This is how you follow up the world's fastest electric car.
Chinese electric automaker Nio is best known for its blisteringly fast, record-setting EP9 supercar, but now it’s making an EV for sensible people. Revealed at this week’s Shanghai Auto Show, Nio will be launching the ES8 exclusively for the Chinese market, a three-row electric SUV with room for seven. Deliveries are set to start in early 2018, at which point it will be built alongside the EP9. The automaker didn’t specify any powertrain details, but did say the ES8 has electric motors at the front and rear with electric all-wheel drive and active air suspension.
To keep it lightweight, the body and chassis of the ES8 are constructed entirely out of aluminum. In terms of styling, the ES8 shares similarities with the EP9 supercar, particularly at the rear with Nio’s signature “Spark Beat” taillights, though the front could easily be mistaken for a Citroen. It also has a swappable battery that will “provide a charging experience that surpasses refuelling at gas stations.” Inside, the ES8 adopts a 2-3-2 seat layout, while the interior seems to be inspired by Tesla, featuring a large screen in front of the driver and an even larger screen on the center console. Nio says the ES8 has been “tested for thousands of miles” in areas with extreme temperatures.
“It is another statement of our vision and technical and manufacturing capabilities,” said Nio Founder and Chairman William Li, speaking about the ES8’s reveal at Shanghai. “It is a best-in-class product that showcases what is possible with electric vehicles. I am proud of our relentless focus on vision and action. From track to road, NIO continues to achieve major milestones every year.” Nio also announced that pre-sales for the EP9 supercar have begun. Six have already been produced for investors, but Nio plans to build 10 more EP9s made to order, each costing $1.48 million.