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Electric vehicle breaks acceleration world record

The Tesla Model S Plaid’s Ludicrous mode might not be ludicrous enough for applied sciences students from ETH Zurich and Lucerne University. The students have broken the acceleration world record for electric vehicles in a single-seater open-cockpit car called “mythen”, and the Guinness World Record appears to have recognized the same.

Part of a group called the Academic Motorsports Club Zurich (AMZ), the students took roughly a year to develop a car that can accelerate from 0-62 miles per hour in just nine-tenths of a second, or 0.956 seconds to be precise, beating the previous world record of 1.461 seconds set in September 2022 by a University of Stuttgart team.

An AMZ spokesperson told InsideEVs that the mythen was part of the 2019 Formula Student season, and is not fully legal anymore due to “modifications with respect to the formula student regulations.”

The neck-snapping acceleration bests the times of the outrageously fast McMurtry Speirling and Rimac Nevera, just to name a few. The former can accelerate from 0-60 mph in just 1.4 seconds while the Nevera recently blasted from 0-62 mph in 1.81 seconds. Even Formula E cars are slower, with a 0-62 mph time of 2.8 seconds.

AMZ also told InsideEVs that the driver, Kate Maggetti, “did not undergo extensive training for the attempt but did show great tenacity during testing and was not afraid to push the car to its limits.”

The students developed the 309-pound car by themselves, including the printed circuit boards, chassis, and battery. They used a lightweight carbon and aluminum honeycomb structure and used in-house developed four-wheel hub motors with an output of 326 horsepower, giving the mythen a power-to-weight ratio of over one horsepower per pound of weight.

The battery size is unclear, but AMZ added that it is roughly a third of a normal Formula Student EV. There’s no properly defined range either, but the car manages several attempts in a single charge.

They also focused on aerodynamics.“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, head of aerodynamics at AMZ. The single-seater vehicle doesn’t feature Formula One-style front or rear wings. Instead, the team “developed a kind of vacuum cleaner that holds the vehicle down to the ground by suction.”

Gallery: ETH Zurich Acceleration Record

The film showcases a tiny workshop in Duebendorf, Switzerland, where they performed the record feat. The go-kart-sized car shoots off the line like a bullet, taking just 12.3 meters to break the record, requiring no racetracks, quarter-mile drag strips, or airplane runways that OEMs frequent to flaunt their prowess.

The record is hotly contested, and the record holders appear to alternate between the AMZ team and students from the University of Stuttgart. Formula Student teams have showcased their innovations several times before, including in 2016 when another ETH Zurich team set a previous 0-62 mph acceleration record of 1.5 seconds.

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