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Blue Sky Dawning: Nio EP9

By Richard Cree

This story originally appeared in the January/February 2017 issue of Elite Traveler.

Anyone wondering how either the arrival of the all-electric Formula-E racing championship would affect the future of the car industry, or what impact an increasingly active Chinese automotive sector will have, gets two answers in one with the new all-electric Chinese supercar, the Nio EP9.

Launched in London late last year, the Nio EP9 is a stunning addition to the super sports car market. And it comes from NextEV, the Chinese firm that has been a successful part of the Formula-E setup since it launched in 2014.

The firm’s Chinese name, Weilai, translates as Blue Sky Coming, and the Nio EP9 boasts the look and feel of a car of the future. But with six cars already produced, this has moved beyond a prototype but is not yet up to full production.

The performance figures are impressive (but some vital EV numbers are missing, such as range or battery charge time) with its Nürburgring lap time of a fraction over seven minutes and five seconds, the fastest ever for an electric car.

It boasts a top speed of 195mph and goes from a standstill to over 120mph in seven seconds. The company claims the aerodynamics are so sophisticated it has twice the downforce of a F1 car, with drivers experiencing over 3Gs while driving. Expect your grin to look a little lopsided should you take a selfie while driving.

nio.io/ep9, $2m