We’ll have to see how the SUV will perform in the real world

Chinese startup Nio, commonly referred to as the Chinese Tesla, has unveiled a new midsize electric SUV that will be known as the ES6. It is the company’s second offering after the larger ES8. The new SUV marks the company’s presence in the affordable market segment, which should bring in volumes. Nio seems quite confident about it, but is it really all that special?

What Powers The Nio ES6?

On paper, the Nio ES6 definitely looks like a winner. The Nio ES6’s bodywork is made entirely of aerospace-grade aluminum, and some structural parts of the chassis are built from high-strength carbon fiber. In fact, Nio describes the ES6 as a “high-performance, long-range, smart electric SUV.” This is because the ES6 features a dual motor setup that develops 536 horses combined. Although we have seen a two-motor setup in a lot of electric cars, the ES6 is unique because it has a high-efficiency permanent magnet motor and a high-performance induction motor. The former produces 215 horses, while the latter churns out 322 horses. Power is sent to all the wheels in the range-topping model. The permanent magnet motor takes care of the urban commutes and low-speed driving that does not require high performance. The induction motor, on the other hand, comes into play when the ES6 is in need of an adrenaline rush. It provides great acceleration performance and high speed.

A Strong Performer Indeed

The ES6 can sprint from naught to 62 miles per hour in 4.7 seconds before topping out at 124 miles per hour. The figures are not exactly hair-raising, but they aren’t mediocre either. The automaker claims that the ES6 is the world’s first electric vehicle that uses a permanent magnet motor and an induction motor, and Nio claims it is an efficient combination that saves costs while offering strong power. Speaking of the battery and driving range, the ES6 comes with a 70-kWh battery pack as standard and a larger 84-kWh battery pack is available as an option. According to the NEDC test results, the larger battery pack delivers 317 miles on a full charge, which is quite impressive as per segment standards.

The Nio ES6 Proves that Size Matters

The ES6 follows the footsteps of its elder sibling, the ES8, in terms of styling in and out. The ES6 is slightly small, though, measuring 4,850 mm in length and 1,965 mm in width. The wheelbase is on the shorter side as well; measuring 2,900 mm. It’s shorter than the ES8, but it is still quite generous when compared to its immediate rivals. It will be available in five-seat and seven-seat configurations.

How Well Is It Spec’d?

On the inside, the Nio ES6 features a massive portrait-oriented touchscreen powered by the NOMI in-car AI System. This is not surprising as all premium electric cars come with such touchscreen configurations. It also offers sports seats, a flat-bottomed sports steering wheel, and a Microfiber suede headliner, to name a few. To spoil customers even more, a lounge seat and Nappa leather interior are available as optional equipment, as is an intelligent fragrance system.

The Nio ES6 is Priced A Little On The High Side

If you’re interested, you can place an order for the ES6 now, and deliveries will begin from the second quarter of 2019. As for the pricing, the Nio ES6 starts at RMB 358,000 in Chinese currency, which is equivalent to $51,800, before subsidies. This price is for the smaller capacity battery and a dual-motor setup that features two 160-kW motors. It produces 214 horses in total. The range-topping 400-kW model with a 70-kWh battery starts at RMB 398,000, which is equivalent to $57,600. The ES6, with the same powertrain but a larger 84-kWh battery pack retails at RMB 448,000, or $64,850. The ES6 seems slightly expensive, especially because it is a fairly new company. Will the ES6 sell in volume like Nio wants? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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