Watch some Swiss students smash 0-62mph in *less than a second* | Top Gear
BBC TopGear
BBC TopGear
Subscribe to Top Gear magazine
Sign up to our Top Gear Magazine
Wednesday 4th October

Watch some Swiss students smash 0-62mph in *less than a second*

Custom-built racer smashes the world record for acceleration. In your face, Tesla Plaid fans

Published: 13 Sep 2023

You are reading that headline correctly: a group of students from ETH Zurich and the University of Lucerne have built a car that will hit 100kmh from a standstill in less than a second. 0.956s, to be precise. Yikes!

Work began on the car (called mythen, FYI) in September last year, with the students constructing every element of it as part of the Academic Motorsports Club Zurich.

Advertisement - Page continues below

Wielding four electric motors it belts out 322bhp, but what’ll really blow your mind is that it weighs just 140kg. Which puts the power-to-weight ratio somewhere in the region of 2,300bhp per tonne. Stratospheric, in other words.

There’s ground effect tech at play too, with a vacuum system sucking the single-seater onto the ground much like the McLaren F1 and Gordon Murray’s forthcoming T.50. Apparently the end result is a doubling of the contact force.

Having lost the record to the University of Stuttgart’s 1.46s benchmark last year, the group was keen to get it back… and its sub-second run in Dubendorf - which you can watch in its very brief entirety - is one heck of a retort. All done in the space of 12.3 metres as well. Has anyone checked the 0-62-0mph record in the meantime?

“You do feel a few nerves,” said driver Kate Maggetti, describing what it’s like behind the wheel of mythen. “It probably also has to do with respect. You really notice that your heart is 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.

Advertisement - Page continues below

“It’s like being on a roller coaster with a really, really fast start. You feel the tension and a kick.”

Meanwhile AMZ’s head of motor Yann Bernard added: “Working on the project in addition to my studies was very intense. But even so, it was a lot of fun working with other students to continually produce new solutions and put into practice what we learned in class. And, of course, it is an absolutely unique experience to be involved in a world record.”

Yep, this one’s been confirmed by Guinness World Records. Sorry Tesla Model S Plaid, you’re officially old news.

Top Gear

Get all the latest news, reviews and exclusives, direct to your inbox.

Lead image: Alessandro Della Balla/ETH Zurich

1 minute 59 seconds

More from Top Gear

See more on Motorsport

Promoted Content

Subscribe to the Top Gear Newsletter

Get all the latest news, reviews and exclusives, direct to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, you agree to receive news, promotions and offers by email from Top Gear and BBC Studios. Your information will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

BBC TopGear

Try BBC Top Gear Magazine

Get your first 5 issues for £5