NIO: Not the Northern Ireland Office
ITS name might be perilously similar to the much-loved British government department, but NIO has been busy imposing its own form of direct rule on the Nürburgring Nordschleife race track.
NIO is a Chinese company that makes electric vehicles, and its catchily-titled EP9 model is its supercar offering.
It has set an EV lap record of 6 minutes 45.9 seconds, which is a shockingly fast time in which to cover 13 miles of the twistiest tarmac Europe has to offer.
The EP9's power output of 1 Mega Watt of power is equivalent to an enormous 1,342bhp, and the car has a top speed of 194mph and a 0-124mph time of 7.1 seconds.
Gerry Hughes from NIO said the company had wanted to better the time it had set on an earlier record tempt at the Nürburgring.
"In October 2016, we aimed to set a new lap record for an electric vehicle with our NIO EP9," he said.
"In the inclement weather that the Nürburgring Nordschleife is known for, the EP9 completed two laps of the 'Green Hell', one of which was in 7 minutes 5.12 seconds, beating the previous EV lap record, making it the fastest electric car in the world.
"The EP9's new lap record is 19.22 seconds faster than its previous lap time.
"This is a fabulous achievement for NIO and I am very proud of the team that has worked tirelessly to achieve this accolade."
Last month, NIO announced that it plans to produce a second batch of 10 EP9s - each costs $1.48 million - and it has also unveiled a full-size seven-seater all-electric SUV for the China market.
NIO founder and chairman William Li said the EP9 was "born to push limits".
"It is a statement of our vision and technical and manufacturing capabilities," he said.
"It is a best-in-class product that showcases what is possible with electric vehicles. We believe that when the car ownership experience exceeds expectations, electric vehicles will become the natural choice for everyone, leading to a more sustainable tomorrow.
"And with that, our vision of a blue sky will come true."
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