The NIO EP9 electric car lapped the Circuit of the Americas racetrack in Austin, Texas in 2 minutes and 40.33 seconds last week — without a driver at the wheel and with a top speed of 160 mph.
NextEV, the Chinese startup which manufactures the NIO EP9, says this makes it the fastest autonomous electric car in the world. It produces an astonishing 1,342 horsepower from its four electric motors and, with a human behind the wheel, it lapped the track in 2 minutes and 11.30 seconds, reaching a top speed of 170 mph. NextEV says it’s capable of 194 miles per hour and has a range of 265 miles, though probably not at the same time.
NextEV is no stranger to the racetrack. The company was one of the founding manufacturers in Formula E, and their driver Nelson Piquet won the Driver’s Championship in the first season.
The lap of the track was an (admittedly cool) promotional stunt that comes ahead of the launch of the company’s US brand at SXSW next month, when we can expect a keynote address from Padmasree Warrior, NIO’s US CEO. The video above is just a teaser, and we expect we’ll see more from NextEV soon.