In a remarkable feat of engineering and speed, a team of Swiss students has obliterated the world record for the fastest-accelerating electric vehicle (EV). The astonishing video footage captures driver Kate Maggetti catapulting from 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in less than one second, defying the boundaries of acceleration.
The Academic Motorsports Club Zurich (AMZ), composed of students hailing from ETH Zurich and the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences, has been on a mission to push the boundaries of EV acceleration for several years. Their journey began in 2014 when team AMZ clinched its first world acceleration record, and they repeated the feat in 2016. However, since then, the University of Stuttgart’s competing team had maintained a firm grip on the record, steadily reducing the time to 1.461 seconds by September 2022.
The AMZ team’s recent triumph in breaking the record is nothing short of extraordinary, as they managed to slash more than a third off the previous record time. The question that naturally arises is: how did they achieve this incredible feat?
Contrary to expectations, the team didn’t rely on an excessive increase in horsepower or a substantial weight reduction. Their vehicle, aptly named Mythen, weighs 140 kg (309 lb) and requires only 240 kW (326 hp) from its four hub motors to achieve remarkable acceleration. However, the vehicle’s extraordinary traction is the key to its success. No amount of power is beneficial without the ability to transfer it effectively to the ground. To address this, the AMZ team implemented a sophisticated vacuum fan system similar to that used in the McMurtry Spierling and the Gordon Murray T.50. This system generates substantial downforce, even when the car is stationary, ensuring superior grip by firmly planting the tires onto the road.
Their innovative approach resulted in a blistering 0.956-second sprint from 0-100 km/h, with the speedometer hitting triple digits just 12.3 meters (40.3 ft) from the starting line. Guinness World Records certified these astounding figures, and the AMZ team believes their record will remain unchallenged for the foreseeable future.
Driver Kate Maggetti, reflecting on her experience, remarked, “You do feel a few nerves. It’s probably also to do with respect. You notice your heart pounding away. But you’ve just got to do it and see it through. Then everything’s better again. And then it’s fun, too – it’s like being on a roller coaster with a swift start. You feel the tension and a kick.”
Indeed, the acceleration experienced during this record-breaking run was nothing short of exhilarating, subjecting Maggetti to nearly 3 g of acceleration forces, pinning her firmly into the seat. For those who have experienced the rapid acceleration of a high-performance EV, this achievement by the AMZ team is nothing short of mind-boggling.
To witness this astonishing achievement firsthand, be sure to check out the video below:
Source: ETH Zurich