One by one, EVs are decimating records set by internal combustion engine vehicles. NIO/NextEV’s $1.48 million electric supercar, the NIO EP9, has set a new lap record around one of the world’s most famous and grueling racetracks, the Nurburgring Nordschleife. The car managed a time of 6:45.90, which is the fastest lap ever set by an electric vehicle around the track – and in fact is faster than any production vehicle, electric or otherwise, beating the Lamborghini Huracan Performante by just over 6 seconds.
This would be the fastest lap ever done by any production vehicle – assuming we count the EP9 as a production vehicle. Currently, NIO has built seven EP9s, and plans another production run of ten more cars. While this is certainly a small number of units, other cars with smaller production runs (and similarly-high prices, like the McLaren F1 XP5 prototype, of which 5 were built) have qualified as “production” vehicles for these purposes, so the EP9 probably deserves the title.
The Nordschleife is a famously difficult track, often used as a benchmark for overall vehicle performance due to its length and grueling nature. The track is over 12 miles long through the German countryside and includes high and low speed turns, varied road surfaces and lots of bumps and hills.
Previously, the NIO EP9 had set a lap of 7:05.12 in suboptimal conditions (a cold and slightly moist track surface), which was an electric vehicle record but fell short of beating a handful of other street-legal gasoline-powered vehicles – the Huracan, Aventador, and Porsche 918. It’s hard to state what a big deal this is – the fact that an EV from a company with no racing heritage, and indeed not even any automaking heritage, can manage to beat cars from companies with a century of racing experience around what is perhaps the toughest track in the world is incredibly impressive.
We haven’t seen the new lap yet, but NIO plans to release a video sometime within the week. For now, have a look at their edited video of the previous EV-record-setting lap here: