It was about this time last year that we brought you news from Germany that the 0-62mph world record had been broken by an enterprising team from the University of Stuttgart. Well, unbeknown to us at the time, the record has actually changed hands a number of times in recent years thanks to the ingenuity of engineering students, and evidently a previous holder - the self-styled Academic Motorsports Club Zurich (AMZ), comprised of students from ETH Zurich and Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts - wanted it back in ‘Swiss hands’.
The result is ‘mythen’, a 140kg custom-built electric ‘racing car’ said to be constructed from carbon and aluminium honeycomb and powered by four wheel hub motors with a combined output of 326hp. That makes it considerably lighter (by 33kg) and more powerful (by 85hp) than the single-seater that romped to 100km/h in 1.461 seconds last October.
“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,” reckoned Dario Messerli, head of aerodynamics at AMZ. Consequently, the team developed what it describes as a ‘kind of vacuum cleaner’ to amplify the ground effect and sucker the car to the surface for the duration of its run.
That run was spectacularly brief. Say what you will about anti-climaxes, but getting to 62.15mph in 12.3 metres is neck-wrenchingly snappy. So too the final time: 0.956 seconds. Little wonder the film looks speeded up when the car finally gets going. Granted, Stuttgart’s GreenTeam were a little more adventurous when it came to video presentation skills, but half a second is a hell of a battering. After the better part of a year working on the project, the AMZ team is ‘confident they will not relinquish it any time soon’. Which, in any language, is surely the sound of the gauntlet hitting the deck.
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