NIO drives into the mainstream with first mass-production auto

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NIO drives into the mainstream with first mass-production auto

In related news, Nio has also launched its first normal auto for the Chinese market; a vehicle that the company hopes will ride the wave of publicity given to the two-seat, race-inspired EP9.

NIO, the sub-brand of Chinese start-up NextEV, has unveiled its new production vehicle ahead of this week's Shanghai Motor Show: the all-electric ES8 SUV.

As well as unveiling its new SUV, NIO also used the Shanghai show to announce that it would make another batch of ten EP9 hypercars that would be priced from US$1.48 million (A$1.97 million). The NIO ES8 is a full size 7-seater electric SUV with a 2-3-2 seating arrangement. It's all-wheel-drive, with electric motors at both axles, and has active air suspension.

The NIO ES8 has been tested for thousands of miles. Curiously, it's been designed for battery-swapping, as well as conventional recharging, Nio claiming that the manufacturing and supply chain to support this is already in place.

The ES8's official launch will take place at the end of this year, with deliveries expected to begin next year.

William Li, NIO's chairman and founder said that the NIO ES8 is another statement of the company's vision and technical and manufacturing capabilities. The length from bumper to bumper is 196 inches, and the entire body and chassis are made from aluminum to keep the weight low. The vehicle has been tested in Yakeshi in Inner Mongolia, where temperatures can reach -22 degrees Fahrenheit as well as Melbourne and Mildura, Australia where temperatures can reach over 104 degrees Fahrenheit.

Originally, Nio built just six EP9s and sold them to early investors. It has already built an all-electric supercar, the EP9, and used it to set lap records at the Nurburgring and the Circuit of the Americas.

Although NIO is yet to confirm the car's final performance specifications ― they'll be announced as the auto comes to market ― it will be underpinned by the same technology found in the NIO EP9 supercar.

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