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Is the six-seat Nio EL8 the world’s fastest spa on wheels?

Nio EL8 promises 0-62mph in 4.1s… and a Hot Stone Massage experience. Sounds vigorous

Published: 14 Jun 2024

The new Nio EL8’s gameplan appears to be two-fold: bludgeon your senses with masses of power and torque, then let them recover by depriving them of any and all stimulation. Proper rock in one hand, bandage in the other stuff.

First, the arsenal: the EL8 twins a 241bhp permanent magnet front motor with a 402bhp induction unit on the rear for a grand total of 643bhp and 627lb ft. Ooft. 0-62mph takes 4.1 seconds, merely a beat behind the (much smaller and lighter) MG4 XPower. Six-piston front brakes aid big stopping power too.

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And that’s while carrying a massive 100kWh battery (there’s a Standard Range 75kWh alternative), needed to propel the EL8 317 miles on one charge. We might’ve expected more, given the slippery drag coefficient of 0.25Cd.

Inside there’s a choice of two six-seat layouts, made possible by being 5,099mm long, 1,750mm tall and 2,199mm wide, inclusive of a 3,070 mm wheelbase. The first gets 14-way adjustable rear seats; the second gets 12-way adjustable Ottomans, and a ‘smart’ fridge.

Everything’s finished in a roll-call of sustainable materials: rattan, soybean foam cushions, Haptext synthetic leather, sugar cane, castor oil… it’s all in there. The headlining is the world’s first plan-based woven suede, claims Nio.

There’s also an in-car fragrance system. No, really. It promises ‘woodland freshness’ apparently, plus ‘waterfall’ LED ambient lighting and a 23-speaker, 2,300W surround sound system.

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Now the deprivation stuff: laminated glass and more than 50 'acoustic treatments’ are designed to shut out the outside world, while dual-chamber air suspension, continuous damping control and noise-reducing tyres work in tandem to keep you as undisturbed as possible. 20in rims are standard, with 21s and 22s optional.

Anything else to note? More safety aids than you can shake a risk assessment at, a 16.3in HUD and 12.8in central display, multi-beam adaptive matrix LEDs, LiDAR (with detection up to half a kilometre) and 2,000kg of towing ability. Oh, and an 810-litre boot if you collapse seats five and six.

So Nio’s finally coming to the UK, right? Erm, no. At least, not yet. The EL8 will be rolled out in Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden, before Nio takes stock on how to approach the rest of Europe.

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