Nio, one of a handful of Chinese electric carmakers aiming to be Tesla competitors, just teased its next mass-market car, expected to debut at the Shanghai auto show later this month.
Its latest car looks set to be a four-door luxury fast-back, perhaps similar to shadows of a car known as the EVE Vision shown in earlier Nio press materials as following the SUVs. It's sleeker and perhaps smaller than that angular hatchback, though. The teaser shot suggests the ET7 would have rear-hinged "suicide doors" in back, though the picture is far from clear.
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Nio calls the concept the ET7, and says that it will feature the company's new "comprehensive power solution" it calls Nio Power, perhaps including new proprietary battery cooling technology.
The company says the ET7 will include the now requisite show-car Level 4 self-driving technology—easy to include in a concept car that doesn't yet drive anywhere, with or without a driver.
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The ET7 follows Nio's ES8 flagship eight-passenger SUV and the slightly shortened six-passenger ES6, as well as the EP9 electric supercar for the track.
Nio has become known as one of the more serious Chinese electric car companies after it raised $1 billion on the New York Stock Exchange in September, and because of its success with the EP9, ES8, and in fielding a team in electric Formula E racing. In its earnings report for the first quarter, Nio said it delivered 3,898 vehicles, about 5 percent higher than expected.
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It has grown to 9,000 employees after starting just five years ago. The company says it is focused on the Chinese market, but plans eventually to export cars to the U.S. as well. It has a design, engineering, and manufacturing centers in San Jose, California, as well as Shanghai, Beijing, London, and Munich, Germany.
More details will be revealed at the Shanghai show media days, April 16 and 17.