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A Swiss student team has absolutely smashed the record for the world's fastest-accelerating EV. Surreal-looking video shows driver Kate Maggetti rocketing from 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in a staggering time just under one second. Here's how they did it.

The Academic Motorsports Club Zurich (AMZ), comprising students from ETH Zurich and the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences, has been building these record-breaking EV racers for many years now outside school hours. Indeed, team AMZ took its first world acceleration record back in 2014, and again in 2016.

Since then, a competing team from the University of Stuttgart has had a stranglehold on the record, which has inched its way down from the 1.7-second zone to sit at 1.461 seconds since September 2022.

So when we say the AMZ team smashed the record, we're talking about chopping more than a third off the time. An extraordinary leap.

How? Well, it's not by adding thousands of horsepower or dropping enormous amounts of weight this little go-kart of a thing weighs in at 140 kg (309 lb) and needs only 240 kW (326 hp) through its four hub motors to get the job done. Granted, that's a driverless power-to-weight ratio of more than 2.3 horsepower per kilogram (2.2 lb), so you'd expect it to party rather hearty.

But of course, traction is the key here. No amount of power is helpful if you can't get it to the ground, and that's where the AMZ team has made a rather rude upgrade. Much like the McMurtry Spierling, and the Gordon Murray T.50, the AMZ car, named Mythen, uses a vacuum fan system that sucks the car to the ground, creating considerable downforce even at a standstill and jamming the tires into the tarmac for superior grip.

As a result, Maggetti recorded a blistering 0.956-second sprint from 0-100 km/h, seeing triple figures on the dash just 12.3 meters (40.3 ft) from the starting line. These figures have been certified by Guinness, and the team doesn't expect that record to fall any time soon. Mind you, I'm sure they've got vacuum fans over in Stuttgart ...

"You do feel a few nerves," said Maggetti. "It's probably also to do with respect. You really notice your heart pounding away. But you've just got to do it, and see it through. Then everything's better again. And then it's fun, too it's like being on a roller coaster with a really fast start. You feel the tension, and a kick."

Some kick alright! Anyone who's dropped the hammer in a quick Tesla knows how crazy a 2.3-second time feels the idea of accelerating more than twice as fast is absolutely bonkers. Maggetti would've experienced a hair under 3 g of acceleration forces pushing her back into the seat during the record run.

Source: ETH Zurich