Electric vehicles, by nature of their powertrains’ instantly accessible torque, are capable of some rather brisk acceleration. In fact, some of the quickest machinery at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb are electric vehicles.

When it comes to passenger cars, the Tesla Model S P90D is remarkable, with 762 hp propelling the big four-door from 0-60 mph (0-96 km/h) in 2.8 seconds, or 0-100 km/h in just under 3.0 seconds. A university project, however, has gone even quicker.

Students from Swiss universities ETH Zurich and Hochschule Luzern – who are part of Academic Motorsports club Zurich (AMZ) – created “Grimsel,” an electric single-seater in 2014 for the Formula Student engineering competition.

Now, Grimsel has just established itself as the fastest accelerating EV from 0-96 km/h, with a time of 1.513 seconds. The previous record was set July last year by another Formula Student electric vehicle in Germany, with a time of 1.779 seconds.

Like AMZ’s previous projects, Grimsel was named after a traditional Swiss Alpine pass. Motive power comes from four wheel hub motors developed in-house, collectively giving an output of 200 hp and over 1,700 Nm of torque. Built around a carbon monocoque chassis weighing 14 kg, the complete vehicle weighs 168 kg, which means Grimsel has a power-to-weight ratio of 1,190 hp and 10,000 Nm per tonne.

Though Grimsel was driven in a straight line for the purposes of the record run, it appears to have a comprehensive chassis management package. Individual wheel hub motors means all-wheel-drive, and each wheel is managed individually by a traction control system. The independent motors also allow for torque vectoring for directional response in addition to the conventional steering on the front axle.

In terms of suspension, Grimsel adopts magnetorheological adaptive damping, like in certain, more exotic performance cars. When activated, a magnetic flux passes through the damping fluid which contain iron particles, thus changing the viscosity of the fluid and consequently altering the suspension’s damping characteristics.

Formula Student, for which Grimsel was developed, is a high-performance engineering project run by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers which challenges university students to conceive, design, build, cost, present and compete as a team with a small single-seat racing car in a series of static and dynamic competitions.