NIO is the international name (Weilai in Chinese) for the Chinese start-up NextEV's new automobile brand. On the occasion of the Shanghai Auto Show, which will be open to the public from April 21 to 28, 2017, NIO is set to unveil its first ever mass market vehicle, an all-electric SUV, along the lines of models already produced by US manufacturers Tesla (with the Model X) and Faraday Future (with the FF91).
The carmaker already created a sensation in the autumn of 2016 when it unveiled the EP9, 1342bhp all-electric supercar. As for the other specifications of the NIO EP9, the figures speak for themselves: the supercar can accelerate from 0 to 100kph in just 2.7 seconds and from 0 to 200km/h in just 7.1 seconds. It can also reach a top speed of 313km/h, and travel more than 420km without a recharge, which lasts just 45 minutes. Only a small number of EP9s will be produced, which is not surprising in view of the vehicle's price tag of around one million euros. More recently, NIO presented EVE, a sedan concept that will be launched as a mass market vehicle by 2020.
In Shanghai, NIO plans to move ahead with the global premiere of its first SUV, codenamed ES8. According to specialist websites, the all-electric vehicle will have a range of more than 300 kilometres. It will also feature a spacious interior that can accommodate seven passengers. More interestingly, it will be equipped with autonomous driving technologies, however precise details on this capability have yet to be announced. It should be noted that the new SUV is not due to be launched in Asia before 2018 and not before 2020 on the US market.
NIO's strategy is reminiscent of the one adopted by US manufacturer Faraday Future, which followed up the unveiling of its spectacular FFZERO1 concept, a 1000 horsepower single-seater with a top speed of 320km/h, with the Las Vegas CES presentation of its first connected and customizable electric crossover.
The brand is also involved in the FIA Formula E Championship (all-electric single-seaters) through its NextEV NIO stable.
The 17th Shanghai Auto Show will run April 21-28, 2017 at the city's National Exhibition and Convention Center.