Student-led Swiss team sets new EV acceleration record

Bespoke electric race car that makes 321bhp while weighing a mere 140kg achieves 0-100kph in just 0.956sec.

By Jack Warrick, Autocar UK calendar 14 Sep 2023 Views icon2566 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

A student-led Swiss team has shattered the record for the world’s fastest-accelerating electric car, clocking a 0-62mph / 0-100kph run in less than a second.

The AMZ team, consisting of members from research firm ETH Zürich and the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, achieved a time of 0.956sec using a hand-built EV named Mythen. 

Driven by team member Kate Maggetti, it beat the previous record by almost a third and covered a distance of just 12.3 metres before breaking the record. 

The previous record for the fastest sprint from 0-100kph was achieved last year by Greenteam, a group of 20 students from the University of Stuttgart in Germany, which completed the sprint in 1.461sec.

All of the Mythen's parts were built by hand in an overall package that weighed just 140kg in total. Power comes from a bespoke powertrain producing around 321bhp. 

“Power isn’t the only thing that matters when it comes to setting an acceleration record; effectively transferring that power to the ground is also key,” said Dario Messerli, AMZ's head of aerodynamics.. 

“Conventional Formula 1 cars solve this through aerodynamics: a rear or front wing pushes the car to the ground. However, this effect only comes into play when the car has reached a certain speed. To ensure strong traction right from the start, the AMZ team has developed a kind of vacuum cleaner that holds the vehicle down to the ground by suction.”

The mind-boggling time of 0.956sec is far beyond what any production car on the road today is capable of, coming in at around a full second faster than the Pininfarina Battista, the Ariel Hipercar and 1.5sec faster than the Tesla Model S Plaid. It’s also 1.5sec faster than the 0-100kph time achieved by the W16-engined Bugatti Chiron. 

It’s not the first time this team has broken the record for the world’s fastest-accelerating electric car. It broke the record in 2014 and again in 2016 before being toppled by Greenteam last year.

The Greenteam racer broke the previous record on a track at Bosch’s site in Renningen. It weighed just 145kg and got 247bhp from dual electric motors, four-wheel drive and a bespoke battery pack. 

The University of Stuttgart said it produced around 1726bhp per tonne, with a peak acceleration of 2g – around the same amount of force felt by astronauts re-entering Earth’s atmosphere.

The record was a year in the making for the team of 20, who study a range of subjects at the university.

Greenteam suffered a major setback with the attempt prior to beating the record when the car lost control at high speed and crashed into a tyre stack that was in place as a track barrier. 

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