What is it like to drive?
Despite extensive use of CFRP and aluminium in its construction, the ES6 is a heavy thing. Not much less than 2.5-tonnes, a lot of which is down to the battery. At least the weight is nice and low, so it doesn’t roll about too much. But you can feel that heft in the way the ES6 rides and steers.
This is a car that would need a bit of suspension tuning, should Nio ever attempt to sell it in Europe. There’s a softness to it that makes it comfy enough around town, but on the motorway and country roads introduces loose body control that sees it bounce its way along somewhat inelegantly. It’s never going to rival the Jaguar I-Pace for handling – the ES6 isn’t massively at home being hustled – but it could definitely do with a bit of tightening up. But hey, if softness is what the Chinese really want, you can’t blame Nio for obliging.
The powertrain is impressive though. All ES6s are all-wheel drive – cheaper ones get a permanent magnet motor on each axle, but cars like the one we tried get a better induction magnet motor at the back, improving performance and efficiency. In such cars, you’re looking at 536bhp, 0-62mph in 4.7 seconds and a top speed limited to 125mph.
It delivers those numbers with the characteristic punch of a big, expensive EV. Shrugging off its weight to deliver acceleration the uninitiated would no doubt find genuinely startling.