The ‘NIO EP9’, an all-electric supercar which has been dubbed the “fastest electric car in the world”, set two new records last week at the Circuit of the Americas Race Track in Austin, Texas. The company made the announcement today along with the confirmation of a US debut next month following its world launch in London last year.
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After beating EV records in Nürburgring and at the Circuit Paul Ricard in France, the startup brought the vehicle to the Circuit of the Americas Race Track in Austin and claimed the “fastest lap time for a production car”, consequently, the “fastest lap time for a production electric car”, and “the fastest self-driving car”.
Of course, self-driving technology for a racetrack is not the same as self-driving technology for driving on public roads, which is an infinitely more difficult environment to handle – even more so when the car is alone on the racetrack, which was the case for the NIO EP9.
Nonetheless, the electric supercar achieved some impressive results, mainly the top speed of 160 mph (257 km/h). That’s what the EP9 achieved on the track, but NextEV claims that the vehicle can reach up to 196 mph (312 km/h) in better conditions.
Here are the three records:
- NIO EP9 – the world’s fastest electric car set a new world record for the fastest self-driving car at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas
- NIO EP9 achieved a lap time of 2 minutes 40.33 seconds and a top speed of 160 mph without a driver at COTA
- NIO EP9 also beat the fastest lap time for a production car with a driver at COTA, clocking 2 minutes 11.30 seconds and reaching a top speed of 170 mph
A road-legal McLaren P1 held the record with a time of 2 minutes 17.49 seconds before NextEV’s achievement. They released a quick video of the car at the circuit:
The stunt is to promote the upcoming US launch of the brand.
Padmasree Warrior, CEO of NIO U.S, said about the announcement:
“At NIO, we are all about raising the bar for the entire automotive industry. Breaking records with the NIO EP9 demonstrates our automotive and technology expertise to be a leader in the global market. Our Silicon Valley team brings together the best talent from automotive and software domains, which helped us achieve this remarkable result in an incredibly short time. Our goal is to be the best next-generation car company, by delivering autonomous vehicles with amazing experiences for people all over the world. We look forward to sharing our vision for the car of the future in Austin, Texas at SXSW in March.”
There will be events at the Coppertank Event Center for SXSW from Friday, March 10 through Sunday, March 12.
As we previously reported, NIO is an EV startup primarily funded by Chinese venture firms, like Tencent, and tech entrepreneurs, like William Li from Bitauto, but it also has a strong engineering presence in the US led by Padmasree Warrior. NIO EP9 will be their first vehicle. It will only be produced in low volume for about $1 million per car, but the company hopes to bring its electric and self-driving technologies to increasingly less expensive cars.