Fast lane: 1970s British car sets EV speed record

Enfield 8000.
Enfield 8000.PHOTO: ENFIELD
Kia Niro.
Kia Niro.PHOTO: KIA
Fiat Qubo.
Fiat Qubo.PHOTO: FIAT
Jeep Wrangler.
Jeep Wrangler.PHOTO: JEEP

1970s British car sets EV speed record

A tiny British electric car from the 1970s has become the world's quickest street-legal EV in the hands of British motoring journalist and serial car modifier Jonny Smith.

The Enfield 8000, a forgotten city car built on the Isle of Wight in the oil-crisis era, stormed through the 400m sprint at Santa Pod last Saturday in a record-smashing 9.86 seconds (right) at an average speed of 194kmh. The previous record was 10.25 seconds.

Originally boasting just 8bhp, the car, dubbed the Flux Capacitor, now packs more than 800bhp and quietly rockets to 180kmh in six seconds. To put that in perspective, it outpaces modern supercars such as the Lamborghini Aventador, McLaren 650S, Porsche 911 Turbo S, Nissan GT-R and even Tesla's incredibly capable P90D.


Kia reveals Niro hybrid

Kia's first dedicated hybrid, the Niro (above), is built on a new platform and features a new powertrain. Combining the styling of a compact crossover with the low emissions and superior fuel economy of a hybrid car, the Niro emits as little as 88g/km of CO2 (according to a soon-to-be-revised driving cycle). It is powered by a 1.6-litre 104bhp internal combustion engine and a 43.5bhp electric motor driving through a six-speed double-clutch transmission. The car has a low drag coefficient of 0.29.


Fiat Qubo gets facelift

Fiat's Qubo sub-compact MPV (right) might just work in built-up Singapore, but it is unlikely to be imported here. The 2016 version has new front- and rear-end designs as well as a completely revised interior. New amenities include a Uconnect touchscreen audio system with navigation. There is also an all-wheel-drive version.


Jeep celebrates 75 years

Jeep has launched a 75th-anniversary version of its Wrangler (right). The Euro 6-compliant 2.8-litre turbodiesel off-roader will come with more features. The Sahara variant will include front side airbags, deep-tint sunscreen glass, 18-inch polished satin alloy wheels and a 3.73 rear axle ratio.


Plug-in BMW 7-series

The BMW eDrive technology developed for i cars has arrived in the new BMW 7-series in the form of three plug-in hybrids. The trio are powered by a four-cylinder turbo petrol engine and an electric motor. Together, they deliver a system output of 326bhp. The 740e iPerformance with standard wheelbase and the new BMW 740Le iPerformance with long wheelbase record average petrol consumption of as low as 2 litres/100km (according to a soon-to-be-revised driving cycle). In the all-wheel- drive 740Le xDrive iPerformance, consumption is as low as 2.1 litres/ 100km. The cars are slated to arrive in Singapore by the first quarter of next year.


Brabus appoints Singapore distributor

Brabus, the world's largest independent automotive refinement specialist for Mercedes-Benz, has appointed AutoArt Motorsports as its distributor in Singapore. Complete Brabus models, bodykits and accessories will be available through an official channel now.

Christopher Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 23, 2016, with the headline 'Fast Lane'. Print Edition | Subscribe