Nio Sticks to Hyper-Premium Plan with ET9 Launch

Flagship launch aims to take market share from top-flight Mercedes-Benz and Porsche rivals.

Paul Myles, European Editor

December 26, 2023

2 Min Read
Nio ET9
Nio ET9 setting its sights on the big boys of luxury cars.

Nio is returning to its original vision of its brand by unveiling it a super-premium model to rival Mercedes-Benz’s Maybach and Porsche’s Panamera.

I attended the brand’s global launch at the Saatchi Art Gallery in London’s smart Sloane Square area in 2016 shortly after its first car, the hyper-performance EP9 had beaten the fastest Nürburgring Nordschliefe electric lap time, achieving 7 mins 5.12 seconds.

Speaking with brand boss William Li at the time, he made it clear Nio had it sights firmly on the premium market and this mission sits with its recent announcement that the company will be creating a more entry-level “family car” brand in 2024.

Now its ET9 executive sedan, is hoping to take on the big-boys and is expected to start delivery in the first quarter of 2025 at an estimated price of 800,000 yuan ($112,178). The car will be equipped with Nio’s self-designed autonomous driving semiconductor using two wide-angle side LiDARs, 900-voltage electric drive for fast charging and large cylindrical battery cells.

In keeping with its limousine pretensions, the car boasts a 3,250 mm (10.66-ft.) ultra-long wheelbase and 23-inch wheels. Powertrain details so far published includes an overall claimed power output of 520 kWh (697 hp) split between a 340-kWh (456-hp) rear motor and a 180-kWh (241-hp) at the front creating a rear-wheel-biased all-wheel drivetrain. No performance or range claims have yet been made but, considering Nio's battery swap system allows drivers to choose a selection of different battery packs, its maximum total range is likely to be similar to that of its ET7 claimed by Li recently.

The ET9 uses a traditional executive interior layout of four luxury seats, a panoramic glass roof and independently controlled side sunshades for rear passengers deployable in a few seconds for privacy.

Li also claims the car boasts luxury suspension technology that is “a generation ahead of Panamera's” using technology from U.S. start-up ClearMotion, a company Nio’s venture capital firm, Nio Capital, has been supporting. Li says, “Integrated with over 100 Nio full-stack technologies, Nio ET9 reaches a new height of innovation and technological development, representing Nio's determination, confidence and ambition in leading the premium smart-EV market and providing high-quality products and services to our users.”

While still a loss-making venture, Nio recently has seen itself supported by state-owner automakers in China and this month won $2.2 billion in new investment from Abu Dhabi-backed investment vehicle CYVN Holdings, one of the largest investments sedcured by a Chinese EV company this year.

About the Author(s)

Paul Myles

European Editor, Informa Group

Paul Myles is an award-winning journalist based in Europe covering all aspects of the automotive industry. He has a wealth of experience in the field working at specialist, national and international levels.

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