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Video: ride onboard this incredible 600bhp, home-made 4WD racer

Nic Mann's 'Mannic Beattie' goes for a Shelsley hillclimb run. And it's really quick

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Last week we brought you news of Auto Union’s return to Shelsley Walsh after a gap of 80 years. The thing is, hillclimbing has moved on since 1936 – it’s moved on to the extent that the quickest cars feature unusual engineering…

The fastest car up the hill on the day was the Mannic-Beattie. It’s a homemade car, built in a shed by a chap called Nic Mann. And we do mean homemade – apart from the engine and gearbox, the vast majority of the car, including the spaceframe chassis and suspension, is all his own work.

At its heart lies a turbocharged 1.7-litre four cylinder Ford motor, but the air for the engine and turbo isn’t sucked in from the atmosphere, but blown in by a small, compact jet engine. No, really.

This means the car can run maximum boost and efficiency for the whole of it’s (very brief) run up the hill. Nic’s never put it on a dyno, but he reckons its delivering somewhere in the region of 600bhp, which is delivered to the tarmac through all four wheels. The 4WD system is his own, too. Oh, and it features a blown diffuser, like an F1 car, which works so efficiently that at 140mph the ride height has dropped by 40mm. He designed and built that himself, too.

Anyway, enough waffle, watch it in action. And no, the video hasn’t been sped up – this is what it looks like to do a kilometre up a tight hill with an average ten per cent gradient in just 25.47 seconds. It’s estimated to pull 2g off the line and is doing around 140mph when it crosses the finish line.

Now, who wants to get into hillclimbing?

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