The world’s fastest road-legal electric vehicle has gone on display at the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu. The re-engineered 1974 Enfield 8000 set a world speed record – accelerating to 121mph in just 9.86 seconds at the Santa Pod Raceway in July 2016.
Owned and rebuilt by Channel 5’s Fifth Gear presenter Jonny Smith, the Enfield was rebuilt to show how fast an electric car could be, and to challenge the public’s perception of EVs as ‘milk-floats’.
The original powertrain had to be completely overhauled though since the Enfield 8000 had a 6kW electric motor fitted when built, with a top speed of 40mph.
The rebuilt model – named ‘Flux Capacitor’ – was fitted with two DC electric motors, producing 800bhp, 12,000 lb ft of torque. Batteries came from a military helicopter, with 188 lithium-ion cells installed, still half the weight of the Enfield’s eight original 12-volt batteries and more efficient.
The new top speed is estimated to be around 140mph, with a range of 50 miles between charges. The Flux Capacitor remains completely road legal and easy to drive at normal road speeds.
The Enfield 8000 can be seen in Driving Change as part of a visit to the Beaulieu attraction, which includes entrance to the National Motor Museum, the World of Top Gear, On Screen Cars, the 13th century Beaulieu Abbey and grounds and Palace House, which has been home to the Montagu family since 1538. Find out more information at the Beaulieu website.