The Shanghai Tower is still the world’s second-tallest building, just a few hundred feet shorter than Dubai’s Burj Khalifa. It already has the tallest observation tower—not that that’s stopped people from climbing even higher. As if it needed more to brag about, Shanghai Tower will be equipped with the world’s fastest elevator.
According to a press release from manufacturer Mitsubishi Electric, this ludicrously fast elevator moves at a top speed of 1,230 meters per minute. That’s nearly 46mph. From the second level basement it can travel up to the 119th floor in less than a minute. This is an incremental improvement over the Shanghai Tower’s already blistering fast elevators and makes the elevators in the Burj Khalifa look downright pokey.
Improvements to the buffer, traction rope, and speed governor will allow passengers to make this quick vertical journey without being scared completely shitless. Horizontal shake will be taken care of by a roller system that essentially pushes back against vibrations to cancel them out. Aerodynamic fairings outside the elevator will reduce the noise of air rushing past, while air pressure will be adjusted progressively during the ride, supposedly to help mitigate that clogged ear feeling.
Just one of Shanghai Tower’s elevators will be getting these upgrades, but it’s slated to open for use later this year.