An all-electric GenBeta Formula E single-seater racing car set a new indoor land speed record ahead of this past weekend’s final two races of Season 9 in London, clocking in at 135.9 miles per hour (218.71 kilometers per hour) in the hands of NEOM McLaren Formula E driver Jack Hughes.
The speed run was recorded on the 1,135-foot (346-meter) straight on the London E-Prix circuit, a portion of which is inside the ExCeL events arena. The previous record of 102.65 mph (165.2 kph) was set by a Porsche Taycan in 2021 inside the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Jack Hughes went head-to-head with fellow Formula E driver Lucas di Grassi from Mahindra Racing in the series’ “Duels” format that’s typically used for qualifying. Each of the drivers got three practice runs and one final racing lap, with the previous record being instantly beaten in the first practice drive.
The drivers started from a standstill inside the ExCeL arena and navigated a 130-degree turn at around 25 mph (40 kph) before quickly accelerating along the 1,135-ft (346 m) straight of the race track.
In the end, Hughes – who experienced his first season of racing in Formula E this year – was the winner, but neither of the drivers had ever been in a GenBeta car before.
“Driving the GENBETA car and setting the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title for the fastest speed achieved by a vehicle indoors was a really special experience,” said Hughes. “I feel very honored to have been asked and to be involved in such an exciting project.
It wasn’t something I ever imagined I’d have the opportunity to even attempt, so now to hold the record is pretty incredible, especially in a Formula E car. I didn’t realize how much I wanted this record until I saw Lucas [Di Grassi] trying to break the record after me. When I was announced I was the record holder I felt a massive sense of pride.”
Currently, the Gen3 race cars feature two electric motors, one on each axle, and a total power output of 350 kilowatts (469 horsepower). However, only the rear motor is used for propulsion, while the front drive unit, made by Lucid Motors, is there only for brake regeneration.
In the development GenBeta vehicle, the front motor can also kick in during acceleration, upping the power output to 400 kW (536 hp), delivering all-wheel drive for the first time in a Formula E single-seater car.