EUROPE'S FASTEST EV: The 1975 Enfield 8000 electric city car silently charged through 400m in 10.84 seconds at 194km/h, dismantling the Tesla’s record of 11.5 seconds.Image: Newspress
London, England - A three-year project to turn a 40-year-old electric city car into a Tesla-beating dragster has climaxed with TV presenter Jonny Smith’s Flux 'Capacitor' entering the record books as Europe’s quickest street legal electric car.
Using a modified 1975 Enfield 8000 electric city car, capable of 65km/h when new, Smith smashed Tesla’s record over a quarter mile (400m) in the FIA European Finals at Santa Pod in Bedfordshire, England on September 5 2015.
With the Fifth Gear presenter at the wheel, the tiny Enfield - boosted from its original 6kW to 745kW - silently charged through the 400m in 10.84 seconds at 194km/h, dismantling the Tesla’s record of 11.5 seconds.
Europe's quickest electric car
He dubbed the car the 'Flux Capacitor' with the idea of going Back to the Futureof the electric car, and as a nod to the sponsor, insurance broker Adrian Flux.
Smith said: "I still cannot believe what that little car is capable of. The little paper timing slip never lies, and when it revealed a 10 second pass I was so happy I kissed my crew mate Nick Farrow on the lips.
"The car not only clinched but blitzed the European record for a street legal electric car. Never in my dreams did I think the Enfield was capable of this kind of performance.”
Watch the fastest street-legal electric car:
The question now is, can it go even faster?
“Maybe,” said Smith.
He added: "I'm just chuffed to have achieved two major hurdles. Firstly completing the mandatory 40km street cruise around Northamptonshire without breaking down or accepting 'outside' help. It was tough, I won't lie...three days before the event my brother and I were busy getting the hazard warning lights and horn to work properly!
“Then two hours later the car ran the fastest it’s ever run and consequently became Europe's quickest street legal electric car.”
Of course, the Enfield is also tax and London congestion charge exempt.
Smith added: “When I started this project I estimated a 12.5 second quarter mile, which we achieved within six runs of the car back in May (2015).
A few months later we got into the 11s and now we're running in the tens. And it never once tried to bite me. Despite its ludicrous proportions the car just gripped and ran straight and smooth."
SUB 12 CAR: Fifth gear presenter Jonny Smith hold the time slip confirming the tiny Enfield's 400m time of 10.84 seconds at 194km/h.