Last year, we raved about an electric race car built by a team of Swiss university students that goes 0-100 kph (62 mph) in just 1.785 seconds. From a dead stop, it needs only 98 feet of track to get moving that fast.
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. 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.
The secret to the car’s astounding performance is its amazingly low weight. The one piece carbon fiber monocoque weighs just 40 pounds. That includes the car’s roll hoops. With suspension, motors, and batteries installed, the car weighs a featherlight 435 pounds. That’s less than many production motorcycles.
The 2016 version of the car is faster still. It just blasted its way to 100 kph from a standing start in an incredible 1.513 seconds. That’s a new world record for an electric car. This year’s car uses the same four 37 kilowatt motors. The difference? This year’s version of the car is even lighter than the 2015 car.
Grimsel is built to compete in a European racing series called Formula Student — also known as Formula SAE. It is a global competition that began in 1981. Teams of students compete in a variety of ways on and off the track. They have to prove thhier cars on track and defend their design and engineering choices to a panel of experts. They even pitch these cars to fake investors to learn more about marketing their ideas.
The cars do not race each other head. There is no NASCAR style “tradin’ paint.” Instead, they compete in an autocross event that requires them to negotiate an incredibly tight course. Grimsel has four wheel torque vectoring and a sophisticated control program that delivers all the traction each individual wheel can handle but no more.
Last year we said it would be very, very hard to make Grimsel faster in a straight line. But the students did. Now we are saying it again. It will be very, very hard to beat the new world record. But that won’t keep people from trying.
Source: The Verge Photo credit: AMZ