The Tesla Model S is faster than some supercars, but it seems there’s a new kid on the block that just bettered its quarter-mile record – and it’s a car from the 1970s.
Okay, so this particular 1975 Enfield 8000 electric city car has undergone some serious modifications before it completed the record run at the FIA European Finals at Santa Pod.
For starters, the electric powertrain boasts 1,900 amps and 250 volts of muscle, allowing it to hit 0-102mph in just 6.9 seconds. It is, in fact, 10 times more powerful than the original 6kW car, which took 12.5 seconds to reach 30mph and had a top speed of 40mph.
In real world terms, the Enfield has gone from 8hp to 1,000hp, allowing it to better the Tesla Model S record of 11.5 seconds with a 10.84-second quarter mile at 121mph. Yes, this 2.8-metre long shopping trolley is a 10-second car.
All entrants in the Street Eliminator category have to be road legal and to prove that a 25-mile street cruise must be completed prior to the drag race, something the Enfield just about managed.
Owner and Fifth Gear presenter Jonny Smith has been working on the project for three years. It previously posted a 12-second quarter-mile earlier in the year and then reached the 11s before becoming the fastest street-legal electric car on the planet.
Smith named the car the ‘Flux Capacitor’, a nod to the Back to the Future car and also sponsor Adrian Flux car insurance.
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.
“This weekend 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.”
Sadly the Enfield lost to a a worthy foe during its record run, but Smith didn’t care. “I was racing against a 2000bhp Nissan GT-R, so I knew I’d need some miracle to win. With a 10 second quarter mile in a tiny electric car in front of thousands of spectators, I couldn’t have been happier to lose.”
The 975kg 8000 started out life during the 1970s oil crisis and was built by the British motorcycle firm Enfield on the Isle of Wight. It cost two and a half times more than a Mini at the time and was 31cm shorter and had a 1.72m wheelbase. It was capable of 55 miles on a single charge.
A mere 120 cars were made and half of those ended up as pool cars for the British Electricity Council. It is thought just 30 exist worldwide.