Nio’s updated ES8 electric SUV has been uncovered two weeks ahead of its official launch thanks to official documents filed with Chinese authorities.
The three-row EV is due to be officially unveiled on December 24, but photos and specifications of the car logged with China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) reveal the second-generation SUV’s clean new styling, a power boost and the presence of LiDAR technology for enhanced driver-assistance capabilities.
Compared with the current NT1-generation ES8 the NT2 car looks much less fussy, particularly around the front end, which now features more body-coloured plastic on the bumpers and smaller air intakes that give it the same face as the company’s ET and EL cars. But the razor thin LED daytime running lights mean anyone familiar with the original ES8 will instantly recognize that they’re looking at its replacement.
That’s if they’re looking at it from the front. At the back things are less familiar, a long strip of LED lights running across the rear hatch below the window and wrapping around each rear quarter panel giving a very different look. The side view is also substantially different thanks to flush door handles and a straighter waistline.
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The images also show small cameras on the front fenders plus a lidar on the roof above the windshield, indicating the presence of Nio’s Aquila Super Sensing autonomous tech already seen on the ET7 and ES7.
What the pictures don’t necessarily reveal but the spec sheet does, is that the latest ES8 has grown in length, height, wheelbase and weight. The original model weighed 5,423 lbs (2,460 kg), rode on a 118.5-in (3,010 mm) wheelbase, and measured 197.7-in (5,022 mm) from bumper to bumper, but the new version has gained 220 lbs (100 kg), 2.36-in (60 mm) of wheelbase and 3.0-in (77 mm) in length.
Also bigger is the output of the electric drivetrain. The MIIT fact sheet shows that the new car’s dual-motor setup will provide 631 hp (640 PS / 480 kW), up from 590 hp (598 PS / 440 kW), giving a top speed of 124 mph (200 km/h). Car News China reports that ES8 will be equipped with 75 kWh or huge 100 kWh battery packs.
Nio recently began selling cars in parts of Europe and Scandinavia and plans to extend operations to the rest of Europe, Australia, and also the U.S. in 2025.