PHOTO CAPTION: Enfield 8000 converted to super-quick dragster 'Flux Capacitor'

40 Year-Old Enfield Minicar Becomes Electric Dragster

Sold in Britain, the Enfield 8000 was powered by a 6 horsepower, 48V electric drivetrain. Reincarnated as a 1000hp dragster, only the Tesla Model S P85D is quicker.

Published: 05-May-2015

In the response to the OPEC oil embargo in the 1970's, Britain built the Enfield E8000 electric minicar. With a tiny 6 hp (4.4 kW) electric motor operating at just 48 Volts, it was intended as a petrol-free city car. Like EVs before and since, they never caught on and only 108 were manufactured.

One of those cars has been reincarnated as, of all things, a dragster capable to trouncing any production car with the exception, at the moment, of Tesla's Model S P85D, the current standard bearer for whopping just about any gas buggy out there from zero-to-60. On the drag strip, where distance and time are measured in 1/8 mile and 1/4 mile runs, the Model S consistently turns in sub 13-second times in the quarter mile and get to 60 mph in under four seconds, which is pretty dang good for car that weighs in excess of two tons.

By contrast, the production Enfield E8000 weighted just over 2100 pounds when new in 1975. Reincarnated now as the 'Flux Capacitor' electric dragster by Johnny Smith, the minicar weighs less than 2,000 pounds, while boasting a drive train 120 times more powerful than the original model.

Starting with 144 Dow Kokam lithium cells, the car is powered by a 600kW drive rated at 370V and capable of absorbing up to 2000 Amps, or the equivalent of more than 1,000 bhp, reports Transport Evolved. On the drag strip that puts it easily in Tesla territory. During a recent weekend meet, the car turned in a 12.56 seconds time, hitting 101.43 mph.

“We hit the 60 foot line in 1.88 seconds and the 1/8 mile marker in 7.9. The car was over 100 mph every time after that,” Smith said. Next he's going after the P85D Tesla's sub-12 second time. Not bad for a car that is 40-years-old and once was the laughing stock of Britain.

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Don Garlits with Swamp Rat 37 electric dragster. Photo credit: Lisa Cirgar.

Swamp Rat 37 set the new quarter-mile record for an electric vehicle with a pass of 7.258 seconds at 184.01 mph, eclipsing the old records 7.95 and 156.00 mph.


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