NIO will unveil the ES7 at the end of May and start delivering the SUV in the third quarter to compete with the BMW X5L.

More spy photos of the NIO (NYSE: NIO, HKG: 9866) ES7 have started circulating on Chinese social media, as the model is expected to be unveiled at the end of this month.

Images shared by Weibo car blogger @汽车拍客阿睿 on Saturday evening show a camouflaged NIO ES7 on the street.

Although the vehicle is tightly wrapped in camouflage, its rearview mirror position reveals the body color in orange. Its calipers are also orange.

The model generally looks similar to the NIO ES6, although the roof has a LiDAR setup similar to NIO's ET7 and ET5 sedans.

More spy photos of NIO ES7 revealed ahead of planned unveiling in late May-CnEVPost

More spy photos of NIO ES7 revealed ahead of planned unveiling in late May-CnEVPost

More spy photos of NIO ES7 revealed ahead of planned unveiling in late May-CnEVPost

More spy photos of NIO ES7 revealed ahead of planned unveiling in late May-CnEVPost

More spy photos of NIO ES7 revealed ahead of planned unveiling in late May-CnEVPost

(Image credit: @汽车拍客阿睿)

Another Weibo car blogger @肉肉爸比ev shared images today showing the uncovered taillights of the NIO ES7, showing the run-through design.

The location where the images were taken is unknown, but there is a NIO battery swap station next to it.

More spy photos of NIO ES7 revealed ahead of planned unveiling in late May-CnEVPost

More spy photos of NIO ES7 revealed ahead of planned unveiling in late May-CnEVPost

(Image credit: @肉肉爸比ev)

On February 15, NIO co-founder and president Qin Lihong said the company would release the ES7, its first SUV on the NT 2.0 platform, in April, with deliveries scheduled to begin within the year.

But with the Covid outbreak in several parts of China, the Beijing auto show, which was scheduled for late April, was postponed, and a large number of the automaker's new product launch events were also postponed.

At the end of March, Qin said that the NIO ES7 will be unveiled at the end of May.

The NIO ES7 is positioned as a large five-seat pure electric SUV, between the ES6 and ES8, with the same level of intelligence as the two sedans, the ET5 and ET7, Qin previously said.

"Our delivery target for this year is up to the supply chain, and we will increase production capacity this year and deliver as much as we can produce," Qin said in February.

The SUV is the previously rumored model codenamed Gemini, which was misunderstood to be a new brand, but is actually a new model, Qin said.

The model is aimed at competing with the BMW X5L, which will be released this year, according to Qin.

NIO plans to start delivering the ES7 in the third quarter of this year, said William Li, founder, chairman and CEO of NIO, in a conference call following the release of its fourth-quarter earnings on March 25.

The total addressable market for midsize SUVs priced above RMB 400,000 is 200,000 units, and NIO has confidence in the ES7, Li said.

NIO sees the market for large five-seat SUVs growing quickly and does not think the ES7 will have an impact on sales of existing SUV models.

CnEVPost Daily Newsletter