A tiny car has broken a world speed record by going from zero to 100KPH (62 MPH) in 0.956 seconds.
Students from ETH Zurich and Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts have broken the previous world acceleration record for electric vehicles with a hand-​built racing car, named Mythen.
The vehicle accelerated the equivalent of nought to 62MPH over a distance of 12.3 meters (40 feet).
The team say they had to develop a kind of vacuum cleaner that holds the vehicle down to the ground by suction to ensure strong traction from the start.
A ETH Zurich spokesperson explains: “The members of the Academic Motorsports Club Zurich (AMZ) are absolutely thrilled. For the better part of a year, these students from ETH Zurich and the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts have spent every spare minute working on their electric vehicle, which they named mythen, overcoming setbacks and going back to the drawing board time and time again for certain components.”
The attempt was made on September 1 by driver Kate Maggetti on the Switzerland Innovation Park in Duebendorf.
Guinness World Records have now confirmed that mythen broke the world acceleration record for electric vehicles.
The previous world record of 1.461 seconds was set in September 2022 by a team from the University of Stuttgart.
Yann Bernard, head of motor at AMZ, says: “Working on the project in addition to my studies was very intense. But even so, it was a lot of fun working with other students to continually produce new solutions and put into practice what we learned in class.
“And, of course, it is an absolutely unique experience to be involved in a world record.”
All of mythen’s components, from the printed circuit boards (PCBs) to the chassis and the battery, were developed by the students themselves and optimized for their function.
Thanks to the use of lightweight carbon and aluminium honeycomb, the race car weighs in at only around 140 kilos (309 pounds).
Four-​wheel hub motors that the students developed themselves and a special powertrain give the vehicle its impressive power of 240 kilowatts or around 326 hp.
Dario Messerli, head of aerodynamics at AMZ, adds: “But 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.”
Conventional Formula One 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 AMZ team had set the world acceleration record for electric cars twice before – in 2014 and again in 2016.
In the following years, their record was broken by a team from the University of Stuttgart. Now the world record is back in Swiss hands, and the ETH Zurich students are confident they will not relinquish it again any time soon.
Produced in association with SWNS Talker