What’s faster in a drag race between a Rimac Nevera, the McMurtry Speirling, and a World Championship-winning Formula One car? Are electric supercars a match for F1 technology from 10 years ago? Or does the F1 car still have the upper hand?
Those are the questions Carwow set out to answer in its latest drag race. The Rimac Nevera is the most powerful of the trio, producing 1,914 horsepower and 1,740 pound-feet of torque (2,360 newton-meters). It’s also the heaviest, weighing 5,071 pounds (2,300 kilograms), more than twice the weight of the McMurtry. Even so, the Nevera is lightning quick, with zero to 60 miles per hour taking 1.9 seconds and a top speed of 258 mph.
Next up is the McMurtry Spierling, which only weighs 2,205 pounds (1,000 kg) and generates 1,000 horsepower. In addition to the instant electric torque, it uses a fan system to produce over 4,400 pounds (2,000 kg) of downforce. The Spierling accelerates like it’s fired from a cannon, taking 1.4 seconds to hit 60 mph and topping out at 150 mph. Last year it shattered the record at the Goodwood Hill Climb, completing its run in 39.08 seconds.
Finally, there’s the F1 car, Sebastian Vettel’s Red Bull RB8 from his 2012 Formula One World Championship season. It’s the lightest of the group at around 1,540 pounds (700kg) and the least powerful with 800 horsepower. On paper, it looks outgunned. But it sounds like the business and its pilot, Red Bull’s reserve driver, Liam Lawson, seems up for the challenge.
Even so, the Red Bull RB8 can’t keep up from a standstill. The Nevera and Spierling are out of range before Lawson can grab second gear. Even with a rolling start at 50 mph, the Nevera walks the F1 car, which is configured for high downforce to maximize acceleration. The one contest it wins is the shortest stopping distance from 100 mph.
While electric-powered, the Nevera and Spierling are distinctly different. The Spierling is hands down the fastest-accelerating car, and in a quarter-mile drag race, it would win 10 out of 10 races. The Nevera’s edge is top speed. It can’t match the Spierling’s acceleration but has a good 60 to 70-mph advantage, allowing it to pull ahead in longer races.