The Shanghai Tower may be the world's second tallest building. But when it comes to speed, it's second to none.
The 2,074 feet-tall skyscraper has installed a ground-breaking Mitsubishi elevator that travels at an incredible 20.5 meters per second (67 ft/s) — faster than Usain Bolt can run (40 ft/s), but slightly slower than a cheetah (95 ft/s).
No elevator in the world is faster
Visitors are whisked up to the building's viewing tower by the lightning fast elevator, from where they have unrivaled views of the Bund.
The Shanghai Tower is not alone in its need for speed. In the Southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, home to 8.25 million, Hitachi this summer unveiled its fastest elevator in Guangzhou's tallest tower, the CTF, which stands at 1,739 feet tall.
Its lift zooms from floors zero to 95 in an incredible 45 seconds — or 20 meters per second (65 ft/s).
"We wanted it to be fast, but the current speed was not anticipated," says David Ho, head of design at New World Development, who was involved in the development of the CTF Tower."But the 'fastest' title will be gone soon."
The terracotta warrior
The CTF Tower isn't just the tallest skyscraper in Guangzhou — it's the tallest terracotta building in the world.
"That in itself was a huge technical challenge for us," Forth Bagley, principal architect at KPF, which designed the building, tells CNN of working with this unique material. "The client wanted a material that recalled the (historic) ceramics (trade) of the region."
The result is an elegant skyscraper with a daily footfall of 25,000 people, zipping between the building's hotel, office and residential space.
"The elevatoring strategy required us to bring in high volumes of people … and the client made a huge investment to try to make sure that happened quickly," Forth says.
Inside the cabin an indicator shows passengers how fast they are going — perhaps to prove that they aren't being cheated.
A high-tech air pressure adjustment system that protects ears from popping and blocks any uncomfortable G-force backlash means this lift is so smooth it's hard to believe it's the world's second fastest.