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Chinese EV fastest at the 'Ring: Meet the 1000kW NIO EP9

2017-05-15 08:10

'RING RECORD:The most coveted title for any production car is a Nürburgring lap record. A 1000kW Shanghai hypercar is the new holder. Meet the Nio EP9 electric car. Image: Nio

Germany - The most coveted title for any production car is a Nürburgring lap record. A 1000kW Shanghai hypercar is the new holder. 

A few years ago, German automotive bosses admitted that China will be the most important automotive market for the next century. 

The demand of Chinse car customers drive design trends, but underestimating the ability of Chinese brands would be extremely foolish. As Shanghai’s NIO has just proven. 

'Green Hell' 

There is simply no achievement to validate your brand as one to rival the best and most established car-markers than doing some time – and surviving – at the Nurburgring. Setting a record lap at the world’s most hallowed stretch of road is the ultimate achievement. One, which now, belongs to the Chinese. 

Although headquartered in Shanghai, NIO has design bureaus in Munich, London and California. It’s a global company aiming to deliver the first true battery powered hypercar: EP9. This is a car with startling potential, including an electric motor capable of a Megawatt, or if you are more comfortable with traditional units of automotive power: 1000kW. 

Watch:

NIO claims 0-200km/h in 7.1 seconds for the EP9 and a top speed of 313km/h, but it’s the weight distribution and car’s agility which truly startle. Attributes which have enabled it to do the impossible, and become the fastest ever production car around the Nordschleife. 
Ferrari. Porsche. McLaren.

They have spent hundreds of millions of Euros during the last decade to wrest the title of fastest car around the ‘Green Hell’ from each other. The notion that a Chinese start-up electric car product has bested all, will grate them no end. It is also, perhaps, a seminal moment in the history of the performance car. 

In October 2016, an EP9 shocked most European observers by lapping the 'Ring in 7m05.12s. Last week, it recorded an almost unbelievable time of 6m45.900s. LaFerrari. P1. Chiron. You can name them all, but none are remotely as fast around the road which challenges more than any other, than this EP9.

EP9 hypercar

The 1000kW peak power number is only part of EP9’s staggering performance. Almost unbelievably, EP9 is a hypercar where the torque figure completely overshadows power. How much torque is required to overshadow 1000kW? A terrifying 6300Nm. Amazingly, all those torques can be distributed between EP9’s four wheels with a nearly infinitely variable torque split, and this is the reason it has managed to lap the Nurburgring in such a stunning time, generating a fighter jet rivalling 2.53g of cornering force along the way. 

Nürburgring record laps are mired in controversy, and without onboard video footage, there will be great scepticism. NIO’s public relations people have promised that the in-car footage of the record lap will be released this week. The other issue is whether the EP9 can credibly be graded as a production car. 

NIO’s only built seven of them. With a second batch of ten being promised for this year. The tubs are carbon-fibre, built to FIA requirements, and all told, you don’t really see where the licence plate is going to be mounted. There’s hardly cheap, either, at R20m, but none of this specifically matters, because for now, this is the fastest timed production car, on the only lap that matters. 


Nürburgring production car lap record list:

1. NextEV Nio EP9 6min45.90 2017
2. Radical SR8LM 6min48.00 2009
3. Lamborghini Huracan Performante 6min52.01 2017
4. Radical SR8 6min56.08 2005
5. Porsche 918 Spyder 6min57.00 2013
6. Lamborghini Aventador LP 750-4 Superveloce 6min59.73 2015
7. Nissan GT-R Nismo 7min08.68 2015
8. Mercedes-AMG GT-R 7min10.92 2017
9. Gumpert Apollo Speed 7min11.57 2009
10. Dodge Viper SRT-10 ACR 7min12.13 2010


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