The first electric SUV could make its debut as early as next year.

The arrival of the NIO EP9 electric supercar was… shocking, to say the least. With 1,341 horsepower (1,000 kilowatts) under the hood, and 0-60 mph (0-96 kmh) of about 2.6 seconds, it’s well within hypercar territory. But parent company NextEV doesn’t want its NIO brand to be known exclusively as a builder of high-performance vehicles.

According to Automotive News, the company is allegedly working on a number of all-electric SUVs, MPVs, and even a sedan to compete with the likes of Audi, BMW, and most importantly, Tesla, but with a price tag that rivals offerings from Toyota. It will be "as good as or better than the Tesla [Model X] but cheaper. It will be positioned at Audi and BMW but with a Toyota price," said NextEV co-founder Jack Cheng.

The first example of the proposed affordable luxury car will come in the form of the ES8. That car is expected to make its debut at the Shanghai Auto Show in April, with U.S. sales expected to begin late 2018 or early 2019.

Soon after the debut of the ES8, the smaller ES6 SUV will hit the scene sometime in 2018. The ES6 will rival current SUV offerings like the BMW X3, Volvo XC60, and Tesla Model X, while the ES8 is expected to be a larger, possibly three-row offering. An ES9 is expected to follow, but there is no time table on when that model will debut.

Though the company is still unclear on how it plans to go about building these upcoming new SUVs, it does say that it hopes to partner with a current Chinese car maker, likely JAC, one of the largest auto conglomerates in China today.

Source: Automotive News


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Gallery: NextEV Nio EP9