Drag racing is the most basic form of motorsports, as well as one of the most exciting. Two cars line up against each other, and the first car across the finish line wins. There are different forms of drag racing for different cars, but, as they say, them’s the basics. Most drag strips are 1/4 mile long, short enough that many cars get across the finish line in just a few seconds. Anything done in 14 seconds or less is generally considered “fast”.
It is a sport dominated by high cost, high horsepower drag cars with professional teams attached. Yet the White Zombie, a little ’72 Datsun converted to electric power, has been showing the world that you don’t need gas to go really fast.
The White Zombie is steeped in history. Originally concieved by John “Plasma Boy” Wayland, he has been racing White Zombie for more than a decade, and recently upgraded his battery pack to 22 kWh Dow/KoKam lithium-polymer battery pack. The car uses a custom-built electric motor to drive the rear wheels, and unlike many drag racers, the White Zombie is street legal (though certainly stripped down). We’ve covered White Zombie before, and I think a real Renaissance in electric drag racing isn’t that far off.
Why? Well take a look at the video above. That is White Zombie facing against “Godzilla”, the Nissan GT-R. Powered by a twin-turbo six cylinder engine and with all-wheel drive, the Nissan is a much different beast from White Zombie (though built by the same company, decades apart!) Not only does White Zombie win, but it set a new electric car drag racing record. It ran the 1/4 mile in 10.4 seconds @ 121 mph. 121 mph in 10 seconds. Wayland estimates that it did 0-60 mph in about 1.8 seconds. That is blisteringly fast, especially since a lot of electric vehicles need 10 seconds just to reach 60 mph.
Keep it up, Plasma Boy.
Chris DeMorro is a car enthusiast, blogger, and all-around crazy man who is as passionate about hybrids as he is about Hemis. You can follow his constant misadventures at Three Months In A Mustang.