For a model that is five years away from its debut, the ES8 could be the first to switch to the NT 2.0 platform.
(Vehicle information displayed in NIO App on November 23. From left to right, ES8, ES6, EC6.)
NIO may be phasing out the first model in the company's history to prepare for a facelift, the latest information from its mobile app suggests.
The NIO App is no longer showing the expected delivery date for the ES8, CnEVPost's monitoring shows. Previously the wait time for the model was about 2 weeks after consumers locked in their orders.
NIO currently sells six models in China, including three models based on the NT 1.0 platform -- the ES8, ES6 and EC6 -- and three models based on the NT 2.0 platform -- the ES7, ET7 and ET5.
The waiting time for ET5 is still not shown as before, while the wait times for other models remain the same, about 2 weeks for both ES6 and EC6, 7-9 weeks for ES7 and 3-5 weeks for ET7.
(Vehicle information displayed in NIO App on November 23.)
The ES8, NIO's first production vehicle, was unveiled in December 2017 and its delivery started in June 2018.
In December 2019, NIO unveiled the new ES8, which brought a number of improvements, and deliveries begin in April 2020.
NIO will launch five models in the first half of next year and will have a total of eight available models by June, William Li, the company's founder, chairman and CEO, said during a conference call after announcing third-quarter earnings on November 10.
Li did not provide more details at the time, but what can be expected is that the five models to be released will include the switch of the ES8, ES6 and EC6 to the NT 2.0 platform, as well as two other new models.
As a model five years from debut, the ES8 could be the first to switch to the NT 2.0 platform, allowing for more powerful assisted driving capabilities and a better cabin experience.
Spy photos of the allegedly LiDAR-equipped ES8 have been circulating on Chinese social media several times since later this year.
Weibo car blogger @肉肉爸比ev shared spy photos of what he meant by the model on August 30, saying it was significantly longer than the current model, meaning it had better third-row space.
On September 21, local auto media outlet Xchuxing shared more spy photos of what it said was the new ES8.