Nio to launch ultra-luxury Maybach-like sedan in December, sources say

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Nio president and co-founder Qin Lihong said the company would launch a major product on Nio Day in December. According to a CarNewsChina source familiar with the matter, it will be a 1 million yuan (140k USD) luxurious electric sedan to compete with the Maybach S class in China.

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Last December, Chinese media reported Nio was developing its most expensive car, an ultra-luxury Maybach-like electric vehicle that will be unveiled in 2023. Nio CEO William Li previously announced that it would not launch any new product in 2024. According to China car reviewer Sean from Telescope, a former Nio employee, the new sedan will be launched in 2025.

Mercedes-Maybach S-Class. Credit: Mercedes

Nio Day will be held in Xi’an in December; the exact date hasn’t yet been announced.

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According to Chinese automotive media AutoHome, the flagship sedan will have a Nio badge and won’t be operated by any subbrands coming in 2024 (Alps, Firefly) dedicated to entry-level vehicles.

According to Telescope, the new saloon will sit on Nio’s new NT3 platform, being the first EV to be equipped with Nio’s self-developed autonomous chip. It will also have an extra long wheelbase of 3.3 meters. It is so long it will be on the upper limit of what a third-generation Power Swap Station (PSS) can handle. This means it won’t be possible to battery swap in 1.0 or 2.0 gen PSS.

Nio unveiled a new generation 300 kW motor in August, and the new flagship EV will almost certainly feature it.

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Nio has had a lot on its plate recently. Aside from moving upmarket with the new flagship sedan and moving downmarket to offer more affordable EVs under Alps and Firefly brands, it is also developing its chips, maintaining a battery swap station network, and navigating complex expansion into European markets where it faces BBA (Chinese term for German trio Benz, BMA, Audi) on their home ground. 2024 will be a challenging year for the Hefei-based automaker as it won’t launch a new Nio-badged product; only a few facelifts are expected, and it will need to market and prove the latest sub-brands. We will keep an eye on it.

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