Although the Volkswagen Beetle served a clear purpose, I have never cared for it. This includes past or present versions. I don’t like the shape, the sound, or the lack of power or comfort. The only thing I DO like about the Beetle is that it has a rear-wheel drive layout. This has allowed many tuners the world over to turn the lazy “People’s Car” into a true hot rod, dropping all sorts of wildly modified motors into the tiny engine bay. A few people have even done electric conversions.
But the Black Current III is an electric Beetle unlike any other. Built by two brothers, it currently holds the title of the fastest electric car in Europe, beating out even the famed Tesla Roadster in a drag race. Hit the jump and watch the video to see for yourself.
The Black Current III was built by brothers Olly and Sam Young, enterprising electric drag racing enthusiasts. Their first Black Current was, admittedly, rather lame, running a 21 second 1/4 mile with a top speed of just 55 mph. It was powered by an old electric milk cart motor. But like any true racer, the Young brothers knew faster is better, so they got to work on Black Current II, which ran a 14 second quarter mile at 87 mph… much more like it! Which brings us to Black Current III.
Powered by two forklift electric motors and 60 (!!!) 12-volt batteries, the Black Current III makes an astounding 1,200 ft-lbs of torque at 0 RPM. This results in a 0-60 mph time of just 3 seconds and an 11.24 second quarter mile at 114 mph. That is one serious race car, faster than the Tesla and officially taking the title of Europe’s fastest electric car. The Black Current blows away the Tesla in a drag race as this video shows. It has taken six years to reach this point, and the Young brothers are now looking for some high-tech lithium-ion batteries to replace the heavy lead-acid batteries currently in the car. That should help them easily reach the 10-second mark in the quarter mile.
This is just further proof that electric cars CAN be fast and fun… even when said electric car is a Beetle. While it is missing that all-important sound I’ve come to expect at drag races, I imagine the guys on the ground next to the cars appreciate the odd silence.