You're probably tired of hearing about the Nurburgring Nordschleife at the moment. Hot hatches have been battling relentlessly for the front-drive lap record, and Mercedes now owns the rear-wheel drive record. One intrepid soul even did a lap on two wheels. But these records all pale in comparison to the time laid down by Chinese newcomer NIO. The company has claimed a blistering new lap record at the Nordschleife with its EP9 supercar.
All the records mentioned in the intro are class-specific. The Honda Civic Type-R is the fastest front-wheel drive car to lap the North Loop, and the AMG GT R is the quickest rear-driver. But the NIO EP9 clocked a 6:45.900 lap, topping the Radical SR8LM by 2.1 seconds and Lamborghini's Huracan Performante by 6 seconds to become the outright fastest production car around the Nurburgring.
This isn't the first time NIO has taken its electric supercar to Germany in search of laptime glory. Last year, the Chinese company set a 7:05.120 lap of the same circuit. Conditions were not ideal, but the time was fast enough to hand the EP9 a record for electric vehicles. The most recent attempt was conducted in ideal conditions, but we aren't sure that's all that changed.
This record attempt was run and timed by NIO itself, and the car was prepared by the company. A set of extra sticky tires, or a slightly tweaked aerodynamics package can make a huge difference over a lap, and without any external body (like a car magazine or TV crew) watching, there isn't any independent verification that it was in purely production spec.
Still, this is hardly the first Nurburgring record to attract controversy. Manufacturers have been accused of squeezing more power from their cars, for example, but on that front there isn't necessarily any more to get out of the NIO EP9. With 1342 hp (1001 kW) on tap, it'll accelerate to 200 km/h (124 mph) in 7.1 seconds. So lap records aside, this thing is an absolute weapon.
The EP9 will be built in extremely limited numbers, and order books are open at the moment. The company hasn't put a cap on production, but the second batch of cars will be made up of just 10. Prices start at US$1.48 million.