Nio ET9 will have fully wire-controlled chassis, company executive reveals

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Nio’s Head of Vehicle Application Software, Xiao Baihong, shared details about the upcoming flagship EV on his Weibo. It will be the world’s first car equipped with an intelligent, fully wired-controlled chassis, according to Baihong.

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Nio ET9 will be unveiled on Nio Day, which will be held on December 23 in Xi’an. It will be an ultra-luxurious sedan to take on Mercedes Maybach opulence. The EV will have a swappable 150 kWh semi-solid state battery and be built on Nio’s NT3 platform with 900V charging. Despite being unveiled this month, it won’t launch next year, but customers will need to wait until 2025. The price is expected to be around 1 million yuan (140k USD).

Chassis-by-wire enables automakers to shift from mechanical to electronic control systems and emphasize connectivity. Simply put, a wire-controlled chassis means that most of the car is controlled electronically, not mechanically.

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The key elements of chassis by wire include throttle by wire, gear shift by wire, suspension by wire, steering by wire, and brake by wire. Baihong announced that the ET9 would be fully wire-controlled, so we can expect all the critical parts to be controlled electronically.

Chassis-by-wire is also an essential step in autonomous driving implementation as it makes it possible to remove the accelerator pedal, brake pedal, and steering wheel.

The ET9 will be equipped with a VMC (Vehicle Management Computer), which is responsible for decoupling software and hardware and integrating the drive system, braking, and other wire-controlled hardware such as steering and active suspension. “The vehicle’s brain has evolved into VMC, which takes care of all the wire-controlled hardware,” Baihong explains. VMC is further data-driven, enabling it to evolve.

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Nio ET9 will also feature an Intelligent Chassis Controller system (ICC) that controls air suspension and a continuous damping control (CDC) system. Simply put, the CDC controls shock absorbers electronically and can be adjusted to be more sporty and comfortable. ET9 will also be able to adjust air suspension and CDC settings simultaneously, enhancing the driving experience.

According to Baihong’s prediction, in the next 3-5 years, Nio’s wire-controlled chassis and VMC intelligent computing platform will become a technological benchmark for high-end smart EVs.

ET9 spy shots

“Talking about executive flagship sedans, there’s Mercedes-Benz’s Maybach, the S-Class, the BMW 7-Series and Audi A8. And then there are some sporty ones like Porsche’s Panamera,” William Li said during a live stream testing of 150 kWh battery last week. “Regarding technology, ET9 is ahead of the latest Porsche Panamera. Regarding space, it is comparable to Maybach,” Li concluded.

Nio ET9 was recently spotted in Nio’s parking lot in China, covered in heavy camo. It confirmed it would be a massive Maybach-style limousine, and CarNewsChina, from a person familiar with the matter, said that the car would be about 5.3 meters long with a wheelbase of 3.2 meters.

Nio has developed the entire ET9 stack in-house, and the company wants to use it also for NT3 technological promise showcasing and brand building. The announcement sparked discussion in China about whether those technologies will pass the homologation process and get approval for public roads.

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