Global start-up NextEV – which earned the inaugural Formula E drivers’ championship in 2015 – has revealed its new NIO electric car brand as well as the first EV that bears its badge, the NIO EP9. Launched at the Saatchi Gallery in London, United Kingdom, the NIO brand and the NIO EP9 signal a new visionary start for the company that aims to help customers rediscover the joyful lifestyle of car ownership.
The new NIO EP9 features a cockpit and a chassis that is made from carbon fiber. This construction approach allows the new NIO EP9 to remain light while still exhibiting a higher level of structural solidity and aerodynamic efficiency as well as gaining high 3G cornering capabilities. Aerodynamic elements include a full length floor diffuser, an active rear wing with three available positions -- park, low drag, high downforce -- and a front adjustable splitter. The new NIO EP9 rides on bespoke 19-inch front and 21-inch rear wheels with carbon inlays. All of these elements allow the EP9 to achieve an incredible 24,000 Newtons of downforce at speeds of 240kph.
Moreover, the new NIO EP9 dons an integrated e-control structure and sensor system layout that allows it to accommodate the latest in autonomous driving technology. Powering this new electric supercar are four high-performance inboard motors, each having its own gearbox. These four inboard motors together provide 1,360 PS (1 MW or 1,000 kW) of output. This output is matched with a high level of readily available torque, allowing the EP9 to go from standstill to 100 km/h (62 mph) in under three seconds and from nil to 200 km/h (124 mph) in around 7.1 seconds. Top speed of the new NIO EP9 is pegged at 313 km/h. The new NIO EP9 features an interchangeable battery system, allowing to be recharged in 45 minutes and be driven to a distance of around 427 km before needing to undergo recharging again.
To further demonstrate the capabilities of the new NIO EP9, NextEV had it undergo real-life testing. It was put into test at the challenging Nürburgring Nordschliefe, where the NIO EP9 managed to break the lap record on October 12, 2016, completing the 20.8-km circuit in 7 minutes and 5.12 seconds and in the process, become the fastest electric car in the world. Earlier this month on November 4, 2016, the new NIO EP9 broke the EV record at Circuit Paul Ricard in France after lapping 1 minute and 52.78 seconds. This new time significantly surpassed the previous EV record that stood at 2 minutes and 40 seconds.
NextEV founder and chairman William Li called the NIO EP9 as an EV born to push limits and as a best-in-class product that demonstrates the potential of electric vehicles. He noted that as the first stage of auto production for NIO, the EP9 serves as a statement of NextEV’s vision and technical and manufacturing capabilities.