World-class SUV: Is the appearance of the NIO ES8 good enough?

On March 6th, DENZA officially released the appearance of their second SUV model, DENZA N7, which they call a “world-class SUV”.

This reminded me of Xu Jiang’s classic line in the movie “Kuang Biao”: “What level are you? The same as me?” (“你什么档次?跟我用一样的?”)

Is the appearance of DENZA N7 international enough?

Who is N7?

According to DENZA’s official plan, their cars will be developed into five major series: D, E, N, Z, and A, with D being the MPV series and N being the SUV series.

This year, DENZA will release two SUVs named after the letter “N”, including N7 and a mid-size SUV with a 6/7 seat layout.

DENZA N7 is the first product in the N series, a mid-size sporty SUV with a 0-60mph time of 3 seconds.

At last year’s Chengdu Auto Show, DENZA showcased a concept car named “INCEPTION”, which was internally defined as a “world-class SUV” product.

This concept car is the prototype of DENZA N7. DENZA claimed that even though it was a concept version, the overall design was already very close to a production car.

High recognition!

As a sporty model, the appearance of DENZA N7 conveys this label in a very straightforward way.

The front face adopts DENZA’s family style, with relatively simple lines and a full overall look.

The downward sloping hood forms a prominent “bullet head” surface that can split airflow to reduce wind resistance when driving, while also giving a dynamic sense of diving when viewed statically.The upper half of the lamp group is the headlight, which is spliced together in a shape similar to an arrow feather, and it also has an embedded design that “opens the corner of the eye”.

The lower half of the lamp group is the daytime running light, and the design is very recognizable. It adopts the “meteor arrow” design, with direction and lines that echo the headlight lamp group.

“DENZA N7” also has two laser radars placed at the fog lamp positions on the left and right sides of the front face. This position is consistent with XPeng’s route, and the overall look is integrated with the color of the black decorative pieces, without any sense of violation. In terms of appearance, the route of the “horns” on the head of NIO and Ideal is more complete.

However, compared with the “horns” on the top, the main difference of this position is that it is easier to be scratched due to a lower field of view angle. After collisions in the later stage, if the laser radar is damaged, the maintenance cost will be a considerable number.

The rear of “DENZA N7” adopts the popular through-type tail light design, but the design of the two sides, similar to a saw-tooth, enhances the sense of power of the extended rear while increasing the identification of the tail.

The rear end also adopts a design similar to the front fog lamp, forming an echo.

The side is very sporty

The side lines of the body most illustrate the label of this car’s sportiness, and the overall design is a streamlined design.

The side lines of “DENZA N7” are very smooth, and the roof line reaches its peak in front of the B-pillar and begins to slope down. The muscular lines on the door handle are pulled upwards, and the waistline below is also raised synchronously, forming a visual trend of a sharp angle.

If we carefully observe the proportion of the window area to the door area, we will find that it is very close to 1:2, which is the same design concept as many sports sedans and SUVs.

The NIO ES8 has 20-inch rims and a 5-spoke design.

From the side, another sporty detail is visible when viewed from a 45-degree angle from the rear. The protruding rear fenders give the vehicle a very solid and strong appearance. This design has also been used in the Porsche Macan and the Aston Martin DBX.


The NIO ES8 embodies a mature and sporty SUV design. What is most commendable is that the complicated design details that are usually prevalent in domestic brands have not been overused in this vehicle. Instead, the lines are restrained enough to be as simple, smooth and coherent as possible.

This subtraction design approach tests aesthetic principles more than just piling up high-end elements, and it can become a “friend of time” and go global.

As the second model of the NIO brand’s new generation, the NIO ES8 not only shoulders the title of “world-class SUV”, but also the responsibility of the entire brand’s sales. The success of this vehicle hinges on its actual price, so, how much do you think NIO will sell this car for?

This article is a translation by ChatGPT of a Chinese report from 42HOW. If you have any questions about it, please email