The ET9 is now available for pre-order in China, with a pre-sale price of RMB 800,000, or roughly $112,150.

(Image credit: Nio)

Nio (NYSE: NIO) has officially unveiled the ET9 in an attempt to enter a market in China that is dominated by foreign brands, including Mercedes-Benz Maybach.

The Chinese electric vehicle (EV) maker officially unveiled the four-seat executive flagship sedan at Nio Day 2023, held today in Xi'an, Shaanxi province in northwest China, which will come with a host of industry-leading technologies and will come with a hefty price tag.


After unveiling the ET9, Nio founder, chairman, and CEO William Li announced that the sedan will be available for pre-order starting immediately, with a pre-sale price of 800,000 RMB ($112,150) and deliveries set to begin in the first quarter of 2025.

Li emphasized ET9's technological leadership several times during today's launch, saying that an executive flagship model must be a technology leader.

In the executive flagship market that the ET9 is targeting, no local Chinese carmaker has had any success before.

A few days ago, Li said the executive flagship sedan market is one that has been largely inaccessible to Chinese brands, but in the era of smart EVs, the executive flagship model must be a technology flagship.

"So I think there's an opportunity for Chinese companies to get involved," he said.

The ET9 is packed with a number of the latest technologies, and they are the result of Nio's heavy investment in research and development over the past few years.

The model will be the first to carry Nio's own 5nm process-based Shenji autonomous driving chip, which Li says is capable of rivaling four Nvidia Drive Orin chips, which are now standard on all of Nio's NT 2.0-based models.

The ET9 will be built on a 925 V ultra-high-voltage platform and will be equipped with Nio's in-house developed 46105 large cylindrical battery cells, resulting in better energy performance and faster charging speeds.

Current high-voltage systems for mainstream EVs typically range from 230-450 V, which is commonly referred to as a 400 V system. The industry is moving from the 400 V voltage platform to 800 V, which has a typical voltage range of 550-900 V.

The ET9 will be powered by a battery pack with a capacity of 120 kWh and a single battery cell has an energy density of 292 Wh/kg. The pack supports 5C fast charging and can get a range of 255 kilometers on a five-minute charge on the 640-kWh charging pile that Nio will start installing in a few months.

Li cautions, however, that even though the charging speed is industry-leading, it's still no match for Nio's battery swap system, which gets a fully charged battery in three minutes. Like all of Nio's other models, the ET9 will support battery swap.

The ET9 has large dimensions, which is what the Chinese market usually demands from a premium model. The sedan measures 5,324 mm in length, 2,016 mm in width and 1,620 mm in height, and has a wheelbase of 3,250 mm.

For comparison, the Nio ET7 sedan measures 5,101 mm in length, 1,987 mm in width and 1,509 mm in height, with a wheelbase of 3,060 mm.

The ET9 will be the first Nio model to utilize steer-by-wire (SBW) technology, which allows the steering wheel and wheels to be completely decoupled and is a key component of the drive-by-wire chassis, responsible for lateral control of the vehicle.

As an important technology for automotive intelligence, SBW is not only necessary to enable high-level autonomous driving, but will also give intelligent cockpit design greater scope for imagination.

In October 2022, Nio signed a strategic cooperation agreement with German tech giant ZF Group in Munich, Germany, to collaborate in areas including SBW products.

Nio didn't specify, but the ET9 appears to use ZF's SBW technology.

The ET9 will also use rear-wheel steering, a technology that is now starting to be used in more high-end Chinese EVs, allowing the vehicle to handle corners more easily.

As a D-class vehicle, the ET9 has a steering diameter of just 10.9 m and a rear-wheel steering angle of 8.3°, according to the company.

Another feature of the ET9 highlighted by Li at today's launch is the powerful intelligent suspension system, which allows for better comfort.

Each damper of the suspension is highly integrated with a proprietary electro-hydraulic pump that supports 50 mm of height adjustment in 1 second, and a controller with microsecond information acquisition and processing capabilities.

To demonstrate the capabilities of the suspension system, Li showed a demonstration video of an ET9 prototype with a four-tiered tower of champagne at the front of the car going over a speed bump without spilling the champagne.


Li's presentation showed the technology coming from ClearMotion, the Nio Capital-backed US advanced suspension startup that aims to make car rides less bumpy.

On September 8, 2022, Nio Capital announced that it led a $39 million funding round for ClearMotion.

On August 16 of this year, Nio Capital said that ClearMotion's first production facility began construction in Changshu, Jiangsu Province in eastern China, and is expected to be operational in the first quarter of 2024, with product deliveries beginning in the fourth quarter.

In addition, the ET9 will have a strong safety profile, with a body-in-white torsional stiffness of 52,600 Nm/Deg, which will be the highest of any Nio model.

Li also emphasized that the ET9 has seven levels of redundancy, including drive, braking, steering, sensing, computing, communications, and power distribution, with computing redundancy meaning the model will carry two Shenji chips to back each other up.

Chinese customers can now reserve the model by paying a deposit of RMB 5,000, which entitles them to a RMB 5,000 discount on the final purchase price and 100 hours of exclusive chauffeur service.

($1 = RMB 7.1333)

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