The most exciting EV launch so far
Ladies and gents, we are coming to you live from the prestigious Saatchi Gallery in Central London, where electric sports car history is being made. Today, Chinese firm NextEV has not only released its road-going car sub-brand NIO, but also the first car it intends to launch. And boy, has it started with a bang.
The NIO EP9 confirms those cryptic sightings we reported at the Nürburgring Nordschleife back in October, with the car weighing in as a fully-fledged EV supercar, smashing the previous EV record at the Green Hell circuit by 17 seconds to achieve a lap time of 7m 05s.12 – faster than a McLaren F1 or a Nissan GT-R Nismo, just to give you a little perspective. What a way to launch an electric car! This, NextEV claims, makes it the fastest electric car in the world, and finally gives Elon Musk something to get a little worried about.
How exactly does it perform so well? Well, information is scarce at present, but we know the car utilises a carbon fibre chassis and cabin tub to keep weight down, with focus on good cornering capabilities as well as the straight-line performance that EVs have until recently been dubbed as one-trick ponies for. Four electric motors and four gearboxes push out around 1 MegaWatt of power (1341bhp!!!) and yes – this car WILL make production. I think we need to quickly take a moment, if you’ll excuse us…
NextEV Founder and Chairman, William Li, said: “Today we launched our electric supercar that broke the record at the Nordschliefe. The NIO EP9 was born to push limits and is the first stage of automotive production for NIO. It is a statement of our vision and technical and manufacturing capabilities. It is a best-in-class product that showcases what is possible with electric vehicles. We believe that when the car ownership experience exceeds expectations, electric vehicles will become the natural choice for everyone, leading to a more sustainable tomorrow. And with that, our vision of a blue sky will come true.”
NIO EP9 stats at-a-glance (all figures claimed by NextEV)
– 1 MegaWatt (1341bhp) of power
– Capable of 3G cornering forces
– 0-100km/h (62mph) – 2.7 seconds
– 0-200km/h (125mph) – 7.1 seconds
– 0-300km/h (186mph) – 15.9 seconds
– 7m 05s.12 Nürburgring Nordschleife lap time
– Top speed – 313km/h (195mph) (gear limited)
– Four-wheel drive
– Quarter-mile performance – 10.1 seconds @ 249km/h (155mph)
We know what you’re thinking. Another absurdly fast electric hypercar, likely to come with an equally as absurd price tag – how is this relevant to the masses? Well, thankfully, NIO is also planning to release a more affordable, Leaf-rivalling EV at some point in 2017, with the goal of selling larger units like Tesla. Just like Tesla, NIO has little history but what it has so far is a fully electric one.
So today we saw a beautiful hypercar, but tomorrow we may see a new committed electric vehicle manufacturer.