Elec­tric Dreams

Quicker than a Porsche 918 around the 'Ring, we grab the keys to the NIO EP9, the world's first all-elec­tric su­per­car

Motor (Australia) - - CONTENTS - By GE­ORG KACHER

Zero to 200km/h in 7.1 sec­onds and not a spark plug in sight, meet the Nio EP9 elec­tric hy­per­car

THIS ISN'T your av­er­age su­per­car, but just like NIO's petrol-pow­ered op­po­si­tion, the EP9 is all about num­bers. More specif­i­cally, Nur­bur­gring Nord­schleife lap records, of which this Chi­nese-built vi­sion of the fu­ture has just slashed its own best by 19.2sec. The new elec­tric 'Ring marker now stands at 6:45.9sec. Two days af­ter the im­pres­sive feat, the very same car ar­rived at the Bed­ford Au­to­drome where we had all morn­ing for an exclusive first drive in the world's fastest – and qui­etest – cor­ner carver.

How­ever, for this tale, we ac­tu­ally need to flash­back to the press day of the Shang­hai mo­tor show. The EP9, built for chief Wil­liam Li and only one of seven com­pleted cars, sits be­fore a small group of ex­perts. En­gi­neers and en­thu­si­asts are form­ing a cir­cle around the dark-blue ve­hi­cle, the ex­act ex­am­ple that com­pleted the Green Hell feat only days ear­lier at the hands of Peter Dum­brek (of Le Mans and DTM fame). The lap makes for down­right fright­en­ing video taken from the on-board cam­eras. And now it's my turn to get be­hind the wheel.

The seat fit­ting awaits, and it doesn't go well. If this carbon-fi­bre gar­ment was a suit, the but­tons would have popped off. The seat turns out to be a naked, non-ad­justable carbon-fi­bre bucket. Where there once was cush­ion it is now the same slip­pery pro­tec­tion foil used on the sills and down in the footwell. The meat in this hard-baked com­pos­ite sand­wich is yours truly, a 6'8” scribe – and that's be­fore putting on a hel­met and se­cur­ing the HANS (head and neck sup­port) de­vice. The pedal box is al­ready hard up against the bulk­head with no room to budge. I can't help but think this is go­ing to be, ahem, fun for fu­ture me.

Back at the Bed­ford Au­to­drome I've thank­fully been able to con­tort into the EP9's Sparco straps, how­ever, to start I'm a pas­sen­ger. As it turns out, the diminu­tive, happy-go-lucky driver is a sea­soned for­mer racer. Ahead of me is a full-width rec­tan­gu­lar

For a pure elec­tric ve­hi­cle, the NIO EP9 is sim­ply mind bend­ing

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.