On June 15th, 2022, the long-awaited NIO ES7 was finally released with a price range of 468,000 yuan to 548,000 yuan, filling the gap between ES6 and ES8 just as its name suggests.
On February 15th this year, NIO held a full-day marketing workshop in its NIO Center at Shanghai’s Wanda Plaza. At that time, Qin Lihong announced that a mid-to-large-sized SUV based on the NT2.0 platform, named ES7, would be launched in mid-April this year. The competitors will include the BMW X5L.
However, due to the escalating epidemic situation in Shanghai in March this year, the city responded to the government’s call to enter a lockdown state, which also caused a great blow to the automotive industry. Therefore, the ES7, originally planned to debut in April, was postponed until today’s release.
Fortunately, this did not affect the normal delivery of NIO ES7. According to the financial report for Q1 2022, NIO ES7 will begin delivery on August 28th. Today, after the release event, we take you to have a first look at the static performance of NIO ES7 and how users who are still observing in this range should choose.
It’s a NIO Design
The appearance echoes the ET7
As the first SUV under the NT2.0 platform, NIO ES7 continues the overall styling of the three SUV models – ES8/ES6/EC6 (hereinafter referred to as 866), but it echoes the 7 series ET7 in the details.
The front part of ES7 adopts the same X-Bar design element as ET7, which continues the Design for AD concept. That is to say, NIO ES7 adopts a new-generation enclosed front face design, with the air intake grille moved to the lower part of the front bumper, without too much color matching or chrome decoration. Therefore, the similarity between the front face design of ES7 and ET7 is quite high, and it is more concise and decisive compared to the existing 866 models.
Due to its support for NAD, the NIO ES7 also features the “three-corner” design similar to that of the ET7 on the roof. The protrusions on the left and right sides are 8 million-pixel visual sensors, while the center is an ET7-style 1,550nm laser radar.
The layout scheme of the roof camera and LiDAR has become more and more diverse. Whether it is good-looking or not, I won’t make too many comments, but NIO’s “Three Corners” design can be considered the optimal solution that balances functionality and design. Moreover, the presentation of drag coefficient and wind noise has not been affected by this shape.
On the side of the car, the design of NIO ES7 inherits the style of ES6. Whether it is the corners behind the wheel arches, the shape of the lower bumper, or the body lines at the rear wheel arch, they are very similar to ES6.
Even the position of the charging port is the same as ES6, located in the front fender. This is also the most controversial point of ES7 among users. As a mid-to-large-sized SUV with a length of nearly 5 meters and a width of nearly 2 meters, it is very troublesome to park into a parking space for charging.
Even if you manage to park into a charging spot, it’s very likely that you will get stuck and unable to move when the cars on both sides are parked too close to you.
Although ES7 is already equipped with the latest NT 2.0 platform, the main reason why the only DC charging port is still located on the front fender is that the white body of ES7 is based on the original 866. Although I firmly oppose the design of putting the charging port in the front of a car, the all-aluminum body of 866 and the integrated hollow-cast aluminum rear subframe are still very advanced technologies.
It is worth noting that the position of the front fender is occupied by the charging port, so the ADAS camera cannot be placed in the same position as ET7. Instead, the camera is located at the wheel arch, where there is a risk of collision due to the protrusion.
The ES7’s door handle is a highlight on the side of the car. Although the style is consistent with the 866, the improvement of the ES7 is that, like the ET7, there is a touch sensor on the back of the handle. Even if you don’t pull the handle, if you touch the back of the handle with your hand, the door will automatically open. This to a certain extent improves the twisted experience of the previous single-sided pop-up, and the electric suction door is standard across the entire series, which is also a major advantage of the ES7 compared to products of the same level.
The car body color still adopts the design of a black roof with dual colors, and has cancelled the chrome suspension decoration strip that originally ran from the A-pillar to the D-pillar, giving it a more cohesive appearance.
ES7 provides 8 colors to choose from for the car body, and the displayed colors of the showcase car are “Space Blue” and “Sunburst Orange”, both of which are quite textured colors that young consumers will love. In mid-May, when the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology exposed the ES7, it was painted in cloud white, and the overall visual experience was very good, especially when paired with the dark LED taillights on the rear end. This effect requires an additional payment of 9,400 yuan for Porsche’s optional package.
Speaking of taillights, this is also the first time NIO has used a through-style taillight set on its own SUV, so the ES7’s rear design has also undergone some changes compared to the 866.
After the spoon-shaped taillights were removed, the license plate frame was cleverly hidden under the through-style taillights. Because the corners of the rear end were reduced accordingly, it looks very simple, just like the front of the car. It can be expected that NIO’s new SUVs in the future will all adopt through-style taillights.
According to the official introduction from NIO, the ES7 features diamond-shaped sculpture craft in the through-type taillights, consisting of 202 LED lights. Similar to the ET7, there are upward flying wings on both left and right sides. The taillight strip narrows into a very thin through-line in the middle, creating high recognition and stunning night-time effect. We recommend having a personal experience by checking it out live.
Generally speaking, ES7’s design is filled with NIO Design’s flavor, making it easily recognized on the road as a new NIO model. Moreover, the simplified design gives ES7 a touch of futuristic technology compared to its predecessor, the 866 model.
More Layered Interior
Stepping into the car, you will notice a strong “NIO flavor” in the interior, following ET7’s overall design. As a result of ES7’s SUV styling, it has more abundant layering sense in its interior design.
This sense of layering is something friends who have experienced the 866 model should be familiar with. ES7 maintains the design of a concave auxiliary driver’s position and still lacks a glove compartment, which also leaves sufficient space for the queen’s co-pilot. The protruding air conditioning vents were modified into a hidden electric duct type, with the original air vent location replaced by Karuun renewable rattan used on the ET7 model, and an understated matte metal decorative strip outlines below the rattan, presenting a sophisticated texture not found on the ET7.
One of the surprising features is that NIO has included the queen’s co-pilot feature in the ES7, which originally required an additional RMB 8,500 cost for the ES6. It is a move to align with the flagship ES8, making the design of the co-pilot console concave and the glove compartment removal more meaningful.
The steering wheel design has been amended from a double-spoke style to a three-spoke style, which looks more harmonious. The grip groove, which was absent on the ET7, has finally been restored, making the handling easier during aggressive driving.
The size of the LCD instrument panel is 10.2 inches and the central control screen is 12.8 inches. The screen material is an AMOLED material that can achieve full black without emitting light. The narrowest part of the border is only 5.5 millimeters. In addition, with the 8155 vehicle chip, the user experience is worth affirming, which is consistent with the ET7.
It also includes the speaker with a maximum power of 1,000 watts. I have experienced it on the ET7 before, playing NIO Radio’s 7.1.4-channel album that supports Dolby Atmos. It can give the experiencer the experience of being in a live music scene. Close your eyes and you can clearly perceive which corner the drum beat is coming from in the car.
This time at the ES7 launch event, the AR glasses jointly developed with NREAL were mentioned again. According to NIO’s introduction, it can project a large screen equivalent to 201 inches (4,400×2,500) within a visual range of 6 meters. In the demonstration scene, two people leaned half on the trunk and experienced it, which looked quite romantic, but I don’t know how the actual experience will be. Personally, I am looking forward to the use of this AR system.
The buttons on the door panel are simplified, similar to the ET7, and the physical button for adjusting the rearview mirror is integrated into the vehicle system and can be adjusted through the steering wheel’s buttons. From this angle, it is even difficult to find any difference from the ET7.
When you look up, you will immediately notice some clues. The electronic unlocking button of ES7 has been changed to the style of Tesla Model 3 and Leapmotor C11, integrating the button into the door handle. Both methods are convenient, but I still prefer the door opening method of ET7, which feels slightly more comfortable.
As for the cockpit, ES7 did not bring us many surprises. The overall design and configuration are within our expectations, and there is no big gap compared to ET7, except that the design and sophistication of the interior have been slightly improved.
During the shooting, I found myself sitting on this seat of ES7 for a long time. To be honest, compared with the seat of ES6 that I experienced before, the seat of ES7 has made great progress. Both the comfort and the support of the filling are good, and it is equipped with ventilation, heating, and massage.
Here, I couldn’t help but sigh that the new forces have finally been able to make a good seat. Don’t think that the seat is just filling a few sponges. In fact, the sponge materials used in different positions are different. First, the seat safety must be met before talking about comfort. It is very difficult to adjust the seat, and the seat adjustment data is generally controlled by foreigners and joint venture brands. This is also why the new forces always feel a little lacking in seats.
Space Experience of the Large Five-Seater
One of the biggest highlights of ES7 this time is the experience in the rear seats. Let’s review the wheelbase again. The wheelbase of ES7 reaches 2,960 mm, which is 60 mm longer than that of ES6, and only 50 mm different from ES8 with three rows.
Therefore, the space in the rear is very intuitive, but there is still a certain gap compared with the 3,060 mm of ET7. However, for daily use, it is completely sufficient and more than enough.When we test drove the ET7 before, we found that due to the constant height of the battery module (140mm) and the need to be compatible with all identical specifications of interchangeable batteries, the ET7’s ground clearance is higher than normal. Although the ET7 has tried to compensate for this by reducing its body height (1509mm), the vertical space experience in the rear seats is not optimal. However, since the ES7 has an SUV shape, it can still have a decent headroom while being compatible with the interchangeable battery mechanism.
The central headrest in the back seat has a foldable design, which allows the driver to have a better rear window view when there is no one in the middle seat. In the case of passengers, it still ensures their safety.
In addition, the ES7’s rear seat configuration is also very rich, and comes with heating and comfortable seats as standard, ensuring strong comfort even during long trips, preventing the phenomenon of back pain in a short time.
The rear interaction screen also appears on the ES7, integrating control for rear seat heating, front passenger seats, media playback, and air conditioning functions. However, in my opinion, when the vehicle is in motion, you would need to switch from a half-sitting, half-lying posture to a bending and stooping posture in order to operate it. With the movement of the vehicle, there is a risk of being thrown around while attempting to click on the screen. Traditional BBA setting an operation button or equipping a small tablet on the rear armrest would be more reasonable.
The seats of ES7 have 6-way power adjustment, 4-way lumbar support adjustment, and 2-way backrest angle adjustment. Among them, the backrest angle adjustment supports infinite electric adjustment of 23° to 31°, which is quite a wide range. When adjusted to the maximum of 31°, it is consistent with X5L from BMW and can provide a very comfortable experience.
With its electric adjustable backrest angle, ES7 can still achieve a 4/6 split-fold even when laid flat. This is mainly due to the ingenious locking mechanism of the ES7, where the locking linkages can follow the seatback to move in sync.The trunk is also one of the highlights of the ES7’s space. First of all, it is very large in absolute space. The maximum volume of the trunk is up to 658 liters, and the maximum depth of the space after the second row is folded down reaches 1,880 mm. In other words, the rear seats can be turned into a bed in seconds, and you can directly fall asleep in camping mode.
Secondly, the trunk of the ES7 has a certain degree of expansibility. There is a very flat storage space under the cover, and the depth, width, and height are all very sufficient. It is very suitable for daily storage of some miscellaneous items such as shoes, floor wax, and car wipes.
The rear row and space of the ES7 are armed to the teeth to some extent, which is leading among the same level models. However, it is far from perfect. The lack of ventilation function in the rear row of the ES7 is a big regret. ET7, which is also in the 7-series, is equipped with rear seat ventilation function, so this is also caused by positioning differentiation.
Towing is a highlight
The camping mode mentioned earlier, the large trunk space, and the 1.88-meter depth of the second-row fold-down easily remind people of motor homes. Therefore, at the press conference, the most surprising scene appeared. ES7 appeared towing a motor home. This entry method undoubtedly caught the audience’s attention.
In the past, electric tow hooks only appeared on travel cars and SUVs in Europe and the United States for towing trailers, and Chinese independent brands rarely involve this demand.
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In recent years, with the popularity of pure electric cars and the increase in cruising range, camping has become more and more popular. In early June, NIO also launched an integrated charging and discharging machine for camping to improve the convenience of camping, plus the launch of the C6 driver’s license in China, towing trailers and motorcycles have also become formalized.
In addition to the electric trailer hook, the ES7 also has 3 kW discharge and camping modes. A very comprehensive camping equipment can also be purchased in the NIO store. With complete and convenient supporting facilities, it will make people more willing to try camping and make camping a way of life.
At the same time, according to the information released by the MIIT on June 8th, the NIO ET5 and XPeng G9 will also be equipped with electric trailer hooks, which will also become a major trend in the future.
For pure electric vehicles, towing a trailer is a double-edged sword. Pure electric vehicles come with large batteries and can supply power to electrical equipment very comfortably. However, when towing a trailer, power consumption increases significantly and cruising range decreases, which is uncomfortable.
Speaking of this, I have to raise a question. Is it more convenient to go to a battery replacement station when towing a trailer? After all, there are staff who can help you dismantle and install your trailer and arrange parking spaces.
Powerful Performance, Expecting the Driving Experience
In terms of power, the NIO ES7 is equipped with the same front 180 kW permanent magnet motor and rear 300 kW induction motor as the ET7, with a maximum power of 480 kW and a peak torque of 850 N·m. The zero-to-one hundred kilometers per hour acceleration time under semi-load conditions is only 3.9 seconds. This acceleration performance is considered very fast for a large and medium-sized SUV, even equivalent to the one of the BMW X5M, and it has become the fastest accelerating NIO SUV with just one move.
# Performance and Chassis of NIO ES7
It is inherent advantage of electric cars to have fast acceleration, as the motor doesn’t need to wait for the speed to rise to achieve maximum power output, and won’t lose time due to gear shifts. Achieving extreme performance is not a difficult task.
However, it is not an easy task to develop a chassis that can hold such strong and violent power. First of all, to go fast, you need to be able to stop quickly, so a set of excellent tires and brake systems are crucial.
ES7’s braking system uses four-piston fixed calipers, coupled with 355 mm brake discs and NAO (non-asbestos organic) brake pads, which can achieve low noise and environmental protection while ensuring braking force.
According to the official introduction by NIO, the stopping distance of ES7 from 100-0 km/h is 33.9 meters, which is excellent. Based on the test-driving experience of ET7, the brake pedal performance of ES7 will also be very linear and predictable. Of course, this is also related to the four Pirelli P0 tires with a width of 265 mm.
Secondly, the performance on the chassis. NIO ES7 also features ICC intelligent chassis, which is composed of single-chamber air springs and CDC electromagnetic dampers. It provides different chassis feedback according to different road conditions and driving modes.
The adjustable stroke of the air spring is 90 mm, and it has five modes: -40 mm / -25 mm / -15 mm / 0 mm / +50 mm.
The NIO 866 SUV was originally tuned for comfort, with good shock absorption ability, but the premise of comfort was that sacrifices were made with softer suspension tuning. Therefore, once the driving becomes intense, due to the lack of support from the softer suspension, the vehicle will show obvious front and rear pitch and left and right tilt, coupled with slight steering instability, giving a feeling like sailing. This makes it difficult to establish communication and confidence between the vehicle and the driver.
Currently, the NIO ET7 from the NT 2.0 platform gave me a nice driving experience, able to balance comfort and sporty driving, and the steering feel is also quite solid, which may be due to its sedan characteristics.
There is also certain enhancement on the sports-oriented ES7. The H-arm rear suspension is used to strengthen the support of the lower control arm to the lateral and longitudinal forces, which can enable the vehicle to have better control and shock absorption effects.
As the first SUV under the new platform, I still have great expectations for the handling of this car.
In terms of range, benefiting from the new platform and low aerodynamic drag design, the 2.4-ton ES7 with a 75 kWh battery can achieve a maximum range of 485 km, and with a 100 kWh battery, the maximum range can reach 620 km. Compared with ES6 and ES8, it has improved significantly in range.
In terms of ADAS, the NIO ES7 uses the hardware of the ET7. In addition to the conventional ultrasound and millimeter-wave, it has a 360-degree surround perception system composed of seven cameras, and a 1,550-nm laser radar from Luminar with a maximum angular resolution of 0.06°H × 0.06°V and an equivalent of 300 lines in terms of beam, which has excellent perception capabilities and can have good recognition of scenes such as pedestrians or non-motorized vehicles that cross the road.
Combined with high-precision maps, four Orin X chips, and other hardware, compared with competitors such as the Tesla Model Y and BMW X5L, while ensuring the basic ADAS experience, it can achieve higher-level ADAS functions to further release the fatigue of the driver.
In conjunction with the ICC intelligent chassis, the vehicle will adjust the chassis independently during the process of ADAS, in addition to comfort configurations. This is very consistent with NIO’s concept of the second living space.
In the first quarter conference call, Li Bin announced that NIO will launch the NOP Plus enhanced navigation assistance function based on the jointly developed self-developed high-precision map with Tencent in the third quarter of this year. At that time, we will also try out NOP Plus specifically with ET7.
The launch of NIO ES7 actually fills the gap between ES6 and ES8 using the existing platform. Priced between 468,000 yuan and 548,000 yuan, the ES7 sits right in between the ES6 priced between 368,000 and 478,000 yuan, and the ES8 priced between 486,000 and 576,000 yuan, and overlaps with the price of the ES8 to a certain extent.
If you are considering the performance version or signature version of the ES6 and would like to choose advanced surround sound, comfort package, HUD, and queen’s co-pilot configuration, it is better to purchase the ES7 directly. Because when these configurations are added to the ES6, the price is already very close to the entry-level ES7, and the ES7 provides more space, more comfortable rear seats, and better performance under the required functions of the standard configuration. At the same time, for users who do not require 6/7 seats, the practicality and space of the ES7 will also be further improved.
For BMW X5L, buying the ES7 can not only directly reduce the car price by about 150,000-200,000 yuan, but also has power and comfort configurations that are no less than those of BBA’s midsize SUVs, including a higher level of aftermarket services and user experience.
Therefore, the total sales of ES6/EC6 can already compete head-on with Q5L, GLCL, and X3, but it can be expected that the sales data of ES7 will not be particularly high, because it is relatively small in the high-end market of X5L and GLE. Therefore, the goal of NIO ES7 is not to help NIO increase sales, which is what ET5 needs to do. Instead, ES7 once again helps NIO to improve its image in the high-end SUV market.
Starting from the third quarter of this year, three NT 2.0 products delivered by NIO will be available, which means that half of the six products delivered so far come from NT 1.0 and half come from NT 2.0. This year is also the time for the mass production of NT 2.0, and the addition of fresh blood makes NIO’s product lineup more vibrant. As for sales, there is no need to rush at present.
This article is a translation by ChatGPT of a Chinese report from 42HOW. If you have any questions about it, please email email@example.com.