Chinese electric automaker NIO has just unveiled its ES8, a brand new 7-seater performance SUV built specifically for China. NIO intends on starting deliveries of the ES8 in 2018 and will build it alongside the flagship EP9 electric supercar.
The NIO ES8 features a body and chassis made entirely from aluminum and measures 196 inches long and has a wheelbase of just over 118 inches. This allows for a spacious 2-3-2 seating arrangement in a cabin that includes a large, tablet-like display in the center console, a fully-digital gauge cluster, a two-spoke steering wheel and contrasting black and white elements.
The automaker has yet to divulge many details about the ES8’s drivetrain but says it has electric motors at both the front and rear and an advanced air suspension system. It also has a battery that can be swapped to virtually eliminate charging times in a way similar to Tesla’s defunct battery-swapping service.
Design wise, the electric SUV bares some similarities to the EP9 supercar, particularly at the rear. From the front, its headlights remind us of the Citroen C4 Cactus but for the most part, it looks quite unique and should have a decent amount of road presence thanks in part to the clear character lines above both the front and rear wheel arches.
Discussing the car, NIO founder and chairman William Li said “It is another statement of our vision and technical and manufacturing capabilities. 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.”