The 30-year-old Briton, who spent the last six seasons in the IndyCar Series, will not only develop the Speirling “at numerous race circuits and testing venues over the coming year” he will also serve as a spokesperson for the company. 

Managing director Thomas Yates said: “I am really pleased to have Max join as a dedicated and leading member of our team, as we now further increase our rate of testing and development.

“Fresh from six seasons of competition in IndyCar and previously having competed in Formula 1, Max will bring a wealth of motorsport and driving experience that will undoubtedly help us to reveal the performance potential of the Speirling and get us closer to our record breaking goals.”

The Speirling first broke cover at last year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed and was driven by five-time Le Mans winner Derek Bell and Alex Summers.

Gallery: McMurtry Spierling

It features the patented McMurtry downforce-on-demand system, which involves a fan-powered ground effect system that generates downforce without the need for conventional, drag-inducing aerodynamic wings. McMurtry describes this as “key to the Speirling’s track potential… [It] unlocks mind-bending performance without stretching the shrink-wrapped proportions.”

Chilton said: “It’s a huge honour to be given the opportunity to become head development driver for McMurtry.  The company is really reaching new heights in the performance EV world.

“The team have spent over four years developing the Speirling, a car which will really show the world what performance can be achieved with all-electric power.

“McMurtry caught my eye last year; their professionalism and ability to invent new solutions is something I have never experienced at this level. I am excited to see what we can achieve in the future, particularly developing a road car which has always been on my long term list to achieve.

“My thanks are with Sir David McMurtry for coming up with this truly amazing project and trusting me with this role.” 

British electric vehicle start-up McMurtry Automotive is based in Gloucestershire, UK, and “invents, engineers, and develops electric vehicles to challenge conventions surrounding the automotive industry.  McMurtry attempts to see beyond the trends of today and into a future where cars can be compatible with the planet and the pleasure of driving is uncompromised.”

This is not the first time that Chilton, who scored wins in GP2 and Indy Lights, has been involved with an innovative racecar. Following his two-year Formula 1 career and during his Indy Lights campaign, Chilton drove the ultimately doomed front-engined, front-wheel-drive Nissan GT-R LM Nismo prototype at Le Mans in 2015.

Meanwhile the Carlin IndyCar team, with whom Chilton raced for the last four years, is expected to soon confirm a technical alliance with Juncos Hollinger Racing.