Chinese electric premium brand Nio will name its car the ET5 Orion, a source with knowledge of the matter has told Autocar.
The new car, a rival to the BMW i5 Touring, has been spotted on an advertising shoot in Norway ahead of its launch later this year and shows an elegant rebody of the ET5 saloon.
The new ET5 Orion estate will be aimed at European customers and will also be made in right-hand drive for sale in the UK. “It’s a very beautiful car. It has a lot of interior space, including rear headroom,” William Li, Nio CEO, told Autocar ahead of the Shanghai motor show in April.
Li last year said that Nio would launch in the UK at the end of 2023 and has already hired a managing director to oversee sales of the brand here: Matt Galvin, previously commercial operations boss at Volvo UK.
However, Nio has since pushed back the UK launch to 2024, the brand confirmed at the Shanghai show.
The brand will launch with the Tourer and ET5 saloon, a rival to the Tesla Model 3 and Hyundai Ioniq 6.
Nio will also introduce battery swap stations in the UK to allow owners to change their batteries in around five minutes, giving the brand a useful selling point if it can install a decent-sized network.
Cars will be exclusively leased, either for a fixed period or via a more flexible subscription model that will enable customers to hand back their vehicles with as little as a month’s notice.
Nio launched its brand globally in 2016 at an event in London but restricted sales initially to China. The brand moved to Europe in 2021 starting in Norway, before expanding last year to Sweden, the Netherlands and Denmark.