NIO EP9 - The fastest electric car in the world

On February 23, the NIO EP9 drove the fastest ever autonomous lap at the Circuit of the Americas Race Track in Austin, Texas. Driving autonomously without any interventions, recording a time of 2m 40.33s (two minutes, 40.33 seconds) at a top speed of 160 mph. The same day, the NIO EP9 also beat the fastest COTA lap time for a production car with a driver, achieving a lap time of 2m 11.30s (two minutes, 11.30 seconds) and reaching a top speed of 170 mph.

The technology and software which delivered the world’s fastest autonomous lap was developed by the engineers at NIO U.S. headquartered in Silicon Valley. This tremendous feat was accomplished from start to finish in just 4 months.

A few months ago, on October 12, 2016, the NIO EP9 set a record at the Nürburgring Nordschliefe and lapped the 20.8km ‘Green Hell’ in 7m 05.12s, making it the fastest electric car in the world.

With four high-performance inboard motors and four individual gearboxes, the EP9 delivers 1-MegaWatt of power, equivalent to 1360PS (1342BHP). The EP9 accelerates from 0-124 mph in 7.1 seconds and has a top speed of 194 miles per hour. With an interchangeable battery system, the EP9 is designed to be charged in 45 minutes and has a range of 265 miles.

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.”

COTA COO, Katja Heims said: “We are honored to be a part of NIO’s amazing lap record and see performance and autonomy coexist. We all know that autonomous vehicles are part of the future and this new record is further proof.”

UNIQUE LOTUS EVORA SPORT 410 HONOURS ICONIC ESPRIT S1

Representing the state of the supercar art, a one-off Evora Sport 410 has been commissioned through Lotus Exclusive as a tribute to one of its most famous ancestors, the Lotus Esprit S1.

Launched in October 2016, the Evora Sport 410 has wowed motoring press and customers with its combination of effortless pace and intuitive handling. With production limited to just 150 examples a year worldwide, the build schedule is filling up fast.

The benchmark was set by the original Lotus Esprit S1 as seen in the Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, and Lotus’ in-house personalisation department has crafted a special, one-off Evora Sport 410 in commemoration.

Combining the latest in Lotus engineering with period details, the new pure-bred supercar takes design cues from the iconic Esprit and integrates them into a car with class-leading performance. Packing 410 hp into a car that weighs just 1,280 kg, it sprints from 0-60 mph in just 3.9 secs.

Jean-Marc Gales, CEO, Group Lotus plc said, “So many of us recall the impact of the Lotus Esprit when it hit the big screen in The Spy Who Loved Me, and we wanted to honour that with a special Evora Sport 410. It’s the perfect tribute to such an influential Lotus, but a world away in terms of its abilities and performance. Supremely fast and agile, rivals’ cars look overweight and underpowered in comparison. Lotus was founded on the principle of lightweight engineering and, even today, nobody does it better.”

Lotus Exclusive

The work of the in-house personalisation department, Lotus Exclusive, this one-off Evora Sport 410 features many unique design touches. A special, colour-coded bumper modifies the car’s front end, while the one-piece carbon-fibre tailgate is part keyed white to give the illusion of a traditional liftback. In addition to a black coach line, delineating the car’s waist, it sports a bespoke badge script on the B pillar - in the style of the original Esprit’s graphics.

Nods to the Lotus Esprit S1 from The Spy Who Loved Me continue inside, with the insert panels of the carbon-fibre sports seats and door cards trimmed in the popular heritage Tartan, while red contrast stitching complements the Alcantara® dashboard and console finish.

Beneath the personalisation, this unique car retains all the engineering elements that make the Evora Sport 410 so formidable. From the supercharged, 3.5-litre 6-cylinder engine, producing 410 hp at 7000 rpm and 420 Nm of torque at 3500 rpm, to the highly advanced aerodynamics, which deliver up to 64 kg of downforce, it’s designed to deliver both on road and track.

The Evora Sport 410 remains refined on B-roads, but blisteringly fast when needed. The use of hand-made carbon-fibre components has been key in keeping mass to a minimum, with each specifically designed to enhance the car’s performance. Covering the car from nose to tail, they include front splitter, revised front access panel, roof section, tailgate, rear quarter panels, as well as the rear diffuser.

These lightweight carbon components not only reduce the kerb weight of the Evora Sport 410 but also help lower the centre of gravity, allowing for the recalibration of the suspension, which, along with re-valved dampers and a reduced ride height, provide better body and roll control - but not at the expense of comfort and composure.

This one-off Evora underlines the work of the increasingly popular Lotus Exclusive service. Combining traditional British craftsmanship with modern design, it inspires buyers to spend time tailoring the character of their Lotus with a comprehensive array of options. Jean-Marc Gales, CEO, Group Lotus plc continued, “Our customers have really embraced the Lotus Exclusive service, with 25% of new cars undergoing some form of personalisation. It is well established that Lotus cars come with benchmark performance as standard. Now, thanks to the skilled team at Hethel, responsible for hand building all Lotus cars since 1966, you can specify a Lotus that perfectly reflects your personal tastes.”

The Lotus Evora Sport 410 is limited to a global production run of one-hundred and fifty vehicles per year, and is on sale in Europe and rest of world markets now. A Federal version of the Evora Sport 410 for the North American market will arrive this spring.