NextEV's NIO EP9 all-electric hypercar smashes Nurburgring record - pictures and video
China’s NextEV NIO EP9 electric hypercar has set a new lap record of just 6m 45.9s around the Green Hell
The NextEV NIO EP9 has proved it has the performance to match its looks by setting a new production car lap record on the German Nurburgring racetrack. The car's time around the legendary racetrack was 6m 45.9s.
That's six seconds faster than the Lamborghini Huracan Performante that set a time of 6m 52.01s earlier this year. It's also faster than the NIO EP9's own 7m 05.12s lap set last year - the record for an electric car at the time. Bad weather meant the brand wanted to try again - and this time it seems to have grabbed the overall record as well.
The NextEV NIO EP9 is an eye-catching car designed to build hype for the NIO brand, which will launch its first mass market electric car in China at some point in 2017.
NextEV says that the EP9 is the fastest EV in the world, which the lap record lends some credence to. It will be a hypercar with motorsport right at the heart of its development, given NextEVs involvement in F1’s all-electric sibling, Formula E.
0-62 mph is achieved in 2.7 seconds making it a little slower off the line than the Tesla Model S P100D, but it will hit a top speed of 194mph. The 777 volt powertrain develops 1 Megawatt of power – the equivalent of 1,341bhp - and delivers 1480Nm of torque. It all means the EP9 can do a standing quarter mile in 10.1 seconds, crossing the line at 155mph.
At its heart are two indirectly water cooled lithium batteries hooked up to four electric motors – one for each wheel – making the EP9 a four-wheel-drive hypercar.
While details are still a little hazy, it’s claimed the batteries can be charged in 45 minutes. Alternatively they can also be swapped in eight minutes once the 265-mile electric range is up. The EP9 was built in Britain with a UK partner, although at this stage NIO is unwilling to reveal exactly who.
It makes use of a carbon monocoque and carbon composite bodywork, but the EP9 is still a heavy car thanks to the weight of its dual-battery power supply - weighing in at 635kg. At 1,735kg in total, it weighs almost 200kg more than a LaFerrari or a McLaren P1.
That additional bulk, plus the car’s skinny bodywork with its various tunnels, ridges, retracting rear wing and large venturi tunnels help the car on its way to producing downforce levels beyond that of a Formula 1 car. There's a full length floor diffuser, a front adjustable splitter geared for cornering downforce, and an active rear wing with three positions, including low drag and high-downforce options. NextEV says it produces almost two and a half tonnes of downforce at 150mph, and is capable of just over 2.5G lateral force in high speed corners.
It also gets active suspension with ride height control, and four way adjustble dampers.
In the cabin, two deep bucket seats are fashioned out of a single piece of carbon fibre, finished with part leather padding and turquoise stitching. Four displays are dotted around the cabin, and the driver gets a rectangular shaped Formula 1 inspired steering wheel.
NextEV is planning a production run of just six models, and all six have been reserved for the company's founding investors. While no prices have been revealed, NextEV tells us each car costs approximately $1.2 million to build. They will be used as brand ambassadors with the intention that they are used on track days by the investing companies to spread the word about NIO before the launch of the first mainstream passenger cars next year.
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