Remember the Chinese Electric Vehicle company, NIO, that set the record for the record for the fastest road-legal car around the Nürburgring Nordschleife in their all-electric hypercar NIO EP9? Apparently, NIO also makes family-friendly electric SUVs too.
Meet the NIO ES6, a high-performance mid-sized premium SUV with a claimed 510 km of electric range based on the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC). As a reference, the ES6 is around the size of a BMW X3, measuring at 4,850 mm in length, 1,965 mm in width, 1,768 mm in height and a wheelbase of 2,900 m.
However, the ES6 hides its bulk way better than other SUVs its size thanks to the sleek window line and tapering roofline. The body is also free of striking lines creating a smooth surface for better aerodynamics and makes for an interesting visual impact. Even the door handles are flushed with the car’s body and only pop up when in use.
The front end is dominated by the NIO family design language of body painted X-bar bumper trim, slim headlamps and heartbeat taillights. Every design element has been tweaked to contribute to the ES6’s low drag coefficient of 0.28 Cd.
Inside, the cabin of the ES6 oozes its sporty credentials with sport seats, leather-wrapped multifunctional steering wheel and microfibre headliner. It is properly high-tech and modern too with an 11.3-inch portrait style touchscreen infotainment system, LCD instrument cluster, minimalistic centre console layout, panoramic sunroof and others.
But the highlight of the ES6’s cabin is the NOMI in-car AI system integrated with a speech-based interactive system can display expressions on the centre console. NOMI can control all major in-car functions, connect with your smartphone app and even take selfies for you and your friends in the car.
Now we come to the most exciting bit, performance. The ES6 is available with a dual motor set up with two output options – Standard and Performance. The former is juiced by two 160 kW motors while the Performance version gets a full phat 400 kW (544 hp) and peak torque of 725 Nm. The most potent ES6 variant can sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.7 seconds (5.6 seconds on Standard Version), faster than most hot hatches but the Tesla Model X’s 3.1 seconds century sprint time still takes cake. Top speed on the ES6 is rated at 200 km/h.
NIO has also fitted the ES6 with four-piston Brembo brakes all round as well as Pirelli P-Zero high-performance rubbers for confident stopping power, delivering a 100 km/h to 0 km/h braking distance of 33.9 meters. As standard, the ES6 comes equipped with an adaptive mechanical suspension but air suspension is available on Performance Versions of the SUV.
Curiously, the company did not release details of the ES6’s recharge time for its 70 kWh and 84 kWh liquid cooled lithium-ion battery pack. NEDC range varies from 410 km for the 70 kWh Standard Version and climbing up to 510 km in the 84 kWh Performance Version.
The ES6 comes as standard with the full range of NIO Pilot advanced driver assistance system that bundles Adaptive Cruise Control, Highway Pilot semi-autonomous driving, Autonomous Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Alert, Traffic Jam Pilot, Blind Spot Detection, Traffic Sign Recognition, Intelligent Speed Assist and 12 point Ultra sound sensors.
What’s impressive with the NIO Pilot system is that the functions can be upgraded over time via firmware-over-the-air (FOTA) update when new functions are added. New features that are expected to be available via the FOTA update include Nearby Summoning (autonomously drives itself out of a parking space), Bicyclist Detection and more.
In China, the NIO ES6 is priced from RMB358,000 (RM217k) to RMB448,000 (RM271k) for the full-spec variant. The quoted price is not inclusive of EV subsidy granted by the Chinese Government. Deliveries are expected to commence in June 2019.
NIO ES6 SUV