Alongside the EC7 coupe-like crossover, the more rakish brother of the EL7 electric crossover, Nio also revealed what it says is an all-new version of its ES8 flagship model, which it calls the ES8 NT2. The NT designation comes from the platform that it’s based on, which is called NT2.0, basically a heavily revised version of the initial platform that the vehicle was built on.
The NT2.0 platform is also used to underpin the ET5, ET7, ES7 and EL7; the ES8 was older than all of these models, but now with this major overhaul it has been brought up to date.
Even though Nio says the vehicle is all-new, it’s really more of a thorough refresh, with a new powertrain shared with other models (including the EC7 which was revealed alongside). Its dual-motor setup packs 644 horsepower (480 kW) and 626 pound-feet (850 Nm) of torque, enough for an acceleration time to 62 mph (100 km/h) of 4.1 seconds and a top speed of 124 mph (200 km/h).
Gallery: Nio ES8 Facelift
This six-seater electron-sipping SUV rides on standard dual-chamber air suspension and also has adaptive dampers to give the smoothest possible ride on the big 22-inch wheels, the largest available (smaller 20- and 21-inch wheels may also be offered). And even though it may look big and boxy, the manufacturer says it is quite aerodynamic, with a very low drag coefficient of 0.25.
In terms of its size, the ES8 is pretty big, measuring 5.1 meters (200 inches) in length, 1,99 meters (78.3 inches) in width and is 1,75 meters (68 inches) tall. This makes it about the same size as another three-row electric crossover that was recently revealed, the Volvo EX90. The Nio’s wheelbase is slightly longer, though, at 3,07 meters (120.9 inches) in length.
It gets a 12.8-inch infotainment screen inside, as well as what Nio calls “the world's first on-board AI assistant Nomi.” Nio says that the revised ES8 will also be able to perform fully-autonomous battery swaps, meaning it also has the hardware to drive itself to the swap station if the driver adds it as a destination and then continue trip as planned, all without intervention.
The automaker says it wants to make this feature available sometime in 2023, but as with all announcements that say a certain vehicle will be able to drive completely autonomously on public roads, take it with a grain of salt.
As with all other vehicles built on this platform, the ES8 NT is available with either a 75 kWh battery or an optional 100 kWh pack. The base version will cost in China from around $75,500, while vehicles equipped with the 100 kWh battery will have a starting price of around $84,000. Nio also plans to offer a 150 kWh battery, but it isn’t available yet.