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NextEV reveals world’s fastest battery car

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London - This, says startup electric car company NextEV, is the fastest battery-powered car in the world, the Nio EP9.

And it has backed up those claims with the fastest ever lap of the Nurburgring Nordschleife by an electric car, posting a best time of 7m05.12s, more than 17 seconds faster than the previous record of 7m22.329s, set by Toyota with its Radical-based TMH EV P001 prototype racing car in October 2012 - and just eight seconds off the Porsche 918 Spyder’s ultimate lap record.

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The EP9 has also knocked an astonishing 47 seconds off the previous EV lap record at the notoriously bumpy and difficult Paul Ricard circuit in the south of France with a lap of 1m52.78s.

To do that it has four 777-volt electric motors - one inboard of each wheel - each with its own gearbox, delivering a total of 1000kW (yes, Cyril, this is a one-megawatt car) and an equally muscular 1480Nm. They are powered by two quick-change indirectly liquid-cooled lithium ion battery packs, with a combined weight of 635kg - more than a third of the car's all-up weight of 1735kg.

NextEV claims that it will launch off the line from 0-100km/h in 2.7 seconds, from 0-200 in 7.1 and from 0-300 in 15.9, with a (limited!) top speed of 313km/h. It'll also dispose of the standing quarter-mile in 10.1 seconds, with a terminal velocity of 249km/h.

Too good to be true?

NextEV also quotes a range of 427km and a full recharge time - using its own industrial-strength charging system - of only 45 minutes, both of which we will take under advisement until verified by an impartial third party; sorry guys but, in the electric car world, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

Like most contemporary sports-cars the EP9 is built around a carbon-fibre tub, with body panels also made of the light stuff. At 4888mm long, 2230mm wide and 1150mm high it is hardly a small car, yet the whole body, minus trim and running gear, weighs just 364kg.

It has adaptive suspension and four-way adjustable damping all round - including a third hydraulic circuit on each shock absorber for adjusting ride height 'on the fly' - and bespoke six-pot brake callipers on 408mm carbon ceramic discs.

The show car in the video presentation has sexy 21 inch rims with carbon-fibre inserts, wearing 295/35 tyres with bespoke cut tread patterns, while the car that blitzed the ring was running on 19 inch competition rims shod with 320mm slicks.

NextEv says the Nio EP9's extraordinary lap times on two of the world's most demanding circuits are due in large measure to its aerodynamics (including an active rear wing) which develop a quoted 24 000N of downforce at 240km/h, enabling the car to pull 2.5G of lateral acceleration at 230 and a whiplash-inducing 3.3G of negative acceleration under braking from the same speed.

‘First stage of production’

Founder and chairman William Li said at the car's official debut at London's Saatchi Gallery, that the EP9 was a showcase of what was possible with electric vehicles and a statement of NextEV's capabilities.

He referred to it as “the first stage of automotive production for Nio”; Just six EP9s will be built, to be followed by a more mainsteam electric production car in 2017.

Motoring.co.za

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