In Depth

NIO EP9 breaks Nurburgring production lap record

All-electric NIO EP9 boasts 1341bhp, four motors and race-car aerodynamics

nextev_ep9_1.jpg

The all-electric NIO EP9 supercar has broken the production car lap record at Germany's Nurburgring race track. This means the supercar's owners, the Chinese electric car company NextEV, has taken the crown from the hardcore Lamborghini Huracan Performante. 

With former Le Mans 24h driver Peter Dumbreck behind the wheel, the NIO EP9 lapped the 12.9-mile Nordschleife circuit in 6m 45.9secs.

The EP9's lap time beats the previous record holder, the Lamborghini Huracan Performante's, by nearly seven seconds. It's also over half a minute faster than the next electric car on the leaderboard – Toyota's TMG EV 002 prototype. 

NextEV had set a time at the Nurburgring with its NIO EP9 of 7m 5.1secs last year, says AutoExpress, but "bad weather meant the brand wanted to try again".

The NIO EP9's battery electric powertrain has an output of around 1,324bhp and can reach a top speed of 194mph, says Autocar. It can go from zero to 62mph in 2.7secs – around 0.2secs slower than the Tesla Model S. 

"Only twenty examples of the EP9 will be made", adds the magazine, even though the original production run had originally been capped at six cars. 

According to AutoExpress, each vehicle costs around $1.2m (£930,000) to produce. The cars will be used to "spread the word about NIO" before the company launches its mass-production ES8 SUV next year. 

NextEV launches record-breaking hypercar

22 November 2016

Chinese start-up company NextEV has unveiled its new, four-wheel drive hypercar, the NIO EP9.

The electric vehicle uses four motors attached to four individual gearboxes and powered by two lithium ion batteries. Combined, these produce 1341bhp with 1092lb-ft of torque - considerably more than the likes of the Porsche 918 Hybrid's 944lb-ft. 

This rockets the EP9 to 124mph in a little more than seven seconds and on to a top speed of 194mph. Wired says "0-62mph is hit in 2.7 seconds", which is slower than the 2.4secs expected from the software update coming to the Tesla S P100D saloon.

NextEV claims the EP9 has set a new electric lap record at the Nurburgring race track in Germany. At seven minutes and five seconds, the NIO hypercar slashed around 15 seconds off the lap record set by Toyota in 2012.

While the EP9 brings racing-car levels of performance to the road, with enough downforce to pull 3G around a corner, it is also convenient. The batteries are interchangeable and take around 45 minutes to charge, giving a range of up to 265 miles.

Auto Express says the EP9 will be limited to a run of six cars, each costing "approximately $1.2 million [£970,000] to build". 

NextEV won the inaugural Formula E championship in 2015 and the EP9 is the first car to be unveiled under the newly-launched NIO brand. Founder and chairman William Li says producing a vehicle that exceeds expectations is vital if electric cars are to "become the natural choice for everyone".

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