this is a rear wheel drive twin motor rear wheel drive right um and this car is around about 1000 horsepower and you might think how can you get a thousand horsepower through two wheels at the back but the secret is the fan system so like you said we’re getting full downfalls from zero speed so we’ve got full grip to deploy a thousand horsepower and presumably if you’ve got just modes at the rear wheels does that mean you can do clever things with torque vectoring and with power slide drift modes and things there’s a few tricks you can play with that and a little bit of regenerative braking as well but i guess the nice thing from a driver’s point of view you’ve got the central driving position and you’ve got unadulterated front wheels which are just just doing the steering and the braking so it’s getting back to a nice pure driving experience so you’re saying about a pure driving experience but people always think of evs about pure speed so in terms of getting this thing off the line how fast are we actually talking so nought to 186 miles an hour in under nine seconds and it’ll go on to way over 200 miles an hour it was only released two months ago at the festival of speed and each week we’re testing the car improving it making it faster and lighter so over the next year we’re going to reveal its true performance so watch this space to see how fast it can really go right so a thousand horsepower this incredible arrow have you actually done any kind of simulations of how fast you could laps say silverstone or come on the nurburgring yep so this car’s home is on grand prix grade tracks you know wide open tracks that you’re used to watching combustion motorsport and we have done a lot of simulation we’re very excited about how fast it can be but we’re not going to reveal it just yet ah bloody formula one spoilsports now i should say so the cars made completely out of carbon fiber and of course it isn’t road legal this is just a prototype for now i’m assuming there’s not a lot of luxury inside but can i have a poke around in the interior absolutely okay so back side down right wasn’t the most graceful way of getting in but worth it i immediately feel like i’m basically lying down midway through a backflip so this is the batteries are under my feet i take it and that’s why i’m laid right down in the car yep so you’ve got a f1 or le man style driving position which is um really good to get the overall height of the car down it’s a very safe position for you to be in and it means that we basically fit batteries in all the remaining space that isn’t driver wheels or motor so the batteries are in the side pod and underneath the driver’s legs yeah i’ve got to say this is one of the coolest views out i’ve ever seen i mean all the fighter pilot or kind of submarine cliches apply here you can just see the tops of the wings and then nothing in front help you spot the apex now i can’t help noticing there’s nowhere for my phone there’s nowhere for a cup um there’s certainly nowhere for a passenger either beside or behind me so obviously this is a single seater are there any plans one day to kind of take what you’ve learned from this and put it in a road car and a road car you could potentially bring a mate along in to blow their mind so we’re really excited about the single seater electric car concept right so we absolutely wish to do road cars in in the long term future and for us a really exciting thing about taking this on the road is imagine every single road you drive on you can actually take the racing line because your car is so narrow almost like a motorbike it’s kind of like you’ve got more space to play with it’s like a safe four-wheeled motorbike there we go there’s there’s a usp and overtaking as well you can nip out and make gaps that you wouldn’t normally be able to make so as a road car the concept is quite exciting but for us the focus was on delivering something really exciting grab some some records and do a single make race series to get people excited that a single seat car is is what they need to communicate yeah i think 20 or 30 of these charging into a really high downfall section maggots beckett’s or something at silverstone would be pretty mind-blowing um i’m really taken with what you said about the noise i’ve never been in an electric car before that i can show off and rev so um yeah can we turn the fan on please sure we’ll just do that now now something i should have told you about this car is that though the manufacturer is called mcmurtry named after the irish inventor sir david mcmurtry this car is actually named the spearling and that’s irish for thunderstorm and here’s why oh now of course mercury is just a prototype for now you are not going to be seeing this on the roads next year getting in the way of nissan leaf drivers at the local charging station bit of a pity really but if this thing can’t get you excited about the future of electric cars and fast electric cars then i’m not sure what will i mean you could be looking here not just at the future of how you might do a track day one day but the future of the hypercar itself

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