Nurburg, Germany – In October 2016, the prototype Nio EP9 electric supercar went round the Nordschleife of the Nurburgring, in typically damp and slippery late-autumn conditions, in 7m05.12s, to become the world’s fastest street-legal electric car. Officially.
But Nio Performance Program boss Gerry Hughes said at the time the car could go a lot faster, given more favourable conditions, and on Friday 12 May he put his money where his mouth was, as the EP9 knocked nearly 20 seconds off its own Nurburgring record, with a lap of 6min45.900.
With four electric motors, each with its own gearbox, the EP9 is rated at an even 1000kW and weighs in at 1725kg, giving it a power-to-weight ratio of 578kW per ton – which is getting close to superbike territory. Hughes claims it’ll accelerate from 0-200km/h in 7.1 seconds and top out at 313km/h.
Nio also announced in May 2017 that it intends to build a second batch of 10 EP9s, each one built to order, at $1.48 million (R20 million) each. At the same time it unveiled the ES8, a full-sized seven seat electric SUV that it will launch in the Chinese market later this year.
It has also already been issued an Autonomous Vehicle Testing Permit by the California Department of Motor Vehicles, and says it plans to have self-driving vehicles on sale in the US by 2020.