Tesla Motors' Model X has been enjoying unchallenged supremacy in the premium electric SUV space for quite some time. Reports from China indicate the golden days of the Model X is numbered as NIO, a global start-up based in China, has just unveiled the ES8 all-electric SUV.
The ES8 is a 7-seater full-size SUV and the vehicle was introduced over the weekend by chairman and founder William Li. It has been priced at 448,000 Chinese yuan ($67,765) which is roughly half the price of the Model X in China. NIO has plans to launch ES8 in the global markets soon and in that case, it will be a serious contender to the Tesla Model X.
NIO claims the ES8 is equipped with a 70-kilowatt-hour liquid-cooled battery pack and cells feature the highest energy density of their kind and provide a 2,000-charge lifecycle. The ES8 achieves over 500 kilometres of range when constantly run at 60kmph, and the SUV achieves a New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) range of 355 kilometres.
The ES8 houses electric motors for both front and rear wheels. It produces 480 kilowatts of power and 840Nm of torque to all four wheels. This e-powertrain enables the ES8 to accelerate from 0-100 kmph in just 4.4 seconds. The maker of the SUV also claims active air suspension on all ES8's models creates comfortable, connected riding experience.
On the safety front, the ES8 is the first car to have an all-aluminium body and chassis featuring aerospace grade 7003 series aluminium alloy. The ES8 also features the highest amount of aluminium for any mass production car.
On the design, the NIO ES8 features typical SUV silhouette with the boxy stance. One can see a lot of glass area and that will channel more natural lights inside the cabin. The SUV comes with 3,010mm long wheelbase, the longest in its class that gives ample space inside for a three-row and seven-seat layout cabin. The seats get Nappa leather wrap, a heads-up display on the windshield, and a wireless charging pad in the centre console.
Nio plans to start deliveries of ES8 in China from 2018. The global sales of the model will start subsequently.