NIO EP9 laps Nurburgring in 6m45s
Wait. NIO what?EP9. NIO is a Chinese start-up who haven't bothered building up a pedigree in iron furnaces with internal combustion. They make electric cars with bases in London, San Jose, Shanghai, Beijing, San Fransisco, Munich, Hong Kong and some more unpronounceable places in China. So, this Nurburgring topper is an all electric car?Yep. It runs purely on electricity. How much does it make?Ahem, 1,341bhp. In electric terms, that's one full megawatt. No way. How?Yes way. Er, sorry. Was just being silly there. But the NIO EP9 has a 648kg dual lithium ion battery pack delivering power to motors placed at each individual wheel. The engine itself makes 1,480Nm of torque from the usual 1rpm that electric motors are known for. And this stays true to the engine's redline at 7,500rpm. So imagine you get all of that torque throughout the rev-range. Wow.Yeah. And that's not it. This is torque created by the engine. By the time it gets to the individual wheels, four of them together put out 6334Nm on to the road. How much does it all weigh?Well, the chassis is all carbon fibre and weighs a mere 165kg. Combined with the 648kg battery pack, the entire car weighs 1800kg. Phew. That's bulky.Yes it is. But if you generate so much of power and torque, who cares? So how did it go about the Nurburgring?Well, this wasn't the first attempt. In October 2016, the NIO EP9 7\:05.16 secs. And that was, at the time, the fastest time by an electric vehicle ever. And they had another go because...?The weather wasn't great. The surface was a tad moist and NIO thought the EP9 could do better under ideal conditions. And when they did... Poof\\! 6\:45.900. Is that now the quickest by an electric car?No. It is now the quickest by any car. To give you an idea, the Lambo Aventador SV did it in 6\:59.73. The Porsche 918 in an exact 6\:57. The Lamborghini Huracan Performante took a measly 6\:52.01. Which was the quickest at The Green Hell, till the Radical SR8LM did it in 6\:48. Now, that may seem quick, but remember, the Lambos and the Porsche are road cars with seats, doors and windows. The Radical is a racing tub, with seats and number plates. Considering that, the fact that the full-bodied NIO EP9 beat a race car with indicator lights is severely impressive. Impressive, indeed. What else can the NIO EP9 boast of apart from 'Ring times?It gets to 313kph, 200kph comes up in 7.1 seconds, it costs US$ 1.48 million, and it makes enough downforce to be driven upside down. Those are some numbers, but it will take forever to charge...It's still not as quick as filling up a tankful of fuel. But it's said to take 45 minutes to fully charge. And this, according to NIO is good for a range of 425kms. Though, it's not clear if this range is possible if the EP9 is driven like it wants to top the charts at the Nurburgring. Besides, the battery is replaceable. NIO claims it takes just eight minutes to replace your fully discharged battery to another fully charged one. NIO wants to target this at track day enthusiasts, who also, quite obviously need to be rich. So this is a production car?Well, the EP9 does have slick tyres, and with such a low floor, this NIO seems better off at the track. But roads around your neighbourhood allow you to, then the NIO EP9 is a road car. Wow. So what's the moral of the story?What we see here is a company with no automotive or racing pedigree has gone and conquered The Green Hell. So, the moral of the story is the future is silent. The future is fast. The future is electric.