Think electric cars are about being economical? Think again. NextEV has just unveiled its electric supercar that is said to hold an impressive Nurburgring lap record.
The NextEV Nio EP9 features four onboard electric motors that generate a total of 1,341bhp and 1,480Nm of torque, helping propel it from 0-62mph in 2.7 seconds, 0-124mph in 7.1 seconds and 0-186mph in 15.9 seconds.
Even though all those motors and the battery pack adds extra weight, the car weighs a total of 1,735kg so it is less than 100kg heavier than a Porsche 918 Spyder. Yet can still manage a quarter-mile of 10.1 seconds.
We use that particular hypercar as a comparison because it, too, has all-wheel drive and weighs a lot more than the Ferrari LaFerrari and McLaren P1, but is still competitive as proven by The Grand Tour. Traction can make up for being porky, it seems.
Unlike most electric cars, which are typically poor on the top speed front, the Nio EP9 can reach 194mph. Meanwhile the total range between charges is 265 miles or a lot less if you plan on proving or disproving any of those aforementioned performance figures.
Helping bring the Nio EP9 to a halt are bespoke six-pot calipers and bespoke CCMR discs, 408mm in diameter on the front and back, providing what NextEV claims is two times the brake torque capability of a GT3 race car.
The body of the Nio EP9 is made from carbon fibre, as is the monocoque. This, then, is a serious bit of kit that doesn’t just want to upset the combustion engine – it wants to electrocute it into a pile of ash. Then drive over it.
Downforce for days
As for downforce and cornering, NextEV says to expect up to 24,000 newtowns for the former (two times that of a Formula One car), 3.3G of longitudinal force under braking and 2.53G when cornering at 143mph.
An active rear wing with three positions and full length floor diffuser play a role in sticking the Nio EP9 to the floor, as well as a front adjustable splitter and other race-inspired aerodynamic revisions.
Those are some pretty lofty figures, even if electric motors have already proven themselves to be incredibly potent. Just look at the benefits a hybrid system provides the McLaren P1 or Ferrari LaFerrari. Or how fast the seven-seater Tesla Model X is in a straight line.
But then NextEV seems to be well beyond the drawing board stage because it took the Nio EV9 to the Nurburgring and set a record-breaking electric vehicle lap time of 7:05.120. The old record was 7:22.00.
At that pace, it is easier to say the vehicles that were faster than the Nio EP9 as they are relatively few in number. A Radical SR8LM managed 6:48, but that is frankly absurd. More fair is the SR8, which managed 6:56.08, while the 918 Spyder hit 6:57 flat.
Then there is the Lamborghini Aventador LP 750-4 and its 6:59.73. From here, the Nio EP9 has the Nissan GT-R (7:08.68), Gumpert Apollo Speed (7:11.57) and the Lexus LFA Nurburgring Package (7:14.64) all bettered if the lap time is legitimate.
Admittedly the Nurburgring has some long stretches where sheer speed help make up lost cornering time, but then the Nio EP9 also broke the electric car record at the Circuit Paul Ricard in France, with a time of 1:52.780. The old record was a glacial 2:40.00.
NextEV is involved in Formula E (an electric-only Formula One competitor) so the racing expertise is there. NextEV did, however, get help from a UK partner for the Nio EP9, but is yet to say who for some reason.
“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, said NextEV founder and chairman, William Li.
He added: “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.”
Just six of the NextEV Nio EP9 will be built for investors and each one is said to have cost US$1.2-million to build, but neglected to mention the actual price paid. Mainstream passenger cars from the Nio brand are expected in 2017.