A Swiss student team has set a new world record for the fastest-accelerating electric vehicle (EV). In an astonishing feat, driver Kate Maggetti went from 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in under one second. Here’s an inside look at their achievement.
The Academic Motorsports Club Zurich (AMZ), composed of students from ETH Zurich and the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences, has been designing these groundbreaking EV racers for several years. They previously held the world acceleration record in 2014 and 2016.
However, a competing team from the University of Stuttgart had held the record since September 2022, with a time of 1.461 seconds. The AMZ team was able to surpass this record by reducing the time by more than a third.
So how did they achieve this remarkable feat? Surprisingly, it wasn’t by increasing horsepower or reducing weight. The vehicle, named Mythen, weighs only 140 kg (309 lb) and requires only 240 kW (326 hp) from its four hub motors. However, it boasts a driverless power-to-weight ratio of over 2.3 horsepower per kilogram (2.2 lb), allowing for impressive performance.
The key to their success lies in traction. The AMZ team incorporated a vacuum fan system, similar to the one used in the McMurtry Spierling and Gordon Murray T.50 cars, which generates substantial downforce even when the vehicle is stationary. This system enhances traction by firmly gripping the tires to the road surface.