NIO unveils all-electric seven-seater ES8 SUV

NIO unveils all-electric seven-seater ES8 SUV

Of dozens of startup electric vehicle makers in China, only two or three will be around in five years' time, the chief of Nio told Reuters on Thursday, after the automaker unveiled its first production auto aimed at taking on Tesla Inc's Model X.

The family resemblance is clear across the 11 vehicles Nio has on its stand in Shanghai - the Eve, the ES8 SUV, two Formula E race cars and seven EP9s [below].

NIO made the announcements during the Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition, and is showcasing 11 cars including two NIO Formula E race cars, seven NIO EP9s, and its vision vehicle EVE and one NIO ES8.

Not too many specs have been released yet, but the ES8 has electric motors on the front and rear axles providing all-wheel drive and an active air suspension. The SUV, branded the ES8, is a long ways away from the manufacturer's flagship autonomous supercar, the EP9. (4,980 mm) in length with a wheelbase of more than 118 ins.

The official launch of the ES8 is expected to take place later this year, with deliveries slated to begin sometime in 2018.

The company says the ES8 has already been tested in extreme temperatures and weather in Inner Mongolia and Australia.

The Founder and Chairman of NIO, William Li, commented: "Today we unveiled our new production vehicle, the NIO ES8 to the China market".

"We've also realised that for a vision of the future, cars no longer need to be, let's say, very cold, mechanical, technical", Tomasson adds.

Originally, Nio built just six EP9s and sold them to early investors. In February 2017, they also set the record for fastest autonomous lap with the EP9 at the Circuit of the Americas.

NIO has already proved the 1000kW EP9 hypercar is the fastest pure-electric auto in the world when it set a new electric vehicle lap record of 7:05.120 at Germany's Nurburgring back in November 2016.