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WATCH: This tiny electric vehicle smashed a land-speed record

2016-07-20 14:28

BACK TO THE FUTURE: This Enfield 8000 came alll the way from the 1970's to smash speed records. Image: YouTube


Swiss university students have developed what could be the fastest accelerating electric car yet. The electric racer, called the Grimsel, can reach 0-100km/h in just 1.513 seconds!

London - A tiny electric vehicle from the 1970s has become the world’s quickest street legal EV.

The Enfield 8000, a forgotten city car built on the Isle of Wight in the oil crisis era, stormed through the quarter mile sprint at Santa Pod on Saturday in a record-smashing 9.86 seconds at an average 194.7km/h.

Originally boasting just 8hp, the car dubbed the Flux Capacitor now packs more than 600kW/1600Nm and quietly rockets to 181 in six seconds.

To put that in perspective, it outpaces modern supercars like the Lamborghini Aventador, McLaren's 650S, a Porsche 911 Turbo S, Nissan GT-R and even Tesla's incredibly capable P90D electric car.

In 'awe' of the little EV

Driven by motoring journalist and serial car modifier, Jonny Smith, the litte EV smashed the world record, which stood at 10.25 seconds, from the car that inspired him in the first place - an electric converted old Datsun owned by John Wayland from Portland, Oregon.

READ: Electrifying speed record attempt

Smith said: “I'm in awe of what this little yellow thing can cope with. Despite so many racers telling me that a 68" wheelbase car could never safely go as fast as we wanted, the Enfield has proved them wrong.

“Originally the car was designed to drive up to speeds of 65km/h. Now it triples the speed within quarter of a mile without any aerodynamic alterations – which is testament to the original design.

“The original designer John Ackroyd, who spent a lot of budget on the aerodynamics, and went on to work with Richard Noble on Thrust 2.

“The car never feels like it is out of its comfort zone. To be honest I have disconnected the speedo, and just drive it by feel. You quickly forget how small it is when the lights go green. The instant electric torque delivery is something I have never experienced in over 15 years of driving and testing sports cars.

Smith rescued the Enfield, then a flood-damaged write-off, four years ago, and restored the car before adding 21st century electric technology.

The little engine that could...

The car is powered by 188 lithium-ion battery cells built into enclosures under the bonnet and boot, generating 2000 amps and 400 volts to a pair of DC 9" motors to drive the back wheels.

These batteries are normally seen running the miniguns and starting the engines of a Bell Super Cobra attack helicopter, but built for the car by Hyperdrive Innovations in Sunderland.

READ: 'World's fastest' battery-car in testing

Despite reaching 160km/h in under 6sec and only being 2.8 metres long, Jonny's Enfield is still road legal, tax exempt and London congestion charge exempt.

As part of the drag racing series he competes in, the Street Eliminator entrants must prove their roadworthiness as part of the qualifying process by way of a mandatory 26-mile cruise around Northamptonshire.

Being road legal means the car has to run treaded tyres, and no wheelie bars, which might help the 1.7 metre wheelbase to stay straight under full acceleration.

Even without them, the Flux Capacitor runs straight and true - and very, very fast.

Read more on:    ev  |  gear and tech  |  electric cars

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