Could this electric SUV be the most advanced vehicle China has ever made?

Electric vehicle start up NIO has just launched its first production car – a high performance, all electric SUV called the ES8. The 7-seater crossover, which can be customised and will be made to order, retails at a base price of RMB 448,000 (RM 276k) before subsidies. It can be bought via the NIO App.

With front and rear motors, the ES8 which sits on active air suspension, produces 643 hp and a mind-boggling 840 Nm, channeled to all four wheels. As a result, 0 to 100 km/h take a brisk 4.4 seconds.

At a constant speed of 60 km/h, the ES8 is said to be capable of returning 500 km of driving range. The ES8’s drag coefficient is rated at a lowly 0.29 and has undergone over 3,000,000 km of road testing before delivery to customers.

With a length of over 5 meters and a wheelbase stretching over 3 meters, the ES8’s Nappa leather-clad interior is almost unrivaled in terms of space. Its cabin also comes with innovative lounge seats and a child care mode. Its smart air quality system includes an activated carbon and HEPA filter and negative ion generator.

Safety wise, the ES8 is the first car to have an all aluminium body and chassis – adopted from aerospace applications – to provide exceptional torsional stiffness. Elsewhere it’s equipped with 21 active safety features to complement its passive safety design.

In line with the launch of the ES8, NIO also introduced the NIO Pilot – a comprehensive advanced driver assistance system that’s enabled by 23 sensors, a trifocal front-facing camera, four surround exterior cameras, five millimeter-wave radars, 12 ultrasonic sensors and a driver monitor camera.

The ES8 is the first vehicle in the world to be equipped with the Mobileye EyeQ4 and is programmed with NOMI, the world’s first in-car Artificial Intelligence system. Powered by both in-car and cloud computation, NOMI is capable of interacting with people sitting in the vehicle.

NOMI combines the ES8’s intelligence and car connectivity functionalities to turn the ES8 into a fun, expressive and intuitive companion that can listen, talk, and help drivers along the way. Power Mobile, as part of the NIO Power system that allows the ES8’s batteries to be swapped in three minutes, enables the ES8 to run 100 km after charging for just 10 minutes.



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