NextEV NIO EP9: Silent but deadly


The EP9 isn’t just the fastest electric car, it’s one of the fastest cars ever in the world

As the horsepower war brews and booms, and we wait for Ferrari-engined SUVs with Alfa badges and central-seater McLarens and Aston AM-RB 001s faster than F1 cars, something else is quietly taking place down the other end.

The Chinese just declared an all-out megawatt war with the NextEV NIO EP9 electric hypercar that’s just broken the Nürburgring Nordschleife EV lap record, and then some, with a time of 7:05.120. That’s 17 seconds faster than the old EV record and just eight seconds off internal-combustion masterpieces like the McLaren P1 and Porsche’s million-dollar 918 Spyder. NextEV is straight up challenging Tesla’s Ludicrous mode as well as the Croatian Rimac Concept-One, the 1,088bhp EV that recently beat YouTuber Salomondrin’s 918 Spyder down the quarter-mile with a sub-10-second pass. But NextEV is far from a new kid on the block — the outfit races in the zero-emissions Formula E championship that’s attracted factory support from the likes of Renault, Citroën, Audi and Jaguar. Last season NextEV won the driver’s title with their pilot and son of former three-time F1 champ, Brazilian Nelson Piquet Jr.

Founder William Li now wants to focus his attention on the public road with the NIO EP9 demonstrating capabilities of next-generation batteries and power packs. NextEV already has locations all over China, as well as San Francisco, London, Munich, and Silicon Valley, employing a staff numbering over 2,000 to head the company’s R&D and design direction.

Capable of accelerating from rest to 200kph in 7.1 seconds, the EP9 produces one megawatt of power, equivalent to about 1,340bhp, and generates 3G through the corners thanks to a staggering two-and-a-half tonnes of downforce at 250kph or more than an F1 car, and the whole thing’s shaped like one with a full-length floor diffuser and active rear wing with three positions.

Zero to 100kph takes 2.7 seconds, and the gearing limits the car to a top speed of 313kph. The EP9 features four individual motors, and four individual drive units, each worth 1,480Nm of torque. In full-on tyre-killing mode, NextEV claims a four-corner total of 6,334Nm from zero revs all the way to 7,500rm. The bespoke wheels feature carbon-fibre inlays and cover gigantic 408mm brakes front and rear with claims of twice the braking power of a GT3 racecar. The EP9’s battery pack itself is interchangeable and reaches a full charge in 45 minutes, providing a quoted range of over 425km. Shots fired indeed, really, really quietly.

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Words: Dejan Jovanovic. Photos: Supplied,