NextEV Electric Supercar Goes 160 MPH Without A Driver, Sets Autonomous Speed Record

6 months ago by Mark Kane 5

NIO has announced that its EP9 all-electric supercar (read more about it here) set a world speed record for autonomous electric cars at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas back on February 23.

NIO EP9

The new record stands at 160 mph. NIO EP9 achieved the fastest autonomous lap time of 2 minutes 40.33 seconds.

While impressive, there remains a lot of potential in the developments of a self-driving racing, as a driver was able to clock a 2 minutes 11.30 seconds time (faster than any production car) while reaching a top speed of 170 mph.

NIO intends to present its brand vision and its EP9 prototype in Austin, Texas from Friday, March 10 through Sunday, March 12 at the Coppertank Event Center.

It’s expected that EP9 could cost around $1.2 million when it enters limited production.

NIO EP9

NIO EP9

“Today, NIO, a next-generation car company, announced the fastest ever autonomous lap at the Circuit of the Americas Race Track in Austin, Texas. On February 23, the NIO EP9 drove 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.”

“NIO will hold a U.S. launch in Austin, Texas from Friday, March 10 through Sunday, March 12 at Coppertank Event Center. The autonomous NIO EP9 will be on display. NIO executives and staff will be onsite to share our vision for the future of autonomous vehicles. Padmasree Warrior, NIO U.S CEO will deliver a keynote at SXSW on Saturday, March 11 at 11a.m. at the JW Marriott, Salon 5-6.”

NIO EP9

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.”

NIO EP9

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.”

Quick specs on the NIO EP9:

  • two-seat fully-electric supercar
  • 1 MW peak power delivery at wheels / 1,360 PS equivalent with AWD with 4 x inboard motors, 4 individual gear boxes and torque vectoring
  • Max speed, gear limited to 195 mph (313 kph)
  • 0-100 kph 2.7 seconds
  • 0-200 kph 7.1 seconds
  • 0-300 kph 15.9 seconds
  • 265 miles (427 km) range using two lithium batteries, indirectly water cooled
  • 45-minute battery charge time (battery also swappable)
  • 1735 kg total weight. Total weight for both batteries: 635 kg, All carbon content = 364 kg
  • Dimensions: 4888 x 2230 x 1150 mm
  • Quarter mile time 10.1 seconds/249 kph

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5 responses to "NextEV Electric Supercar Goes 160 MPH Without A Driver, Sets Autonomous Speed Record"

  1. G2 says:

    Very cool tech, but I find it hard to get enthused about drone racing.

    1. SparkEV says:

      On the contrary, once “drones” start to have quicker lap times than humans, it will be human racing that seem quaint. It’s like human “calculators” seeming quaint compared to computers.

      1. DJ says:

        Ya because everybody buys Gran Turismo for their PS3/PS4 to watch the AI do the driving…

        Drone racing isn’t ever gonna take off in our life times at least.

        Nascar is boring enough but put computers behind the wheel and I suspect most people won’t bother with it.

    2. Someone out there says:

      Indeed. Drones have an extra advantage on that they don’t have to fear for their life so they can take any risk necessary to win. Also they can be built to tolerate extreme G forces. Essentially, the drones are cheating.

  2. Jake Brake says:

    Here is the release of NIO’s vision car including the video on the AD racing: