Test Drive > Chinese electric car company NIO launches ES8 crossover

Chinese electric car company NIO launches ES8 crossover

 - 03/01/2018

Chinese company NIO has provided more details of the ES8 electric vehicle, which was first unveiled earlier this year at the Shanghai Auto Show. The ES8 is an all-electric crossover, and it's the second road-going model from NIO, who some will already know for its Nurburgring-record breaking EP9 hypercar.

The ES8 is a radical departure from the EP9 because it's a practical seven-seat crossover, but thanks to its twin electric motors it could still be fairly entertaining to drive. That's because they produce an extremely impressive 644 horsepower and around 620 lb.-ft. of torque driving all four wheels. The ES8 also has a lightweight aluminum structure, which undoubtedly contributes to its estimated 0 to 100 km/h time of 4.4 seconds. NIO's latest model also boasts an air suspension setup and four-piston Brembo brakes, which can bring it back to a standstill from that 100 km/h in as little as 39 meters.

Of course, the performance of an EV is interesting, but the main statistic any prospective buyer is likely to see as most important is the range on a single battery charge, which NIO claims to be around 220 miles on the European test cycle.

Electric car makers are increasingly looking for innovative ways of extending the range of electric vehicles to make them more practical, and NIO is advocating a battery-swap system for the ES8. The company claims a battery can be swapped in just three minutes, and it's looking to have 1,100 swapping stations by 2020.

The ES8 will go on sale in China first, and buyers there can now pre-order them for the equivalent of about $67,700. But by signing up for a battery rental program costing the equivalent of $120 per month, buyers can get a discount off the asking price of around $15,000. NIO says it intends to offer the ES8 for sale in the US in the future, but has so far failed to give an idea of exactly when that will be.


Photos : © NIO