An electric racer built by a team of Swiss university students goes 0-100 kph (62 mph) in just 1.785 seconds, which is faster than a Formula One car. From a dead stop, it needs only 98 feet for the task.
Designed and built by the Academic Motorsports Club of Zurich (AMZ), the car finished first overall in the 2014 Formula Student competition after winning races in Germany, Austria and Spain. Along the way, it earned awards for its engineering design, endurance, lateral acceleration on a skidpad and straight line acceleration. It is the group’s fifth all-electric race car.
Nicknamed Grimsel, the electric racer features four 37 kilowatt motors, one for each wheel. Combined, they crank out a mind bending 1200 lb/ft of torque. Sophisticated electronic controls enable torque vectoring, a design feature that makes it possible to finely control the amount of torque going to each wheel in real time, giving it incredible handling.
The secret to the car’s astounding performance is its amazingly low weight. The one-piece carbon-fiber monocoque weighs just 40 pounds including the car’s roll hoops. Finished, with suspension, motors and batteries installed, the car weighs a featherlight 435 pounds which is less than many production motorcycles.
This year’s car is half a second faster to 100 kph than last year’s racer which used the same 37 kilowatt motors but weighed more. It’s going to be very hard for AMZ to top Grimsel’s 0-100 kph performance for the 2015 racing season.