The Goodwood Hillclimb is a prestigious race that takes place during the famed Goodwood Festival of Speed. The event tests the resolve of the most competitive automakers and drivers the world over.
Goodwood has a rich history of motorsports, dating back to 1948 when the 9th Duke of Richmond opened the famous Goodwood Motor Circuit in what was formerly a wartime airfield. But now, EVs have infiltrated the tradition-rich venue, and the current Hillclimb record holder is a tiny EV.
So, what are the fastest EVs up the Goodwood Hillclimb?
1. McMurtry Spéirling: 39.08 seconds
The McMurtry Spéirling is the fastest car around the Goodwood Hillclimb ever. Yes, you read that right; an EV is the official overall record holder for the event. It’s also the last car you’d imagine speeding through the historic lands of Goodwood House.
The little turbine car has some of the most innovative tech in the world, which is exactly what fueled its historical run up the Hillclimb. McMurtry developed a system that generates immense downforce through the use of active fans inside the car, even while the vehicle is at a standstill.
Normally, racing cars rely on advanced aerodynamics that produce downforce as the speed of a vehicle increases, but this method produces drag, which isn’t ideal for an electric car that needs all the range it can get.
The McMurtry doesn’t suffer from this increased drag because the fans hug the car to the ground without needing huge wings that create excess resistance.
This advanced tech, combined with 1,000 electric horsepower, and a svelte weight under 2,300 pounds, allows the Spéirling to destroy any road course. Of course, this also includes the Goodwood Hillclimb.
The surprising thing is that this lightweight speedster is an EV, a class of vehicle that has never been associated with lightweight motorsports, mostly due to battery weight issues.
2. VW ID.R: 39.90 Seconds
The VW ID.R is a marvel of engineering. It’s obviously not a road legal vehicle, but that makes it even more ludicrous. Instead, it’s a full-on race car that’s not shy about looking like one. The appearance is a futuristic prototype racer, but it’s also an EV.
This thing is serious. If there’s one vehicle that provides a glimpse into what the future of racing will look like, the electrified VW super-racer is that car. The ID.R also holds the record for the fastest vehicle up Pikes Peak, so you know it’s a serious machine.
Volkswagen’s electric vehicle lineup doesn’t hint at the fact that it’s developing extreme racing vehicles like the ID.R, but if it ever decides to bring anything close to the ID.R into production, the world better hold on.
The ID.R put down a blistering lap time of 39.90 seconds, which makes it the second-quickest car ever around Goodwood. Just like the McMurtry, the fact that the ID.R was able to beat the time of a fully-fledged F1 car around Goodwood puts into perspective how much EV racing technology has advanced.
The last frontier for electric vehicles to conquer is motorsports, and judging by vehicles like the ID.R., it won’t be long before they take over this segment.
3. NIO EP9: 44.32 Seconds
The NIO EP9 is one of the craziest-looking electric hypercars out there. In fact, it’s probably the wildest-looking hypercar, period. The wide stance and the enormous wing make this electric vehicle unmistakable.
It’s also supremely quick, which isn’t a surprise because the motors deliver 1MW of power. If you’re unfamiliar with EV speak, this translates to roughly 1,360 metric horsepower.
This is a lot of power, and the NIO makes the most of it with its ability to generate 24,019 N of downforce. According to the official Goodwood video, Nio posted a time of 44.61 seconds around the Hillclimb, but Nio itself reports 44.32, which coincides with Goodwood’s interview of the NIO EP9’s driver Peter Dumbreck, which also confirms the time as 44.32.
NIO’s time is especially worthy of praise because it’s not an established motorsports giant like Porsche or Mercedes. Regardless, NIO posted one of the fastest times ever recorded at the Goodwood Hillclimb, and in an EV, no less.
NIO also features a swappable battery, an amazing feature for motorsports-oriented EVs. Normally, once you’re done lapping your EV, you’d need to retreat for an hour or so to charge the battery. But, with battery-swapping tech, it’s possible to make a quick battery-swapping pit stop and then continue racing.
4. Porsche Cayman GT4 e-Performance: 45.50 Seconds
The Porsche Cayman GT4 e-Performance is probably the coolest car on this list. Not because it looks the most outrageous or is the fastest. Its appeal mostly stems from how normal it looks.
It can easily pass as a high-performance version of a normal production Porsche Cayman. The reality is completely different, though. This is no ordinary Cayman. In fact, it doesn’t even have an internal combustion engine. Instead, the GT4 e-Performance features two electric motors that combine for a whopping 1,088 metric horsepower in all-out qualification mode.
The GT4 e-Performance replenishes its batteries at an astounding rate, recovering from 5% to 80% in a measly 15 minutes with a fast charger. So if you’re on track and suddenly run out of juice, don’t worry.
5. Ford Pro Electric SuperVan: 46.58 Seconds
The SuperVan is the craziest car on this list by a mile. It’s a Ford van with 2,000 horsepower courtesy of four electric motors. If that’s not wild enough for you, how about 0-60 MPH in less than two seconds?
That’s right there with the ultra-fast Tesla Model S Plaid, and the Ford SuperVan is a van! Not only is the quad-motor SuperVan insanely quick in a straight line, but it’s also a decent handler.
The Ford Pro SuperVan tackled the Goodwood Hillclimb in 46.58 seconds. If you watch the video of the SuperVan’s run, it looks as ridiculous as you’d think. The van moves at an insane pace, and it looks even faster, thanks to the crazy proportions of the vehicle.
This is a car that has no business being as fast as it is, but that’s the great thing about this Ford van, as well as the Goodwood Festival of Speed as a whole. There are countless strange rides attending the event, and you never know which one might be the next record holder.
Electric Vehicles Are Taking Over Motorsports
A few years back, it would’ve been inconceivable that an electric van could beat supercars around Goodwood. But, as EV technology has improved, especially batteries, we’re witnessing more outrageous electric vehicles by the day. Soon, motorsports around the world will be dominated by electric vehicles.