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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

2011 Volkswagen Beetle EV “Black Current” Exterior
- image 401774

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.


2011 Volkswagen Beetle EV “Black Current”
- image 401773

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.


2011 Volkswagen Beetle EV “Black Current” Exterior
- image 401775

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.

  • Leave it
    • Look is boring
    • Record was already beat

Source: NEDRA

Kirby Garlitos
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert -
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read full bio
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Show Comments


  (630) posted on 09.9.2011

Yeah, the newer version of the car is kind of impressive! I like the look of the modern Beetle. I wonder if they have other plans for this car? 

  (599) posted on 09.9.2011

We have to admit that even this car is kind of outdated, there’s still a lot that wants to own this vehicle. I was so impressed with the reliability of the car! It’s really a good thing that VW decided to make a modification on its look! 

  (256) posted on 08.25.2011

I was impressed with the figure performance of the vehicle. The newer version is more appealing. This just prove on how reliable was this production.

  (248) posted on 08.25.2011

I certainly agree, that the improvement in the styling and upgraded performance of the car is remarkable. This would be an impressive modified version of vehicle.

  (797) posted on 08.9.2011

For this car I would say that it look so boring but its a good thing that they have modified the car into a more modern design.

  (503) posted on 08.9.2011

Well, it’s a great thing that the VW have built a more modern styling for the Beetle. And it’s a great thing that they also boost the speed performance of the car!

  (830) posted on 06.29.2011

I have wait for the debut of the newer version and its not really disappointing! BTW, for a electric car I think this one seems to be powerful!

  (398) posted on 06.29.2011

We couldn’t deny on how successful is the classic version of the Beetle. And its a good thing that they have upgrade its look into a more modern look! I really love seeing the newer version of this car least no one will say that it look so boring.

  (530) posted on 05.16.2011

I wonder how they were able to soup up this bug with so much power. I bet they really put in a huge amount of upgrade efforts to get the thing up to speed.

  (238) posted on 05.16.2011

Well, even if this car’s record has already been beaten, this is still going to be one heck of a ride. But I wish that they could improve this car more.

  (394) posted on 05.16.2011

Well, I do agree that this car has an reliable engine. And I think this car is similar with the Mustang wherein both the beauty of these car never fades over the year!

  (419) posted on 05.16.2011

Well, the good thing about this car is that, it has a timeless beauty. Well, this vintage really innovates! The current version of this car look more contemporary and the vintage scent never leaves the car.

  (559) posted on 05.13.2011

Hehehe! That one’s definitely a feat. And tio thing that they used an ordinary Beetle for this one certainly adds more to it. I wonder what they will be able to come up with next.

  (211) posted on 05.13.2011

I love the newer century Beetle! And looking to this car it gives me a thought on how the Volkswagen really tries to evolve during the past decades. Well, they have been so successful no wonder its one of the iconic brand in the industry.

  (445) posted on 05.13.2011

Although the look of this car seems vintage, but knowing that the new version of Beetle was based from here, I think its enough reason to respect this car! And the reliability of this car is never been doubtful aside from the fact that VW has made it.

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