The Nio EP9, an electric vehicle from Chinese startup company NextEV, set a new record for the fastest ever self-driven lap at the Circuit of the Americas Race Track (COTA) in Austin, Texas. At two minutes and eleven seconds, it also broke COTA’s production vehicle speed record with a human driver.
The Nio EP9 uses a carbon fiber monocoque and panels manufactured by Huntingdon, UK-based Forward Composites. Prior to its work on the Nio EP9, Forward Composites was perhaps based known for its work on the Airlander 10 hybrid aircraft.
“Offering a remarkable strength to weight ratio, EP9’s carbon fibre chassis is 70% lighter than steel,” NextEV says. “The EP9 chassis is designed to handle the physical demands of 3G forces, with the structural solidity to enable the required VMax speeds.” In total the chassis weighs just 363 pounds.
According to Digital Trends, back in October, the Nio EP9 became the fastest electric car in the world, setting a record at the Nürburgring Nordschleife in Germany. The EP9 features four high-performance inboard motors and four individual gearboxes and a full megawatt of power (1,342 brake horsepower). The car boasts a zero to 124 mph speed of 7.1 seconds and a top speed of 194 mph.
Padmasree Warrior, CEO of NIO U.S said, “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.”