As far as EV startups go, NIO appears to be set in the right direction. In the span of just five years, the Chinese electric vehicle company has rolled out five models. It's an impressive feat given the years the company has been in business. The four vehicles NIO currently offer include three crossovers, a large saloon, and an EV hypercar, the EP9.
The other models in NIO's current lineup are the EC6 coupe-crossover, ES6 mid-size crossover, ES8 full-size crossover, and the ET7 flagship saloon that will arrive in Chinese showrooms by early 2022. But NIO isn't stopping there as the company has just introduced its sixth model. Dubbed the ET5, it's gunning for mass-market appeal and Tesla Model 3 sales.
In terms of design, it looks similar to its larger brother, the ET7. Perhaps that's no surprise since the ET5 was penned with aerodynamics and efficiency in mind like the larger saloon. There are subtle differences in the lights and the front bumper, though. Most noticeable is the longer foglight housings and aero intakes on the corners. Also, the rear is shorter and has a more rounded-off tail. If you're curious what the pods on the roof are for, it's for the semi-autonomous driving system.
Gallery: NIO ET5 Goes Live, To Go Head-To-Head Against Tesla Model 3
For those curious about dimensions, the ET5 measures 4,790 mm from bumper to bumper. Its width is at 1,960 mm, while it stands 59 mm tall. Meanwhile, the ET5's wheelbase is at 2,888 mm. With those figures, it's safe to say it sits in the larger end of the compact executive saloon market.
Moving to the interior, the theme is much like most EVs these days. There isn't much in the way of buttons, and its more screens and open spaces instead of buttons. Taking centre stage is the sizable infotainment screen that's more of a square than rectangular. It also has a flating 10.5-inch screen that serves as the instument cluster. The ambient lighting packs 256 colours, while audio is provided by a Dolby Atmos 7.1.4 surround sound system.
Not only that, the ET5 also has something called PanoCinema. Per the company, they call it a panoramic and immersive digital cockpit. It features AR and VR technologies their the automaker's partnership with NREAL. NREAL developed AR glasses exclusive to NIO, and it will be interesting to see it in action.
And now, for the powertrain system. The NIO ET5 uses a two-motor system, and there are three battery options available. The combined output of those motors is good for 483 bhp and 516 lb-ft of torque. Battery options are 75 kWh, 100 kWh, and 150 kWh.
NIO claims the ET5 can do the 0 to 62 mph sprint in 4.3 seconds. As for range, Chinese government figures stand at 341 miles with the 75 kWh pack, about 435 miles with the 100 kWh battery, and approximately 621 miles with the 150 kWh battery.
The company says it will begin delivering ET5s to customers by September 2022. Aside from China and Norway, NIO will sell the ET5 in Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Denmark in 2022. There are no mentions of UK plans for now.