New 2023 Nio EC7 challenges Audi Q8 E-tron with 572-mile range

Nio EC7 side

Fast-growing Chinese brand’s new SUV-coupe tipped to be one of the longest-range EVs on sale

Chinese electric car company Nio has revealed the new EC7 as a luxury-focused SUV-coupé with a lounge-style interior, advanced cabin technology and a range of nearly 600 miles.

Revealed at the firm’s annual Nio Day presentation, the Audi Q8 E-tron Sportback rival is essentially a more rakish version of the recently revealed Nio ES7 SUV, and will follow that car into Chinese showrooms from May 2023. 

Nio chairman William Li made no mention of plans for a European launch at its unveiling, but the brand recently arrived in the market with the ES7 (sold as EL7 outside of China) and ET5 and ET7 saloons, so it’s highly possible this new addition will come here, too. 

Nio has pledged to start selling cars in the UK by the end of 2023, but so far has committed only to bringing the ET5 here alongside another unnamed model. 

The EC7 is billed as a high-performance and luxurious proposition with a ‘living room’ interior and some of the most advanced software and hardware on the market – including a roof-mounted lidar device and 32 ‘high-precision’ sensors for level 4 autonomous driving. 

It rides on the same platform as the ES7, and measures 4968mm long, 1974mm wide and 2960mm between the wheels. Those dimensions line it up neatly against other mid-sized electric SUVs including the Q8 E-tron, BMW iX and the upcoming Polestar 3

That means the EC7 also gets the same 644bhp, 627lb ft twin-motor, four-wheel drive powertrain and sprints from 0-62mph in just 3.8 seconds – slightly quicker than the ES7 thanks to its aero-optimised design. 

Nio actually claims the EC7 is the world’s most aerodynamically efficient SUV, with a drag coefficient of 0.23. The carmaker highlights airflow-optimising features like the active front grille shutter and active spoiler – in addition to its sloping roof.

Its slipperiness means the EC7 offers extremely competitive range figures. Equipped with the entry-level 75kWh battery, Nio claims the EC7 will travel 304 miles per charge, and that rises to 395 miles with the larger 100kWh unit. 

But it’s the top-rung 150kWh battery pack that nets a headline maximum range figure of 572 miles – which in theory makes this one of the longest-legged EVs in production. Though, importantly, these figures are all based on China’s CLTC homologation cycle, which tends to give higher readings than Europe’s WLTP system. 

If it launched today, that would easily be the largest battery on sale in Europe and larger than the Audi Q8 55 E-tron‘s 118kWh. However, it’s still quite a way off the GMC Hummer’s estimated 200kWh. The comparable Lucid Air saloon boasts a 118kWh for a maximum range of 520 miles per charge. 

As with all other Nio models, the EC7 is compatible with the brand’s Power Swap battery changing stations, which offer much faster refills than chargers. The new third-generation Power Swap station – revealed alongside the EC7 – houses 21 batteries at a time and can handle more than 400 swaps per day.

Source: Autocar

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