In the high-octane, torque-twisting world of the drag strip, a paradigm shift is slowly taking shape with the most unlikely of cars leading the way. Unassuming look aside, the “Black Current” Volkswagen Beetle EV by Oliver Young is an electric vehicle that has done some serious damage on the drag strip becoming the first street-bodied EV to post a nine-second, quarter-mile time. That time looks more impressive when you take into account the fact that this little Beetle once destroyed a Tesla Roadster on a drag strip.
While it’s not the fastest quarter-mile time ever posted by an EV – that title belongs to the Current Eliminator, which covered the same distance in seven seconds at 160 mph – the Black Current does hold the record for being the fastest ‘street-bodied’ EV in the world - at least until proven otherwise.
For now, though, Oliver Young can stake claim to this tremendous achievement and on a grander scale, he and his ‘Black Current’ Beetle EV are giving EVs the proper exposure in the world of drag racing, something that was unheard of as late as a decade ago.
More details on the Volkswagen Beetle EV “Black Current” after the jump
Exterior and Interior
While the Volkswagen Beetle Black Current may look like a stock-bodied Beetle in shape and form, the Young boys made sure to add a few elements to make it lighter, including a fiber glass front, fiber glass rear wings, and acrylic windows. Meanwhile, the chassis used in the car is made of Full Chromoly that’s been certified to 8.50 spec to go with a standard Volkswagen Beetle front suspension and the interior paneling wrapped in rolled aluminum.
For an EV to post a nine-second, quarter-mile time is downright impressive, bordering even on the fluky if you’re a glass-half-empty kind of guy.
On the flip side, there’s nothing fluky about it, the Young brothers decided to outfit the Beetle with plenty of punch, including 450 Lithium Cobalt Oxide Cells (LiCo4) and twin 9" inline motors with two small speed gearboxes operated by solenoid. This setup is capable of gear changes in a fraction of a second. On top of that, the car also has a Manzatia Micro PFC30 charger and a custom built BMS with digital lithium regulators.
To ensure that their achievements are a result of speed and hard work, and not of happenstance, Oliver Young and his brother Sam ran the car a number of times at the Santa Pod Raceway in the UK, clocking an initial time of 9.82 seconds at 133 mph followed by a second run that clocked 9.51 seconds at 135 mph.
Beetlemaniacs itching to grab a piece of this EV wonderkind will be disappointed to know that the car isn’t for sale and as a one-off EV racer, we don’t think it’ll end up in the auto classifieds.
As the fastest ’street-bodied’ EV in the world, the Beetle Black Current has one EV in its sights: the aforementioned Current Eliminator. While it’s got a long way to go before it can even sniff the batteries of the Eliminator - seven seconds at 160 mph is a mountain to climb - it does give Oliver Young a challenge at hand. We don’t know how long its going to take, but we certainly wouldn’t put anything past him.
Props for being an electric drag racer
Look is boring
Record was already beat