The first-ever production Nio sedan has leaked ahead of its world debut on 9 January 2021. ElectricVehicleWeb.in has accessed patent images of the Nio sedan at the CNIPA days before the Nio Day 2020 event where it will premiere. Several sites/pages reporting on the Chinese auto market first spotted the patent images yesterday.
As expected, the Nio sedan is the road-going version of the Nio eT Preview concept car from Auto Shanghai 2019 with over 95 per cent of the exterior design taken into the production line. At the front, the side air vents have been replaced by signature lights flowing out of the headlamps, and they have a narrower footprint. The bonnet has been simplified by removing the crease lines in the centre for a cleaner look and the leading shut line is moved further back. Also spot the toe hook cut out on the bumper.
On the sides, there is a small decor trim shared by the fender and the door, which wasn’t on the concept. The window trim is slightly different, and it extends on the back. Also notice the body-coloured rocker panel to cover the black underbody panel, which wasn’t the case on the show car.
At the rear, the lower portion of the boot lid is vertically straight, and an even bigger difference is the two charging ports located on each outer end, below the tail lamp. One of the two charging ports should allow DC fast-charging of the car’s massive battery pack.
Nio sedan to rival BMW 7 Series
The Nio sedan was expected to be positioned as a rival to the Tesla Model S executive (E-segment) sedan. However, Nio says that it will settle in a higher-class, the full-size (F-segment) sedan competing with the BMW 7 Series, as per a new report from cnevpost.com.
A Nio app user asked which model from BBA (BMW Brilliance Alliance) is the benchmark for the Nio sedan. In response, Qin Lihong, Co-Founder, Director, and President, Nio, said “7 Series”. Last year, BMW Group had confirmed that the 7 Series will come in a pure electric variant in the next generation, which we assume would take the form of the BMW i7.
A teaser of the production Nio sedan went up on social media websites this week, in the run-up to its world premiere at Nio Day 2020 on the 9th of this month. The teaser shows the upper half of the profile of the Nio sedan.
In other recent updates, Nio opened its 200th retail store last month. The milestone sales outlet is located in Chengdu, the same city where the Nio Day 2020 event will take place.
The company has confirmed that Nio Day 2020 will host the launch of the flagship Nio electric sedan featuring the latest autonomous driving technologies and the 150 kWh battery pack. Besides, it says it would also reveal the second-generation swap stations, and other core technologies. Earlier Chinese portals talked about the NT2.0 autonomous driving technology platform, models equipped with LiDAR and second-gen power station as making an appearance at the annual company event.
Nio is ambitious about making itself a global brand, as per another report from cnevpost.com. At an event held in Beijing in December 2020, William Bin Li, Founder, Chairman and CEO, Nio, had said that in the next ten years, the company hopes to achieve not only market success in China, but also establish itself in the smart EV segment globally.
Multiple reports have suggested during the last few months that Chinese startup would foray into European countries as early as later this year. And there’s a new development on that matter as well.
Hui Zhang, Vice President, Nio (Europe), talked with Wang Weidong, the Commercial Counselor of the Chinese Embassy in Germany, on 9 December 2020, MOFCOM revealed in an announcement a day later. Zhang talked about Nio’s current situation and development plans including overseas expansion.
For about a year, Nio Automobile has been working to get its first electric sedan ready in time for Nio Day 2020. Nio Day usually witnesses a flurry of activity including new technology and product showcases. At the 2019 Nio day held at a sports stadium in Shenzhen last year, the company revealed the 100 kWh liquid-cooled thermostatic battery pack, the improved Nio ES8 and conducted the world premiere of the Nio EC6. The event was attended by 7,300 guests and watched online by millions.
Lihong revealed plans for the sedan during a live broadcast in early-2020, where he said Nio is working overtime to launch the next generation sedan on the next Nio Day. It was expected that the electric sedan would be based on the eT concept previewed at the Auto Shanghai 2019 and some believed it will compete with the Tesla Model S.
Li confirmed during the Q3 earnings call in November 2020 that the company would introduce two sedans back to back and that it was generating these models on the NP 2.0 platform. Li said that the two sedans would complete Nio’s portfolio and there wouldn’t be models bigger than the ES8. He also stated that while electing segments, the company does not want to serve the “rich market” hinting that both launches would be less expensive than the ES8. More details on the NP 2.0 are to follow on the 9th of this month.
Nio eT Concept
Showcased at the Auto Shanghai 2019, the Nio eT concept features a fastback silhouette and has garnered positive feedback for its attractive design. Along with the electric concept vehicle, Nio showcased a high-performance electric mobility platform that is fitted with a nickel-cobalt-manganese battery pack and high-efficiency permanent magnet motors and high-performance induction motors in the front and rear respectively. The platform was claimed to return a range of up to 510 km in the NEDC cycle.
Since then several advances have been made and the base version of the sedan is expected to be powered by the 100 kWh battery, serving the 2020 Nio ES8 electric SUV. On the sedan, it could offer a range exceeding 600 km (NEDC). Top-end configurations would employ the 150 kWh battery which could give it an industry-leading range.
Video courtesy: Dr IronOre 901
Nio’s journey in 2020
Nio started the production of the ES8 last year with updated features and improvements, over 180 of them as the company states, and since then has not looked back. The ES8 is an all-wheel-drive with two motors on each axle – a 160 kW permanent magnet motor and a 240 kW induction motor and returns a range of up to 580 km (NEDC).
In the third quarter of 2020, the company delivered 12,206 units of the ES8, ES6, and EC6, representing a growth of 154.3% year over year and 18.1% quarter over quarter. Nio’s full-year 2020 deliveries touched 43,728 units, up 112.6 per cent over 2019. December 2020 was Nio’s best month in its operations where it delivered more than 7,000 vehicles.
Nio claims that the ES6 is the fastest-selling electric SUV in the Chinese market for 13 consecutive months whereas the ES8 reached number one in sales in 2020 in the premium electric SUV segment, priced above RMB 400,000 in China. Nio began deliveries of its third car, EC6, in September 2020.
Featured Image Source: CNIPA