This Sparks Joy: Hot Rod EVs At The Goodwood Festival Of Speed

Electric Vehicle. These two words are nothing short of sacrilege to some dyed-in-the-wool petrolheads. Images of soulless, cardboard cut-outs in various shades of lease-spec grey sat in motorway service stations charging is what most envisage.

But change is inevitable. Humans, by nature, evolve with each generation and their surroundings evolve at an even quicker rate. This is no more true than in the automotive space.

SH EV 083

Electric cars have been around for far longer than you may realise. In 1828, nearly 200 years ago, the first, albeit crude, electrically-powered scale model carriage was built. During the 1900s, electric competed with both steam and gasoline as the primary power for transportation. We all know which ruled supreme for the next 100-odd years, but in the last 20 years, battery and electric motor technology has progressed in leaps and bounds to the point where performance, range and cost have resulted in them returning to the mass market with a high degree of success.

SH EV 030

The Goodwood Festival of Speed has recognised this shift in the market by setting up Electric Avenue, a large display area solely focused on electric vehicles. Over the course of this year’s event, the space proved extremely popular, with numerous OEMs showing current and future EV models.

SH EV 001

Lucid is not a company many will recognise as it’s relatively new. Although it was initially set up in 2007, the first customer cars were only delivered late last year. Truth be told, before FOS, I was aware of them by name, but that’s all. A few days prior to the event, however, a conversation led to the opportunity for a passenger ride up the hill in one of the Lucid Air GTs brought over for the event, driven by ex-Stig Ben Collins. When opportunity knocks, you answer.

SH EV 016

Helmets on, seatbelts buckled, waiting at the start line I had watched hundreds upon hundreds of cars leaving. For context, the fastest car I’d been in before this was a 700hp R35 Nissan GT-R, but nothing prepared me for the Lucid’s voracious acceleration. Tunnel vision is definitely a thing, as I found out, along with the involuntary expletives which I uttered as we made our way to the first turn. The distinct lack of engine noise, which would normally be an indication of speed was devoid, but the handling made short work of the course, and we eventually hit peak speed of 134mph (221km/h) crossing the finish line.

SH EV 035

In the Sunday Shootout, the Lucid Air GT set the 12th fastest overall time and the fastest production car time. My biggest takeaway was the car’s innate ability to provide both mind-altering performance and in the next moment, a silent, comfortable ride. How many petrol-powered vehicles can do that?

SH EV 075

Ford brought the fourth iteration of their Supervan with Romain Dumas at the helm. While the previous three generations were equally as deranged, for the first time the Supervan is electric. Massive four wheel burnouts when launching off the line provided a visual indication of just how much power was being put to the ground.

SH EV 063

Approximately 2,000hp and 1,328lb ft of torque to be exact. It was odd seeing a van moving this fast, but having an opportunity to view it more closely while in the pits made it clear that this was a van only in body shape.

SH EV 009

Massive ducts down either side and underneath channelled the airflow around the awkward body shape as it powered up the hill numerous times over the weekend.

SH EV 065

Did you know Porsche started out with an electric vehicle? In 1898, Ferdinand Porsche created his first car, the Egger-Lohner C.2 Phaeton which was powered by electric motors in the hubs. Fast forward to more recent times and Porsche has once again invested heavily into hybrid and more specifically full electric drivetrains for road cars.

SH EV 043

Recently, more of an emphasis has been placed on the motorsport side, with the 718 GT4 ePerformance acting as a demonstrator of what Porsche is capable of. And demonstrate it does, with the diminutive Cayman-esque body shell hiding motors which generate up to 1,000hp in qualifying mode, or a (barely) more sedate 650hp in race trim. This recipe proved its worth with a second fastest time up the hill.

SH EV 070

The biggest talking point at FOS 2022 was of course the McMurtry Spéirling (Irish for thunderstorm). Diminutive and slightly awkward proportions belie the absolute commitment to outright performance. Built by a small company in the rolling hills of Gloucestershire, they have well and truly laid down the gauntlet by not only taking top honours during the Shootout (over five seconds faster than second place), but in doing so claiming the overall record from the VW I.D. R.

SH EV 051

McMurtry built what can only be described as an electric hot rod. With no series rule book to align to or restrictions to conform to, the collective knowledge has culminated in a vehicle with one sole purpose – to go as fast as possible.

Power figures have yet to be disclosed, but the target of 1hp per kg for the circa one tonne carbon monocoque is likely to not only have been achieved, but exceeded. Twin fans (on separate circuits for redundancy) that evacuate air from a sealed skirt a-la-Brabham BT46 provide 2 tonnes of downforce from 0mph, and a vortex is created from the high speed air exiting via two small flaps. If you haven’t yet watched the record setting run, the video appears to be sped up until you realise otherwise.

In a race, the primary objective is to finish first and be faster than all your competitors, something which the EVs in attendance at FOS 2022 proved extremely capable of on the Goodwood hill, taking four of the top 10 spots this year. Granted, these are very specific circumstances, but nonetheless, I came away from the weekend with a newfound appreciation for electric vehicles. It’s hard to deny the outright performance on offer.

While EVs may lack the theatre and engagement of combustion engine vehicles, they do have their obvious benefits. And there’s nothing wrong with having options, right?

Chaydon Ford
Instagram: chaycore

SH EV 041
SH EV 059
SH EV 061
SH EV 069
SH EV 010
SH EV 014
SH EV 025


Comments are closed.


by Oldest
by Best by Newest by Oldest



This is lit as hell.

Pretty sure my GRMN iQ would give it a run for it's money though.


Sorry should note that it's Justin from here.

Senator Chinchilla

Seeing something that narrow and awkward looking go so fast was surreal. Its like an old TVR Griffith with a nuke!


The Mcmurtry Spéirling looks like a shruken Vulcan lol
Still crazy to see how it has gotten the fastest run here at Goodwood!


EVs are cool and all but the only ones that are interesting to me would be the Lucid Air, R5 Concept, 718 GT4, and the Supervan
Those are actually cool and they really stand out but honestly most EVs are just overrated and they just don't give the same thrill as ICE cars


I can see all the hate comments coming on here.

I, for one, am excited to see the future of motoring. Sure, it's nice to have options, but in reality places like the EU continent are hellbent on outlawing any vehicles with ICE. It's just really sad.


at the end of the day most of these cars are promotion for a technology that a lot of people are not interested in


Battery based Ev's are just a stop-gap solution until cleaner fuels and super capacitors are developed for the consumer market. Should this statement turn out to be true (which you can't prove to the contrary and might get angry about) then the current generation EV's will be worthless in 7-10 years time except the first generation EV's that were built by manufactures on pre-existing ICE chassis such as the 2013 Volvo V40.


You just know Gordon Murray is lowkey jealous he didn't design the Spéirling. Seems like something he'd design if EV was the thesis

And don't worry ICE fanboys, they will continue to be a relevant niche as manual transmissions and mechanical watches


Sci Fi promised us that the 21st Century would be a time of flying cars, mile-high skyscrapers, fusion reactors, laser rifles, moon bases, spaceships, supersonic passenger planes and of course, the jetpack. Unfortunately, Sci Fi then handed the job of actually making all of that stuff happen to Reality, the undisputed master of getting people the wrong gift for Christmas. But Reality DID manage to give us consolation prizes like electric cars.

Here's to hoping Reality will get its act together and stop being Sci Fi's worthless deadbeat brother-in-law.


Nice writeup Chaydon, and nice to see these incredible pieces of engineering being given the space and interest they deserve. Bring on the electric future.


How good does that Renault 5 EV look!! That's awesome.


Justin here from

Wish I could get the drive crew over there!


whats the charging time? what fuel was used to generate the electricity.?


Marie Kondo is sweating right now

Phil Ellenbecker

Love the old throw back to the Ford transit. Back in the 70's or early 80's and F1 team put a transit body on to a F1 car.

Brandon Paulsen

I'd wonder what it'd be like to have class races comprised of the Spéirling.

I'd bet the fan engines shoot an ignorant amount of debris rearward as they suck up air. Would hate to be driving behind one at WOT.

Ighsaan Lenders

In the story you mention about electric vehicles 200 years ago and that in the 1900s Evs were competing against steam and Ice.... Can you imagine how different the world would have been if we had embraced Evs back then already... But now... For some reason, we decide to switch to Ice vehicles... And now people complaining about the noise of the vehicle's... Because we would all have been use to peace and quiet... And then suddenly.... BOOM... HUGE AMOUNTS OF NOISE


A day of watching the FoS live stream is a day well spent.

How lucky you were to get driven by The Stig. Great recap.

Hooray for MAX CHILTON! King of Hill!


I was really impressed with the performance of the McMurty car that broke the record until I thought about a few things:

1) It's a fan car -- you have to acknowledge most of the speed and lap time is coming from this which is not permitted in many other forms of motorsport. This is not a straight EV to gas comparison.

2) The March 782 -- a Formula 2 car -- is only about 5 seconds off and makes ~300bhp.

3) The Contradictions of Battery Operated Vehicles | Graham Conway | TEDxSanAntonio - this talk really shows how the industry we occupy is not being accurate and honest about EV vehicles and the emissions they put out.

4) This car likely could not do multiple laps of a race track without losing charge.

I'll stick to gas cars thank you. I don't think EVs are as big of an improvement as we are being led to believe and despite the performance of this car in raw time I think there's a lot more to it when you break down the facts. Not interested. Hard pass. I'm sticking to my gas cars.