Watch Nio EP9 electric supercar break Nürburgring lap record

Shanghai performance: a Chinese upstart has snaffled the ultimate supercar accolade

THE Nio EP9 electric supercar has set a new lap record at the Nürburgring Nordschleife, tearing round the German circuit in 6 minutes, 45.90 seconds.

The time is the best posted by any car, including those powered by internal combustion engines. The previous record of 6 minutes, 47.50 seconds, set by Pagani’s track-only racing machine the Zonda R, had stood for nearly seven years.

The EP9 is designed for use on the road but cannot be considered a series production car because Nio originally planned to build just six vehicles. Last month it announced a second batch: 10 vehicles, each priced at about £1.2m. Lamborghini claims the series-production Nürburgring record with its Huracan LP640-4 Performante, which did its hot lap in a positively leisurely 6 minutes, 52.01 seconds.

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At the EP9’s launch in November last year, the manufacturer claimed it had already broken the record for electric cars on the 12.9-mile Nordschleife on October 12, with a time of 7 minutes, 5.12 seconds. The EP9’s new lap, which can be watched above, is nearly 20 seconds faster.

The car’s 1 megawatt of power is equivalent to 1,342bhp. Top speed is 194mph, and Nio, formerly called NextEV and based in Shanghai, says it can accelerate from 0 to 124mph in 7.1 seconds.

As with Tesla Motors, the American electric car maker founded by Elon Musk, Nio has chosen to launch a high-performance model before sending out more mainstream cars. Last month the company unveiled the ES8, pictured above, a seven-seat all-electric SUV to be launched in China later this year.

In March Nio announced that it would have autonomous electric vehicles in the American market in 2020. Musk is surely paying attention.