NextEV, the Chinese-backed electric vehicle company, has launched a new road car division called Nio with the unveiling of a limited-run 1360bhp supercar.
Called the Nio EP9, it's an all-wheel drive two-seater with four inboard electric motors and gearboxes developed in collaboration with NextEV's Formula E team. The car's combined power output equates to one megawatt and enables it to accelerate from 0-62mph in 2.7sec. Top speed is 194mph.
NextEV claims the car has lapped the Nürburgring in 7min 5.12sec, which is just eight seconds slower than the Porsche 918 Spyder's time and beats the previous electric vehicle record, held by Toyota with its Radical-based TMH EV P001, by 17sec.
NextEV said the EP9 is capable of delivering 2.53g in lateral cornering and 3.3G longitudinal under braking. It claims the car produces twice the amount of downforce of an F1 car – or 24,000 Newtons worth at 149mph – and has been built to FIA LMP1 specifications for safety - but it won't be going racing.
The EP9 weighs 1735kg and powers its motors with two lithium-ion batteries that are indirectly watercooled. The batteries take 45 minutes to charge and can eke out a 265-mile range. They've also been designed so it's easy to swap them for new batteries.
NextEV says the EP9, of which just six will be built, serves as a statement for what its technology can do. The model will be preceded by the launch of a mainstream, mass-produced EV car for China in 2017. While details for this are still top secret, a spokesperson told Autocar that it's being considered for Europe and the US, hinting that it could arrive in Britain in the not so distant future.
“The automotive industry is on the cusp of profound change,” said William Li, founder and chairman of NextEV. “In the next decade, the car will be the smartest device that people will own and we want to bring the mobile internet experience to the vehicle.
“Nio is a brand that will exhilarate and delight. It will revolutionise the experience of car ownership for its users, redefining what it means to offer a premium service and product.”
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