2017 Auto Shanghai: Nio ES8 image

The Chinese automaker – most famous for the EP9 electric supercar – has presented in front of the worldwide audience of the 2017 Shanghai motor show their first production model – the ES8.

The first series production model for the company comes in the highly-disputed SUV segment and represents their flagship offering – a large, seven seat crossover with a fully electric powertrain. It will be offered in in China towards the end of the year and we should get more details closer to that date – the company hasn’t provided pricing info or too many technical specifications. We do know this is squarely set against the Tesla Model X just like Faraday Future’s FF91, with the ES8 being a fullsize SUV at more than 196 inches (4.97 meters) long with an ample wheelbase of 118 inches (3 meters). All body panels and even the chassis use aluminum everywhere, and there’s also an active air suspension for a smooth ride.

2017 Auto Shanghai Nio ES8 4

The hulking SUV will boast electric motors at both front and rear for an AWD system, and the ES8 will even feature a technology we’ve seen before but seemed abandoned – a swappable battery pack for fast and easy recharging. Nio says everything is ready for production – supply chain and facility – and the ES8 has been thoroughly tested in Yakeshi in Inner Mongolia at temperatures dropping to -22 degrees Fahrenheit (-30 degrees Celsius). Meanwhile, in Melbourne and Mildura, Australia, it had to endure temperatures of more than 104 °F (40 °C).

2017 Auto Shanghai Nio ES8 5

Defining features include a corporate X-bar front fascia, “Spark Beat” taillights, flush door handles and a floating roof via the blacked-out pillars. Inside, the center console boasts a huge portrait-oriented touchscreen and the driver uses a digital instrument cluster. By the way, Nio has said it will take pre-orders for the record-breaking EP9, costing $1.48 million a pop and being sold in a ten-unit production run.