Tiny ’70s Enfield 8000 EV Mod Can Humble SupercarsJuly 19th, 2016
Automotive journalist and car modifier Jonny Smith has taken what started as an 8 horsepower British electronic vehicle from the Seventies and turned it into the world’s quickest street legal EV. This weekend, the Enfield 8000, an electric vehicle built in the era of the oil crisis, raced through a quarter-mile sprint in 9.86 seconds.
That’s thanks to modifications that boosted performance up to 800 brake horsepower and 1,200 lb-ft. of torque. The tiny car can reach 113 miles per hour in six seconds, faster than such supercars as the Lamborghini Aventador, the McLaren 650S, Porsche 911 Turbo S, or the Nissan GT-R.
“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,” Smith said, “Originally the car was designed to drive up to speeds of 40 miles per hour. Now it triples the speed within a quarter-of-a-mile without any aerodynamic alterations—which is testament to the original design.”
Smith found the Enfield, a flood-damaged write-off, four years ago, and restored the car. It is powered by 188 lithium-ion battery cells, generating 2000 amps and 400 volts to a pair of DC 9-inch motors to drive the back wheels. The batteries are normally seen running the miniguns and starting the engines of a Bell Super Cobra attack helicopter. “I set out to build a British electric hot rod,” Smith said. “I hope I’ve achieved something leftfield enough to prove that David certainly can beat Goliath.”