Sometimes you see a car do something so incredible that you can’t quite believe what your eyes are telling you.
These are moments you never forget; the first time it happened to me was when I saw a Top Fuel dragster launch itself from zero to 300mph at Santa Pod. Almost 20 years later, I still find my jaw dropping a few millimetres at the recollection.
Such moments are rare, but today at the Goodwood Festival of Speed I experienced another, thanks to a lucky break that put me in the right place at the right time – and it could be telling for the future of the car industry.
Heading to an interview for a future Autocar story, I was stood by the Gurney Pavilion, located at the second turn of the course, which leads onto a long straight past Goodwood House, as the Nio EP9 arrived at the corner.
At first, and against the context of exotica from Ferrari, Lamborghini, Aston Martin et al that had run around it, it was more curious than striking. It arrived at the corner, it turned and then…
I’ve spent a fair bit of my working life reporting on racing and rally cars, but I don’t think I’ve seen much, perhaps anything, that compares with what happened next. The back of the car sat down, there was a whoosh from the electric motors and a small squeal from the tyres and then the full brunt of the car’s claimed 1360bhp was unleashed.
The spec sheet says this is a 2.7sec car for the 0-62mph sprint, but as it rolled through the corner and sprinted off, the Nio looked even more impressive than that suggests as it accelerated off into the distance. It was a sensational sight. My jaw was in the same place as when I watched that dragster all those years ago.
Read more: Autocar