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Image credit: ETH Zurich / Alessandro Della Bella

Electric race car sets an acceleration world record

The Grimsel can hit 62MPH in just over 1.5 seconds.
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ETH Zurich / Alessandro Della Bella

Electric cars are quick off the mark as a matter of course, since they're both very efficient with energy and always operate at peak torque. You probably haven't seen a road-going machine this fast, though. Swiss students have shattered the world record for EV acceleration with an experimental race car, Grimsel, that reached 62MPH in 1.513 seconds -- over two tenths of a second sooner than the previous best. For context, the 1,480HP Bugatti Chiron hits that speed somewhere under 2.5 seconds.

Like any good performance car, Grimsel achieved the feat through a combination of the right engine technology and light weight. While its four wheel hub motors produce just 200HP, they also produce a whopping 1,254 foot-pounds of torque... and when the car's carbon fiber body weighs just 370 pounds, it's extremely easy to move. Per-wheel traction control helps translate that power effectively, too.

It's doubtful that you'll see this exact car in full-fledged competition. All the same, it bodes well for the future of electric motorsport. As quick as the cars in Formula E might be, Grimsel shows that there's still room for improvement.

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