World record for fastest road-legal EV smashed by 1970s Enfield

World record for fastest road-legal EV smashed by 1970s Enfield
A British electric car, originally built in the 1970s, has sped into the record books to become the fastest road-legal electric vehicle of all time.

The Enfield 8000, driven and modified by broadcaster Jonny Smith, has more than 800bhp under the bonnet and can hit 113mph in just six seconds.

To beat the record, the 2.8-metre-long vehicle ran a quarter mile at Santa Pod racetrack in Bedfordshire in just 9.86 seconds, at an average speed of 121 mph.

The time smashed the previous world record, which stood at 10.25 seconds and was set by an old electric-converted Datsun.

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The car comes from humble beginnings and was originally built on the Isle of Wight during the oil crisis of the 1970s and had just 8bhp.

Now nicknamed the Flux Capacitor, the vehicle is faster than a Lamborghini Aventador, a McLaren 650S and even a Porsche 911 Turbo S.

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Mr Smith rescued the tiny yellow car four years ago after it was written off due to flood damage. It was restored before a state-of-the-art battery technology was added.

Power comes from 188 lithium-ion batteries placed underneath the bonnet and in the boot. This technology is also used to start the engines of a Bell Super Cobra attack helicopter.

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Mr Smith said: “I’m in awe of what this little yellow thing can cope with.

“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 a quarter of a mile without any aerodynamic alterations – which is testament to the original design.”

Despite its incredible performance, the car is still road legal, as well as being tax and congestion charge exempt.

Smith added: “The car never feels like it is out of its comfort zone. To be honest I have never 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 more than 15 years of driving and testing sports cars.”

EVs continue to become an increasingly common fixture on UK roads as sales have surged this year.

Government grants are currently available to help cover the cost of a new electric car or van, as long as it meets certain conditions - these types of schemes are becoming increasin gly more significant in the wake of pressure on the governemnt to do more to help lower emission rates.

According to the RAC Foundation analysis, there were 58,469 vehicles eligible for this this grant at the end of Q1 2016.

This was 10,549 more than there were at the end of Q4 2015, the figures show.

Copyright Press Association 2016. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.