Second-gen Nio ES6 due in UK with new platform and 490bhp

Chinese premium car brand Nio has launched the second-generation of its ES6 SUV, which is tipped to form part of its line-up when it launches in the UK next year, at the Shanghai motor show.

The Audi Q8 E-tron and Mercedes-Benz EQC rival was launched in 2019 and is the firm’s best-selling model in China. Despite only being three years old, this second-generation model is a comprehensive reworking, including a switch to a new platform. 

While previously sharing a core architecture with the larger Nio ES8, the second-generation ES6 – expected to be called the EL6 in Europe – now uses the same steel platform as the Nio ET5 saloon. As a result, the machine has a slightly stretched wheelbase, and also sits around 50mm lower.

Much of the focus of the second-generation EL6 has been on revising Nio’s design language, and upgrading the interior quality and feel of the car.

Kris Tomasson, Nio’s vice-president of design, described the machine as a “more evolved product” that featured styling that was “a hybrid of SUV and saloon language.”

Styling changes include a new version of Nio’s split headlight design, and a more rakish, coupé-esque rear roofline. There’s also been a major focus on improving the equipment levels inside the car, with a reworked fresh design intended to offer greater interior space.

While Nio has yet to release full details of the machine, it will continue to offer all-wheel-drive, with power lifted from around 435 to 490bhp. It will featuring continuous damping control to ensure a stable ride, and like the ET5 will also be offered in China with a high level of autonomous driving hardware.

The machine will continue to use Nio’s 70kWh battery, which will give it an official range of just over 300 miles. The unit will be compatible with Nio’s Battery Swap Stations, which can switch out an empty battery for a new, charged one in less than five minutes.

Nio has now expanded into Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden, and currently offers the ET5 and ET7 saloons, and the larger EL7 SUV. 

The firm is currently putting the finishing touches to its UK expansion plans, with a new country manager in place. It will launch here next year with right-hand drive models, and is planning to build battery swap facilities.

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