By on May 14, 2017

ep9 Nurburgring

Engineering a vehicle with the Nürburgring in mind doesn’t always produce the most enjoyable on-road driving experience, but it often results in one hell of a performance machine. The NIO EP9 electric supercar was already the fastest EV ever to grace the track, which is a feat in itself since the Tesla Model S proved itself incapable of maintaining full-trust for the duration of the 14-mile track. However, after taking another stab at it, the NIO is claiming the EP9 is now the fastest production vehicle ever to grace the track — gas or electric.

Under what NIO admitted to being perfect conditions, the EP9 completed the course in 6:45.90. That’s over 19 seconds quicker than its pervious lap time and 6 seconds quicker than the Lamborghini Huracan Performante’s. The EP9 also bested the Radical SR8LM, which is not globally street legal and only slightly more useful for daily-driving duties than the space shuttle. 

Although, the EP9 isn’t exactly a Honda Accord. It may be road legal worldwide but it’s also a made to order 1.48 million dollar electric hypercar. NIO only built six in its last production run and it’s unknown how many will be assembled in the recently announced second round. But they’ve built enough to consider the ludicrous EV a road-worthy production car, and therefore valid to complete against other production vehicles’ times on Nordschleife — and track records seem to be something NIO is particularly interested in.

“In October 2016, we aimed to set a new lap record for an electric vehicle with our NIO EP9,” said Gerry Hughes, Head of NIO’s Performance Program and Formula-E Team Principal. “In the inclemental weather that the Nürburgring Nordschleife is known for, the EP9 completed two laps of the 20.8 km (12.9m) ‘Green Hell’, one of which was in 7m 05.12s, beating the previous EV lap record, making it the fastest electric car in the world. The EP9’s new lap record is 19.22 seconds faster than its previous lap time. This is a fabulous achievement for NIO and I am very proud of the team that has worked tirelessly to achieve this accolade.”

ep9 Nurburgring

The EP9’s 1360 hp and 4671 lb-ft of torque have made it the fastest production car ever to lap the Circuit of the Americas earlier this year. It would appear that NIO’s publicity strategy for 2017 is to take the EP9 around to different tracks, allow it to smash the current lap record, and issue a press release every two months.

While many will claim this is death knell of internal combustion superiority, we should remember that Formula E is still very boring and most EVs still have trouble maintaining steam at the outer limits. The EP9 is a dark horse that may be able to lay down numbers only a few seconds behind cars competing in the World Endurance Championship, but its battery life would never permit it to stay out for more than a handful of laps. At least, not yet.

We’re also waiting on the official confirmation and documentation the EP9’s lap time in Nürburg, Germany. There’s little reason to doubt the validity of the claim — it is on Nurburgring Top 100 board, after all — but NIO hasn’t yet released the dash cam footage.

ep9 nio Nurburgring

[Images: NIO]

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17 Comments on “The Fastest Road Car Ever to Lap the Nürburgring is Currently the All-Electric NIO EP9...”

  • avatar

    I’m not sure what the point of such a car is.

    I’d much rather have a Miata.

    • 0 avatar

      @David: “I’m not sure what the point of such a car is.”

      It’s all about intellectual property and independent 4 motor drive systems. Cars like the Rimac and EP9 are test beds to nail down independent wheel drive technology and to get publicity. When EV technology gets to the point when the big guys are ready to start implementing IWD on their vehicles, these little guys will have the technology and software perfected. For more info on the capabilities of IWD, check out Rimac’s web-site.

    • 0 avatar

      Same point as hundreds of other supercars.
      It is a new technology and being able to prove viability of electric powertrain for racing and on track use is definitely is big business opportunity.
      And the way it’s going is bad news for naysayers of electric/battery propulsion.

      • 0 avatar

        Bold claim that ICE should be scared.

        Perfect conditions, more than two times more horsepower than the Huracan, 100% control of torque vectoring along with knife edge traction control, and it only musters a 3 second advantage?

        ICE should be scared? Put twins on the Huracan, reprogram valve lift/duration/phasing, and retune traction control. Heck, let’s boost to the point where the crank nearly cracks from torque. I doubt there will be a EP9 anywhere near it, since it would then be a full on race car.

        And just like mentioned, the EP9 can’t do much more than this. You can run a Huracan at the track all afternoon, as long as you can afford to pour gasoline into the tank, and keep rubber on the corners.

        Battery tech has still not delivered. And I am not against electric, but the batteries aren’t there, and don’t appear to be getting closer. We aren’t even talking about cold climates, heating requirements, etc….

        Tesla has increased range by better power savings, lightweight composites, and really good software. In the end, they are still limited by the low power density of current battery technology. Even worse, they still suffer from slow charge times, and those aren’t improving.

        Battery swap tech is banned in real racing, due to safety concerns.

        Promising technology with super capacitors has not panned out either.

        So, yes, IWD may be the way to deliver horsepower to the corners in high performance cars, once it has improved, but I suspect the ICE (whether turbines or pistons) will long be converting chemical energy to mechanical energy, to electric energy… at least if we are talking full on performance driving.

        • 0 avatar

          Things are changing much faster than you can grasp

        • 0 avatar

          @Aqua: “Even worse, they still suffer from slow charge times, and those aren’t improving.”

          Charging time is improving:

          There have also been improvements in density, durability, and the manufacturing process. Improvements don’t happen overnight. Once the tech leaves the lab, it takes years to get it into production, so there are a lot of improvements in the pipeline.

          “We aren’t even talking about cold climates, heating requirements, etc….”

          What are you talking about? My EV has made plenty of 100-mile trips in sub-zero temps. It does it without a problem. One day, my EV made the trip, but two co-workers ICE cars wouldn’t start. The problem has been pretty much solved by using heat pumps and improved battery tech.

          “You can run a Huracan at the track all afternoon, as long as you can afford to pour gasoline into the tank, and keep rubber on the corners.”

          Yeah, right. There’s a bit more to Italian Exotic ownership than just putting gasoline into the tank.

          Overall, I’ve been doing fine with a somewhat meager 100-mile range EV. Typically I only use only 15% of that range, but I do have plenty of 100+ mile trips on the car. And that’s in a cold climate. I’m going to add a 300+ mile range car to the fleet and for me, that will totally eliminate any need for public charging.

          As for IWD, the real purpose ultimately isn’t for racing, but to improve traction for the average driver in poor conditions. It’s technology trickle-down and will be a nice improvement over current AWD systems.

  • avatar

    I could maybe give a damn about burgering times if maybe there was sort of official timing rules ( like say the idea Jim Glickenhaus put forward).

    Fun to watch but that’s about it.

  • avatar

    “However, after taking another stab at it, the NIO is claiming the EP9 is not the fastest production vehicle ever to grace the track — gas or electric.”

    Comparing this statement from the article, the headline and the balance of the article I’m assuming this is a typo, yes?

    • 0 avatar

      However, after taking another stab at it, the NIO is claiming the EP9 is NOW the fastest production vehicle ever to grace the track — gas or electric.

  • avatar

    A Brit on a modified 2005 Yamaha R1 did it in 7m 10sec.

    You have to spend over 1.2 million on an electric car to beat a privateer on a used bike costing maybe 10k.

    The guy on the bike did it with multiple other vehicles on the track so less than ideal conditions.

  • avatar

    There’s no cure for cancer yet. (EV’S will never blah blah blah)

    Then we should just stop looking for one.

    “the NIO is claiming the EP9 is *not* the fastest production vehicle ever to grace the track — gas or electric.”

    Anti-EV typo? :-)

    • 0 avatar
      Matt Posky

      I wouldn’t have thought so but it’s hard to argue with a Freudian slip like that.

      Honestly, I’m no fan of Formula E but I think electric vehicles are fascinating. My lifestyle definitely has me leaning toward the tried-and-true ICE for practical purposes, but I would be a lair if I said EVs don’t hold a unique appeal.

      • 0 avatar

        One can’t deny that this car seems purpose-built for the ‘Ring bragging rights (and the same for those who could actually *buy* one) – but my Volt is quite practical for me; a couple of weeks ago, I drove to a relative’s house to pick her up, drove her to an eye doctor’s appointment, back home for me and her – round trip: 44 miles with the A/C running for about 20 of those miles. On an overnight charge from 120 Volts AC.

        When I was a kid, 2 D-Cell batteries would last about an hour in a flashlight before having to be thrown away – this makes EV’s an astounding achievement in my eyes.

        • 0 avatar

          This car in many respects is a showcase, a rolling advertisement for advances in EV technology. On those counts it succeeds.

          If they can develop all wheel drive that works that well on a track car, the advantages of that technology aplied to street vehicles is mind boggling.

          Imagine how simpler drivelines and 4×4 systems would be if they built vehicles with this tech but ice powered like the Nissan e-Power?

          That would be incredible in something like the Ford Raptor, Ram Power Wagon or better yet, the diesel powered Colorado ZR2.

  • avatar

    4671 lb-ft of torque

    4671 lb-ft of torque

    4671 lb-ft of torque


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