Accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h in just 1.785 seconds with an electric vehicle. It sounds impossible, but students of ETH Zürich and Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts have achieved this remarkable performance with their ‘Grimsel’ 147 kW Formula Student vehicle, beating their Dutch rivals. They’ve earned a place in the Guinness World Records.
The team celebrated numerous successes at the Formula Student international competition past summer, standing at the top of the competitions’ world rankings. The fifth AMZ Racing electric car is a result of continuous development. The carbon fibre construction has a total weight of 168 kg and produces about 200 hp (147 kW). A four-wheel drive is implemented with four specially designed wheel hub motors, which generate a total torque of 1630 Nm at the wheels. By means of traction control, torque distribution is controlled individually for each wheel to maximise vehicle acceleration.
Electric Autosport wondered how they did it. What’s their secret? “We wanted to use “Trackbite”, a sort of track glue to maximize traction. Unfortunately we didn’t find any location where they would allow us to use it as it is pretty toxic,” said Jonas Abeken, CEO of AMZ Racing. Fortunately they didn’t suffer any traction problems. “The added traction on the front axle would come with bigger rolling friction, so it’s unclear which would have the bigger impact. Using tyre warmers helped a great deal instead.”
The vehicle underwent a slight modification in comparison with version they had entered the Formula Student competition. “All the attempts were driven with no rear wing. We kept the front wing however as it helped to gain traction at the front at higher speeds,” he explained. “We changed the suspension setup quite a bit, lowered the ride height, softened the springs at the front and straightened out camber and toe of the wheels.”
Speaking about the tyres, the regular Hoosier 7.5″ R25B were swapped with the Hoosier 6″ LCo which reduced weight and offered a softer compound. In terms of performance the power limiter was – of course – taken out. “Therefore we could make use of the maximum power of 37kW at each wheel, with peak power output of over 140 kW,” said Abeken.
Rival Formula Student teams, and others, are now challenged to beat the stunning performance of sprinting from 0-100 km/h under 1.785 seconds.
Watch the short highlights clip: