Shanghai-based Nio has lifted the veils off their second production electric vehicle, the ES6 midsize all-electric SUV.
Following in the footsteps of the larger ES8, the ES6 marks Nio’s entry into a more affordable market segment, something that theoretically should give a strong boost to the brand’s sales. Nio, often referred to as China’s Tesla, describes the ES6 as a “high-performance, long-range, smart electric SUV.” Here’s why.
Dual-motor system that uses a permanent magnet motor and an induction motor
The performance bit comes from the dual-motor setup that offers up to 400 kW (536 hp/544 PS) and electric all-wheel drive in the range-topping version. It’s not a typical combination, though. The ES6 uses a high-efficiency permanent magnet (PM) motor with an output of 160 kW (215 hp/218 PS) and a high-performance induction motor (IM) that makes 240 kW (322 hp/326 PS).
The former is responsible for medium and low-speed daily driving, while the latter kicks in to provide great acceleration performance and high speed. Nio maintains the ES6 is the world’s first EV that uses a PM motor and IM motor and claims it is an efficient combination that saves costs and offers strong power.
Up to 317 miles (510 km) of range from an 84-kWh battery pack
Speaking of power, the ES6 is capable of sprinting from 0 to 100 km/h (0-62 mph) in 4.7 seconds and can reach a top speed of 200 km/h (124 mph). Those are more than respectable numbers, as is the driving range of 510 km (317 miles) according to the NEDC test procedure. This number is for the optional 84 kWh battery pack; a smaller 70 kWh unit from the ES8 is standard.
While the company doesn’t say how much the ES6 weighs, it does mention the SUV’s bodywork is made entirely of aerospace-grade aluminum while some structural parts of the chassis are built from high-strength carbon fiber.
Slightly smaller than the ES8 but similarly styled
Design-wise, the ES6 looks a lot like the ES8, both inside and out. It’s slightly shorter and narrower, at 4,850 mm (191 in) and 1,965 mm (77.3 in), respectively. The wheelbase is shorter as well, but at 2,900 mm (114 in) it’s quite generous, allowing five- and seven-seat configurations.
The cabin features a massive portrait-oriented touchscreen powered by the NOMI in-car AI system, a flat-bottomed sports steering wheel, sports seats, and Microfiber suede headliner, among other things. A Lounge Seat and Nappa leather interior are optional, as is an intelligent fragrance system.
The Nio ES6 starts at RMB358,000, the equivalent of $51,800, before subsidies. However, that’s the price of the model with the smaller battery and a dual-motor setup consisting of two 160kW motors (320 kW / 214 HP in total). The range-topping 400kW version starts from RMB398,000 (around $57,600) with the 70kWh battery and RMB448,000 ($64,850) with the 84kWh battery. Orders can be placed starting December 15, with Chinese deliveries beginning in June 2019.