Nio had an interesting entry into this world. The Chinese company’s first-ever product was the EP9 hypercar, except, technically it wasn’t. As far as we can work out, Nio’s main involvement was sending a big stack of cash to RML, the UK motorsport company which did the development work.
Fast forward a few years, and Nio has dispensed with the marketing silliness and has filled out a range of electric cars with a little more real-world relevance. The latest, the ET7, is perhaps the most convincing of the lot.
It’s best thought of as Nio’s take on the Tesla Model S, although it’s a little bigger, coming in a few centimetres longer than a Mercedes S-Class. Within its steel/aluminium body structure, you can have a monster 150kWh battery pack, giving an NEDC range of up to 621 miles (1000 kilometres).
There’s an induction motor for the rear axle and a permanent magnet motor at the front making for combined outputs of 644bhp and 627lb ft of torque. 0-62mph (presumably not with the 150kWh battery pack onboard) is 3.9 seconds.
For those happy to sacrifice a little range for a reduced price and a lower weight figure, there’s also a 70kWh model with a 310-mile range or a 100kWh unit which will keep going for up to 435 miles.
Nio dubs the ET7 its “first autonomous driving model,” boasting 33 “high-performance sensing units,” 11 eight megapixel cameras, LiDAR, five radar units and much more besides. The firm hasn’t attributed an SAE driving level to the car as of yet.
On the inside, there’s a minimalist cabin dominated by - you guessed it - a giant touchscreen infotainment system. The 12.8-inch display is said to have the “world’s first in-car AI system,” although we’re more interested in the 7.1.4 23-speaker surround sound system and its 1000-watt output. It’s fitted as standard on all versions of the ET7.
Speaking of, Nio is charging 448,000 yuan for the cheapest one, which works out as just over £50,000. The most expensive meanwhile is 526,000 yuan (around £50,000). A European launch is on the cards, although it’ll likely be pricier than that once it reaches the continent.