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Dutch students set 2.1 sec sprint record

Cop that: It might not look like a world-beater, but Delft University of Technology’s DUT12 is faster in the 0-100km/h sprint than the world’s most powerful production supercars.

Home-made electric car crunches 0-100km/h record and shows up best supercars

3 Oct 2013

A BUNCH of Dutch students have blitzed the world’s supercars by setting a 0-100km/h sprint time of just 2.1 seconds with their home-made electric race car packing just 100kW of power.

The time smashed the previous electric car record of 2.68 seconds, and even far exceeded the team’s high hopes of breaking 2.3 seconds.

Wikipedia names the 373kW Ariel Atom V8 as the fastest road-going car in the sprint, setting a verified time of 2.3 seconds in 2010. The fastest showroom car in Australia is the Nissan GT-R that can hit 100km/h from zero in 2.7 seconds.

The students from the Delft University of Technology built the tiny lightweight car – dubbed DUT12 – for a student circuit racing competition, winning the unofficial world championship at Hockenheim, in Germany, recently.

But they then decided to have a crack at the sprint record at a former airfield at Valkenburg, in the far south of Holland near the Belgian and German borders.

The open-wheel car employs in-wheel electric motors that are detuned for the student races that are restricted to a maximum output of 85kW.

But the team took off the restrictors for the sprint attempt to unleash all 100kW, while also shedding some of the components such as a rear wing to lighten the car to just 145kg.

They called in the team’s lightest member, 24-year-old Marly Kuijpers, to drive the car.

Before the run, the students covered the old military airstrip with canvas to keep it dry in rain, while also heating the tyres in a makeshift oven to make them sticky.

Team leader Tim de Moree said that in the conditions, the team would have been happy with 2.3 seconds.

“But we really didn’t expect 2.15,” he said.

The car uses four in-wheel AC electric motors, each delivering about 21Nm of torque and 25kW of power. In circuit racing, the wheels return energy top the batteries via regenerative braking.

Lithium-ion batteries weighing 43kg are carried in pods on either side of the driver, delivering 4.2kWh of power at 600 volts.

Top speed is said to be 130km/h.

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