A Volkswagen Beetle may not be the most ideal of drag racing chassis, but there is one particular 1/4-mile drag racing record that is dominated by a car known as the Black Current III Volkswagen. The latest version of the Black Current VW is by far the most ambitious version of the three total renditions. The United Kingdom-based team has continually pushed the envelope of what a clean-air vehicle can accomplish for the past 12 years, culminating in what’s believed to be the worlds quickest electric-powered door-car pass (a dragster has been in the sevens) in the world, at 9.31-seconds at 144 mph.
To achieve sub 10-second passes, this VW is outfitted with twin 9-inch electric inline motors powered by 450 individual Lithium Cobalt Oxide Cells, that can make in excess of 1,200 horsepower. A custom two speed solenoid operated gearbox converts all the power and torque into usable power, and electronically shifts the transmission in a split-second.
This VeeDubRacing video highlights the passes the AmTecs electric motor-sponsored Black Current made during the Big Bang VW Festival in England at the Santa Pod Raceway just a couple of weeks ago. Early in event, the little Bug managed to crack out a 9.75 pass at 135 mph, but that was only the beginning. The team stepped up their game for the next run and put down an impressive 9.51-second pass at 133 mph, before breaking the previous world record of 9.35 with the 9.31.
The added 8.50 certified chrome-moly cage, fiberglass body panels, and Acrylic windows helps keep the weight down, and the power to weight ratio high. The chassis was also modified to accept a 4-link rear suspension that employs the highly capable Ford 9-inch outfitted with a set of 4.11 rear gears and a spool.
Electric drag racing continues to evolve with no signs of slowing down — just like every other electric powered form of motorsports. With the advancements made in the automotive industry, the sky would appear the limit for this niche group of racers.