Nio Unveils ES8 And 572-Mile EC7 Coupe SUV

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If true, these figures will beat Lucid's current 520-mile record.

Nio officially unveiled its all-new EC7 and ES8 flagship electric SUVs at Nio Day 2022, and the big numbers are that the EC7 has a claimed range of 572 miles on the CLTC testing cycle.

These two models are the unofficial third step in Nio's plan to become a dominant force in the EV segment. First, it produced a groundbreaking and record-smashing hypercar and moved on to an affordable sedan, followed by more luxurious models.

The EC7 and ES8 are the next big step and will compete in a segment with high profit margins, which will inevitably raise its profile globally before Nio starts exporting these SUVs beyond China's borders.

Both cars are built on Nio's latest-generation platform, also used as the basis for the ET5 and ET7 sedans, already for sale in Europe. The EC7 is a coupe SUV, while the ES8 is a luxury flagship model with seating for six.

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Nio claims the EC7 is the SUV with the lowest drag coefficient in the world. Depending on the configuration of the active aerodynamics, it can be as low as 0.230, which is on par with the low-slung VW ID.Aero concept car.

The slippery body is only half the story, however. Underneath, you'll find the same powertrain setup as the ES7 sedan. A twin-motor setup creates an electronic four-wheel-drive system producing 644 horsepower and 627 lb-ft of torque. It gets the coupe SUV to 62 mph in 3.8 seconds, quicker than the sedan it's based on.

Three battery packs are available, depending on how far the customer wants to drive. The standard 75 kWh battery is good for 304 miles, while the 100 kWh unit can do 395 miles on a charge. The top-spec 150 kWh has a claimed range of 572 miles. Remember that these figures are based on China's CLTC cycle, which is known for being overly generous, but even if it took a substantial knock based on EPA testing, it would likely be over the magical 400-mile mark.

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The ES8 is a more pragmatic SUV equipped with the same mechanical setup. It's not as efficient and can only reach 62 mph in 4.1 seconds, which is enough for a family car. Both cars have an intelligent dual-chamber air suspension, though obviously with different setups.

Apart from the exterior design and seat count, the two SUVs are essentially the same car. They share the same PanoCinema panoramic digital cockpit with a 12.8-inch infotainment screen and high-performance AR and VR devices, and a large panoramic sunroof.

According to Nio, both cars are capable of Level 4 autonomous driving thanks to the Banyan intelligent system consisting of 33 high-performance sensors, including LiDAR, and a supercomputing platform called Adam.

It ties in with Nio's other unique selling point, power swapping. Instead of having a fixed battery that comes with the vehicle, Nio is setting up various Power Swap stations.

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Instead of charging for 20 to 40 minutes to add range, the car is hoisted up, the depleted battery is removed, and a fresh one is installed. To date, Nio has completed more than four million battery swaps at its 500 stations in China.

The process takes roughly three minutes and costs around $10 on average. Nio's long-term plan is to automate the driving experience, including the battery swap. Level 4 autonomy does not require human intervention apart from setting a destination. In theory, the car will plan a route and will be able to complete a power swap all on its own.

The EC7 has a starting price of just over $70,000, while the ES8 starts at the equivalent of $75,000. That's on par with the VinFast VF 9, which recently landed in the USA.

It's still being determined whether Nio will ever export cars to the USA, but it will likely keep a close eye on how the population responds to the all-new Buick EV, which will be exported from China to the USA.

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