NIO EP9, the Chinese electric hypercar, just set a time at the Goodwood Festival of Speed Hillclimb that’s quicker than a 1990 Le Mans winning Jaguar
With the biggest single car market in the world and as the biggest car manufacturing nation on the planet, if the Chinese hadn’t already arrived they certainly have now. On the big stage at Britain’s most famous cultural car show, the Goodwood Festival of Speed. The NIO EP9 all-electric underdog just beat out all other competition in the shootout event with a time of 44.62 seconds for the 1.86km course.
This means the NIO was only bettered by the Pikes Peak record-breaking Volkswagen I.D. R driven by race ace Romain Dumas – the Frenchman went a second-and-a-half quicker in his tricked out zero-emissions race car that produces a tonne of downforce.
As for all the traditional internal combustion stuff running on million-year-old dead fish, nothing came close to the electric NIO EP9, not even the Jaguar XJR12 like the one that won the 24 hours of Le Mans back in 1990 – it was two seconds slower up Lord March’s backyard. The road cars – your Audi RS5s and Honda Civic Type Rs – crossed the finishing line some 10 seconds slower than the Chinese entry driven by Scot Peter Dumbreck.
First unveiled two years ago, the NIO EP9 runs with a megawatt of power (1,360 horsepower to you and me) which makes it capable of a top speed of over 320km/h and zero to 100km/h in less than three seconds. With four sprat electric motors each driving an individual wheel, the EP9 is capable of instant torque delivery and torque vectoring for better cornering.
The Chinese company will be limiting production of the NIO EP9 to just 16 examples, each priced at about $1.5 million (AED5.5 million). If that sounds like a lot, you can always move to China and settle for a cheaper model, like the NIO seven-seater electric SUV available only in its domestic market from less than AED250,000.
In short, we will all have to start taking EVs rather seriously because they are not just here to fight for relevance any more. They want supremacy, and it seems they’re already winning.