Drag racing may be mostly about who can accelerate the fastest, but there’s also a lot of respect given to those who take unconventional cars and convert them into quarter-mile machines. There’s certainly nothing conventional about the 1975 Enfield E8000 Electric City Car (ECC), which a plucky Brit named Johnny Smith converted from a six horsepower glorified go-kart into a 12-second electric dragster with 500 horsepower and over 1,200 lb/ft of torque in a 68-inch wheelbase vehicle that weighs less than 2,000 pounds, reports Transport Evolved.
The six horsepower (yes, 6!) Enfield ECC was an attempt to provide zero-emissions, all-electric transportation to city folk…and it failed. Badly. Just 120 of the diminutive Enfield ECCs were ever built, with customers unable or unwilling to commit to a vehicle with a top speed of 40 MPH and a range of just 35 to 55 miles, depending on weather and terrain. Built using parts from various other British automakers, the Enfield managed to be cheap to produce and operate, but the electric revolution its makers hoped to usher in never happened once gas prices came back down. For the past 40 years, most of these cars have been nothing more than neat conversation pieces tucked away in enthusiast garages.
Enter Johnny Smith, a former presenter for British motoring program Fifth Gear and all-around fan of EVs and the 1970s. Smith got it into his head that he wanted to built a conventional dragster that could beat a Tesla Roadster in a drag race, and the tiny Enfield ECC was the perfect vessel for his performance dreams. Using a Kokam lithium-ion battery pack providing 600 kW, 370 volts, and 2000+ amps, Smith estimates his electric Enfield dragster is good for 500 horsepower and 1,200 lb/ft of torque at maximum power. That’s a lot of power for a tiny car, and Smith has been understandably cautious, only allowing 70% of its maximum potential to be delivered to the rear wheels.
Even with limited power, the rechristened “Flux Capacitor” quietly zips down the quarter-mile in 12.62 seconds at 101 MPH. That’s on par with the Tesla Roadster, and it’d even give more than a few American muscle cars a run for its money. As odd and unconventional as this tiny British dragster may be, it’s at the forefront of a new electric revolution — one that’s slowly and quietly creeping onto roads and race tracks around the world.
We’ve always appreciated seeing something different lining up against the usual suspects of the drag racing world, and it really doesn’t get much more different than this.