Electric motors are constantly improving as more sportscars and hypercars transition to zero-emission power. Hybrid engines are used in motorsports like Formula 1, and its all-electric counterpart, Formula E, has gained popularity in recent years. Electric motors can even match some of the top internal combustion engines. Swiss students from the Academic Motorsports Club of Zurich (AMZ) created an electric speedster that just set a new world record for quickest acceleration time.
Students from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich) and the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences created an electric vehicle (EV) designed to go as fast as possible in less than a second. These two groups formed the AMZ, and together, they formed the Mythen, their ultra-fast, ultra-lightweight race car.
The Mythen only weighs 309 pounds and has 326 hp thanks to four-wheel hub motors. The students developed all aspects of the car, including the chassis, powertrain, and aerodynamic shape.
The materials used on the body are carbon fiber and aluminum, similar materials used in Formula 1 cars.
While 326 hp may not seem like much, remember the car is only 309 pounds without a driver. The test driver, Kate Maggetti, only added 87 pounds to the car, meaning it is under 400 pounds. The low weight allows it to pick up speed faster than most street-legal cars.
The track test was carried out in Duebendort, Switzerland, on Sept. 1. The car accelerated to 62mph (100 km/h) in 0.956 seconds, reaching it in 40 feet (12.3 meters) of driving.
Guinness World Records confirmed that Mythen and AMZ beat the previous world EV acceleration record set by students from the University of Stuttgart in 2022. The Mythen’s time was over a third faster than the previous record. The AMZ students were the first team to get the record underneath the one-second mark.
Photo Courtesy Alessandro Della Bella / ETH Zurich
AMZ wanted to take back the crown. The team had set the world acceleration record for electric cars twice, in 2014 and 2016. The students are confident the 2023 time will be unbeaten for years.
On a broader scale, this record shows the potential of electric car power as it continues to be improved and upgraded to meet the demands of all car enthusiasts.
“Working on the project in addition to my studies was very intense,” Yann Bernard, head of motor at AMZ, said in a press release. “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.”
The AMZ has been working together since 2006. The motorsports club has created a new race car every year. Some designs have won awards, and others have set records. Since 2010, AMZ has worked with purely electric engines, allowing students to advance their engineering and technical capabilities. This latest acceleration record is another milestone for the club.