Nio EP9 hits 160 mph while lapping COTA in self-driving mode

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Last November, Chinese electric car startup NextEV launched the new brand Nio whose first product is to be a 1,360-horsepower supercar called the EP9. The EP9 isn’t ready for sale just yet because the company is still out testing the sole prototype version.

The prototype is being run at top race tracks around the world and the most recent test was at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. The test took place in February and the teaser clip below gives us a glimpse at the car’s performance.

According to Nio, the EP9 lapped the 3.4-mile track in a brisk 2:11.3 and at one point reached a top speed of 170 mph. However, the company also ran the car in self-driving mode where it clocked a still respectable 2:40.33. With no driver onboard, the car managed to hit 160 mph which is a record top speed for a self-driving car.

Nio hasn’t released full specs on the EP9 but we know it has four electric motors, each with its own gearbox. The car will hit 62 mph in 2.7 seconds and keep accelerating until it tops out at 194.5 mph. Its undisclosed battery is said to be capable of delivering a 265-mile range.

Before you get too excited, note that Nio only plans to build a handful of EP9s... for sale in China. The technology behind it, however, will eventually flow into more mainstream models.

More details on Nio’s mainstream models should be revealed next week when its U.S. chief Padmasree Warrior gives a presentation at SXSW, which runs in Austin, Texas from March 10-12.

 
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