A tiny British electric vehicle from the 1970s has become the world’s quickest street legal EV in the hands of motoring journalist and serial car modifier Jonny Smith. Smith in the Flux Capacitor 74 Enfield 8000 broke the world record at Santa Pod Raceway in England for the quickest street legal electric vehicle. This clip shows his run of 10.1 @ 121.77mph. He then went on to run a mind blowing time of 9.86 @ 121.73mph.
The Enfield 8000, a forgotten city car built on the Isle of Wight in the oil crisis era. Originally boasting just 8hp, the car dubbed the Flux Capacitor now packs more than 800bhp, 1,200lbft of torque and quietly rockets to 113 mph in six seconds. Smith rescued the Enfield, then a flood-damaged write-off, four years ago, and restored the car before adding 21st century electric technology.
To put that in perspective, it outpaces modern supercars like the Lamborghini Aventador, McLaren 650S, a Porsche 911 Turbo S, Nissan GT-R and even the Tesla P90D electric car. Despite reaching 100mph in under 6 seconds and only being 112″ (2.8 metres) long, Smith’s Enfield is still road legal, tax exempt and London congestion charge exempt.
Enfield was a British EV manufacturer in the United Kingdom that made motorcycles, lawnmowers, and firearms. In the 1970s, it decided to try its hand in car manufacturing, looking for success during the gas crisis. Thinking it would entice people away from the long lines at the fuel pump, Enfield, with their 8000 minicar, gave buyers an alternative to the normal internal combustion hatches that swarmed the roads.
While the car was actually quite functional and usable (it could get 55 miles on a full battery), Enfield was unable to sell more than around 120 examples of the 8000 thanks to its high price. Most were sold to the U.K. Electricity Council for research and pool cars, so finding a complete car is exceptionally difficult.
Now instead the Flux Capacitor 74 is equipped with two 9-inch DC Current racing motors, connected directly to the wheels. No gearbox is required. The car has AP racing brakes, and drag radial tires, along with a full roll cage. The batteries are now lithium-ion Kokam military-grade units, which can put out an estimated 30 miles of range. It weighs 1874 pounds as it sits. The batteries, combined with the twin DC Current racing motors, are now able to produce more than 500 horsepower, and a frightening 1000 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels.
Smith snatched 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.
“I’m in awe of what this little yellow thing can cope with,” said Smith, who has presented TV’s Fifth Gear since 2006 and approached Adrian Flux to sponsor his dream four years ago.
“Despite so many racers telling me that a 68-inch 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 40mph. Now it triples the speed within quarter of a mile without any aerodynamic alterations – which is testament to the original design.”