At the crossroads of innovation and speed, students from ETH Zurich and Lucerne University have created history. Their electric racing car, aptly named ‘Mythen’, has broken the world record for electric vehicle acceleration, rewriting the standards for EV performance.
This isn’t just any car. Mythen is a reinvented version of the team’s 2019 Formula Student car. Interestingly, the Formula Student competition, which is the European parallel of Formula SAE, encourages young engineers to design and build racing cars, making it a perfect platform for such groundbreaking EV accomplishments.
Behind this engineering marvel stands the Academic Motorsports Club Zurich (AMZ), whose unwavering dedication over the past year has culminated in this extraordinary achievement. Late-night brainstorming sessions, meticulous component redesigns, and an unrelenting commitment to perfection have propelled Mythen to the forefront of automotive innovation. The historic moment unfolded at Switzerland Innovation Park in Duebendorf, where Mythen blazed from zero to 100 km/h in a mere 0.956 seconds, covering a jaw-dropping distance of just 12.3 meters. This remarkable feat defeated the previous Guiness Book of World Records set by a team from the University of Stuttgart in 2022.
Kate Maggetti, who drove the car, shared her enthusiasm for the project, describing it as “an incredible experience.” She emphasized the magnitude of the project, not only as a source of immense learning but also as a testament to the power of collective effort in achieving the extraordinary.
What makes mythen so fast?
At its core, this speed demon owes its lightning-fast acceleration to meticulous craftsmanship. The students made every part of the car themselves. They used materials like lightweight carbon and a special kind of aluminium. This made the car weigh only 140 kilos, which is quite light. The car has powerful motors and a new kind of engine. Together, they give the car over 300 horsepower, which is a lot for its size.
To put this achievement in perspective, Mythen outpaces even the renowned Formula E electric racing cars, which typically complete the same sprint in a comparatively sluggish 2.8 seconds. Mythen’s prowess even defeats that of the McMurtry Speirling and Rimac Nevera, two of the swiftest production-ready electric cars globally. While the Speirling achieves the 0-100 km/h sprint in 1.4 seconds, the Nevera recently clocked the same feat in an impressive 1.81 seconds.
Dario Messerli, a prominent figure in the team, elaborated on the importance of not just raw power but also intelligent power management. Traditional race cars rely on wings to generate downforce, which aids in road grip but primarily at high speeds. The AMZ team ingeniously devised a vacuum cleaner-inspired system that ensures optimal ground adhesion right from the moment the race begins.
In the relentless pursuit of speed and innovation, the team’s tireless efforts have brought Mythen to life, breaking the boundaries of what was once thought possible in electric vehicle acceleration. As the automotive world watches in awe, Mythen’s journey is a testament to the power of ambition, collaboration, and engineering excellence, reaffirming Switzerland’s position as a cradle of automotive innovation. This monumental achievement is poised to inspire future generations of engineers and propel electric vehicle technology to new heights.