An electric racing car built by a group of students in Switzerland-based Academic Motorsports Club Zurich (AMZ) has broken the world record for fastest acceleration by a battery-powered vehicle – going from 0-62 miles per hour in 1.513 seconds. The previous world record — 0 to 62 mph in 1.779 seconds — was set last year by a team at the University of Stuttgart in Germany.
ETH Zurich’s car, named Grimsel, only weighs 370 lbs thanks to its extensive use of carbon fiber. The car was developed and built in less than a year by a team of 30 students at ETH Zurich and Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts. In addition to carbon fiber materials, the car has four-wheel drive, and each of its wheel-hub motors is capable of generating 200 horsepower and 1,254 foot-pounds (1,700 newton meters). A sophisticated traction control system regulates the performance of each wheel individually, allowing the car’s acceleration to be increased even further.
“Grimsel is AMZ’s fifth electric vehicle and sets new standards in lightweight construction and electric drive technology,” ETH Zurich said in a release. “No large-scale production car – even one with a combustion engine – can reach an acceleration comparable to the Grimsel.”
In addition to being the fastest, AMZ says Grimsel is also its most successful competition car. Formula Student is the largest competition worldwide for engineering students and takes place every year on race courses around the world. AMZ has won the competition three times with the Grimsel, and has remained in first place in the Formula Student world rankings since 2013.
To see the official run for the record, watch the video below: