an impressive new electric SUV that amazes as much as it questions

On Nio Day 2022 on December 24, 2022, Nio unveiled the new ES8 Prime. It’s bigger and more efficient than the original ES8 and is impressive on paper.

Nio ES8 Prime // Source: Nio

The Nio conference, which took place on Christmas Eve, was an opportunity to make many announcements. You may find the choice of announcement date strange, but it is common for Chinese brands to organize their annual conferences at the end of the year.

In addition to the 500 kW charging station, which promises a full charge in 12 minutes, but also a new battery replacement system on the highway, the automaker used the event to unveil a new EC7 coupé and a refresh of the ES8. Here we look at the redesign of the ES8 with the name ES8 Prime.

Second generation Nio ES8 (ET2)

The ES8 is already one of Nio’s iconic models. It is a large SUV with 6 to 7 seats, which was released in 2018, in China and in 2021, in Norway.

Nio therefore used its event to unveil a refresh of the ES8 SUV. The latter will therefore have three battery capacities, from 75 kWh (465 km in the CLTC cycle), 100 kWh (605 km) and 150 kWh (900 km).

Nio ES8 // Source: Nio

This new ES8 NT2 is a big car at 5.1 meters long (5099mm length x 1989mm width x 1750mm height and 3070mm wheelbase).

With these dimensions, we are facing an SUV that competes with the Volvo EX90 or the Tesla Model X. With a weight of 2,560 kg, it is indeed a heavyweight. One wonders if the legislators will start setting limits on the weight of cars.

Nio ES8 // Source: Nio

We remain skeptical: Electric SUVs are more fuel efficient than a sedan. It is not always just a matter of weight or the technological choice of engine. It is also just the application of physics. With a larger frontal area, an SUV will consume more, which will therefore affect autonomy (especially on the highway). We prefer a return to family vacations.

In terms of power, it is a four-wheel drive SUV with two engines (180 kW and 300 kW) of 480 kW (631 hp) for a torque of 850 Nm. This SUV is capable of 0 to 100 km/h. in 4.1 seconds. It’s not too much to carry that much weight.

Nio ES8 // Source: Nio

The interior has been redone

ES8 Prime, the top-of-the-line version, includes a HUD with a 16.8-inch screen area and a new user interface, as well as an improved PanoCinema digital cockpit with a 7.1.4 surround sound system, a 2230 watt cumulative power with 23 speakers .

Nio ES8 // Source: Nio

Other new features of the ES8 Prime are a 10.2″ (1,920 × 532 pixels) digital instrument panel and a touchscreen infotainment system with an AMOLED panel, 12.8″ (1,728 × 1,888 pixels).

As you can imagine with all this equipment, the interior has been redone. The dashboard, center console and steering wheel have a slimmer design in the new model. Nio has invisibly integrated ventilation openings and ambient lighting into its new SUV.

The interior of the new ES8 // Source: Nio

While the first-generation ES8 was available in six- and seven-seat versions, the 2023 ES8 is strictly a six-seater. Everything has been done to move the SUV upmarket, with a front passenger seat containing 22 electric adjustments, including a “zero gravity” position (120° tilt) accessible with a single button. The rear center console includes two retractable wireless fast charging pads (40 watts) and a refrigerator.

Nio ES8 // Source: Nio

The Nio ES8 has an improved safety and assistance system thanks to an ultra-long-range LiDAR sensor and the Nvidia Orin chip, part of its Aquila “super-sensory” sensor suite.

In addition to this LiDAR sensor, Aquila includes seven 8-megapixel HD cameras, four 3-megapixel surround-view cameras, an advanced driver monitoring system, five millimeter wave radars, twelve ultrasonic sensors, as well as V2X technology (“car-to-everything”, the communication between multiple vehicles, the cloud and the road infrastructure).

Let’s finish with the price, which is undoubtedly a strong argument for the Nio:

  • 75 kWh: 528,000 yuan (approx. 72,000 euros)
  • 100 kWh: 586,000 yuan (approx. 80,000 euros)
  • 150 kWh (Signature Edition): 638,000 yuan (approx. 89,000 euros)
  • Without battery (BaaS): 458,000 yuan (approx. 62,500 euros)

Currently only announced in China, it is very likely that this SUV will come to Europe (announced for the second part of 2023) because the first generation is already marketed there. The Nio is also targeting the US market, which would make sense given the dimensions of this SUV.


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