Everybody loves a good drag race, especially when there is a surprise winner. However, a surprise winner usually means the car in the race that was the underdog wins. How about when a car that wasn't even supposed to be in the race, wins?
That's what happened when YiChe, one of China’s top car publications, lined up a Lamborghini Aventador SVJ and a Koenigsegg Agera R on a dusty airport runway for a supercar drag race. The Aventador SVJ is the most powerful Lamborghini that can currently be purchased in China, and the Agera R held many land speed records and has a top speed of 273 mph - so this was definitely going to be a battle of the supercar heavyweights.
The Aventador SVJ pulls away from the Agera R off the line and holds the lead, but the Agera R was slowly closing the gap before they crossed the finish line, which was 400 metres from the start. That's actually slightly shorter than a proper competition quarter-mile race, which would be 402 metres.
However, what cannot be seen is the camera car, a NIO EP9, starts off more than a car length behind the two supercars and still passes the leading Aventador SVJ with ease, about four seconds into the race and continues to demonstrate its dominance, easily passing the finish line before the two cars in the race.
Gallery: NIO EP9 Drag Race
While we don't get to see the exact time the EP9 passes the finish line, it was considerably faster than the Aventador SVJ, which clocked in at 12:34 and at 191.2 km/hr (118.8 mph). The Agera R finished nearly a second later at 13:17 and at 199.1 km/hr (123.7) but at a higher speed, so it was closing the gap.
The EP9 is said to be capable of running the quarter-mile in 10.1 seconds, and by the looks of this video, that seems about right. I did reach out to NIO representatives when I first saw the video to ask why the times on the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ and the Koenigsegg Agera R were significantly slower than what we've seen those vehicles do on proper tracks - could they be sandbagging?
Once you take a second look at the video, the answer is clear if you watch closely. Take a look at the amount of dust kicking up behind the vehicles as they race down the track. Drag racing in China isn't nearly as popular as it is in the US or Europe, and they're just aren't many proper drag strips to use.
YiChe rented an airport runway and a very dusty one at that. The rear-wheel drive Koenigsegg Agera R was at a huge disadvantage because both the Aventador SVJ and the NIO EP9 are all-wheel drive.
The EP9's advanced torque-vectoring powertrain with four in-wheel motors that have individual single-ratio transmissions and an amazing 1,341 bhp with 4,366 lb-ft of torque was just too much for the two cars in the race. Making this the first time (that we know of at least) that the camera car beat the two actual participants in a drag race.
The EP9 is no stranger to winning on the track. Back in 2017, NIO brought an EP9 to Nürburgring and not only set a new all-electric record, but it beat the overall production record at the 'Ring by clocking in at 6 minutes 45.9 seconds. That record has since been beaten by the Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series (6:43.616) and the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ LP770-4 (6:44.97).
The EP9 has also set a new record for a production vehicle at the Shanghai International Circuit, broke the existing Electric Vehicle record at Circuit Paul Ricard with a time of 01:52.78, set a world record for the fastest self-driving car during an autonomous test drive at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, and became the fastest electric production car to ascend the iconic hill climb at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK, achieving a time of 44.32 seconds.
We love to see videos of electric supercars like the NIO EP9 crush the ICE competition - or in this case, leave them in the dust. Keep 'em coming.