If you didn’t even know that a Chinese supercar company existed, you do now! Nio has built the EP9, which is an insane all-electric supercar that has just broken the lap record for a non-series production car at the Nurburgring, the global proving ground for any company that makes a fast car worth its salt.
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On the afternoon of May 12th, 2017, racing driver Peter Dumbreck embarked on his fourth and final lap in the EP9, and some 6 minutes and 45 seconds later, he was at the finish line once again, turning the eyes of the motoring world on the 1-million-megawatt supercar.
The car is the brainchild of Martin Leach, who sadly passed away just a few months before his baby was ready to make its record run. The vice president of NextEV, the company behind the Nio supercar brand, led its development together with Nio’s head of performance, Gerry Hughes.
The car is powered by two giant batteries that power four electric motors – one in each wheel. It also has a drag reduction system and enormous diffusers running underneath to make it as aerodynamic as possible. Other trickery it features is active suspension, with a ride height controller that makes 200 calculations every second, an advanced torque vectoring system that can adjust power output to each wheel individually, and an all-carbon fiber chassis.
Each electric motor develops 335 horsepower, making the EP9’s total power output stand at a staggering 1,341 horsepower. This allows it to accelerate to 60 mph in 2.7 seconds, 124 mph in 7.1 seconds and 186 mph in 15.9 seconds. The EP9’s top speed is 194 mph, and it can cover a quarter-mile from standstill in 10.1 seconds.
Although the EP9 isn’t currently road legal, Nio is looking at homologating the car to be able to sell it in key markets. The company has built just six EP9s so far, and a further 10 are currently in production. With regard to the lap record that the car set, Peter Dumbreck had only 900 horsepower at his disposal during the run – more than 400 horsepower less than what the car is capable of producing.
To keep the batteries cool and stop them from frying with the intense heat that they generate, the EP9 is fitted with a water cooling system. The charge in the batteries can last for up to 265 miles before they need to be recharged again, and recharging takes a mere 45 minutes.
Inside, there are four screens – one on the driver’s side of the dash, another on the passenger’s side, one in the dash’s center console, and one in in the middle of the steering wheel. They display things such as G-forces, lap times, and even the driver’s heart rate.
The six completed EP9s were sold to Nio investors at a price of $1.2 million each, and the production cars may be priced similarly, but it would be no surprise if the company decides to charge (very rich) members of the general public a whole lot more. We’ve all got to keep on dreaming!
All images are © Nio