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The Good Oil: Tiny EV is quicker than a McLaren
Grunty little EV beats McLaren
Move over Tesla. The world’s fastest EV comes from the Isle of Wight.
A tiny British city car built during the oil crisis of the 1970s and originally fitted with a wheezy 8hp engine had the last laugh last week, becoming the world’s quickest street-legal electric vehicle.
We wouldn’t blame you if you’d never heard of the Enfield 8000. A bit like the Peel P50 microcar (made famous by Jeremy Clarkson who drove one around the BBC offices on TV), the Enfield was a low-volume shed-built affair, quite literally designed to drive around its home market of the Isle of Wight during the oil crisis of the 1970s.
But fuel efficiency was deemed to go hand-in-hand with compactness, so by and large tiny city cars such as the Enfield were as impractical for people as they were light on gas.
Motoring writer and modifier Jonny Smith, however, saw the Enfield 8000’s diminutive stature as a bonus when he decided to create a true pocket-rocket EV out of it.
His car – dubbed the “Flux Capacitor” – now boasts more than 800hp (596kW) and an incredible 1627Nm of torque.
Quite a bit more grunt than the little car originally featured, in other words. Its engine has been replaced with 188 lithium-ion battery cells that power two motors.
This month Smith pushed the car down 400m of tarmac at Santa Pod Speedway in Bedfordshire in an astonishing 9.86 seconds, at an average speed of 194km/h.
The car reached 180km/h in just six seconds which, noted one correspondent, makes it faster than a Lamborghini Aventador, McLaren 650S and a Nissan GT-R.
Yay! Rosberg re-signs
Nico Rosberg is obviously thrilled to be staying at Mercedes, and Lewis Hamilton must be ecstatic. Rosberg signs with Mercedes F1 until 2018. Hamilton forces weak “Yay!”
The Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team’s HR department has been assured of plenty of work for the next couple of years, as Nico Rosberg signs on with the team for another two seasons.
Rosberg, who has been with the powerhouse team since 2010, will continue alongside three-times F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton until 2018.
The rivalry between the two drivers is well-documented. Having quietly festered last season with stony-faced group interviews and the odd throw of a second place-getter’s cap, this year the inter-team angst has led to a couple of race-ruining on-track incidents, forcing team executive (and brilliantly named) Toto Wolff to step in, issuing threats of secret punitive repercussions for the drivers if they don’t sort things out amicably.
With the Monagasque/German/Finnish hybrid only a point ahead of the Brit on the driver championship table, things will no doubt remain quietly heated for the balance of the 2016 season. As long as neither of them start bringing weapons to practice, things might even remain relatively civil next year too …
Buying a 1980s/90s ‘future classic’ in London? Think again
Pity the classic car owners of London. Mayor Sadiq Kahn has signalled that he wants to discourage polluting older vehicles from the city by forcing drivers to pay an additional £10 charge. The tax might arrive as early as next year.
“With nearly 10,000 people dying early every year in London due to exposure to air pollution, cleaning up London’s toxic air is now an issue of life and death,” Kahn said.
The so-called “T-charge” would cover all vehicles with pre-Euro 4 emission standards; so that’s mainly cars registered before 2005.
It means drivers of classic and appreciating classic cars will have to pay an extra £10 per day on top of the existing Congestion Charge Londoners driving conventional combustion engine-driven vehicles must already pay if they wish to travel through the central city.
This could, of course, be good news for anyone wishing to import such a classic from London; prices could start falling.
6 YEARS OLD When Nico Rosberg started karting (he was a teammate of Lewis Hamilton for a time)
1 DEGREE Rosberg got into Imperial College aeronautical programme, but chose to go racing instead
2010 YEAR Rosberg joined the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team
1982 YEAR Rosberg’s father Keke was Formula 1 world champion