New 2023 Nio ET5 Touring: 482bhp electric estate revealed
Chinese firm Nio presents its answer to the electric estate car, with up to 482bhp and a chassis designed to take on Europe’s best
With the insatiable market demand for electric SUVs and crossovers, we’ve barely scratched the surface of battery-powered estate cars in these early days of electrification. Sure, there’s the MG5 and the Porsche Taycan Sport Turismo, but more mainstream manufacturers are yet to make waves in the sector, and Chinese brand Nio is aiming to fill that void with an electric estate of its own: the ET5 Touring.
Based on the BMW i4-sized ET5 saloon, the Touring will hit the roads towards the end of this year to target European buyers. It won’t be available in the UK initially, but given the appetite for estate cars on our shores there’s every chance it might be in future, particularly if it wins over customers elsewhere. With a promising set of specs and a chassis tailored for European roads, it could do just that.
The ET5 Touring rides on Nio’s bespoke NT2.0 electric car platform, featuring a dual-motor powertrain for sports-car-baiting performance. With a 201bhp motor driving the front axle and a 281bhp unit at the rear, the ET5 Touring generates a total of 482bhp and sprints from 0 to 62mph in 4 seconds – within a whisker of the BMW i4 M50, and quicker than a Porsche 911 Carrera.
Nio offers two battery options with the ET5 Touring, both of which are relatively large to accommodate the energy demands of the motors. The smaller 75kWh unit provides up to 270 miles of range, while the 100kWh model extends this to 348 miles, and these figures are possible thanks in part to the Touring’s competitive 0.25 drag coefficient. The battery pack is removable too, with Nio’s innovative Power Swap service allowing users to install a fully charged unit in less than five minutes, rather than plugging in. Power Swap stations hardly exist in Europe for the time being, though.
The packaging constraints of EVs bring certain compromises in practicality, and the ET5 Touring’s 450-litre boot falls 50 litres short of an equivalent petrol-powered BMW 3-series Touring. Nevertheless, the Nio’s battery layout enables a 50:50 weight distribution and a low centre of gravity, and the firm promises ‘sharp handling and composure’ having carried out the model’s development programme in Europe.
The ET5 Touring offers an advanced tech suite powered by an NVIDIA chipset, which supplements the car’s driving assistance features and onboard LiDAR sensor. Inside, there’s a 10.2-inch digital dash set behind the steering wheel, with a larger 12.8-inch portrait touchscreen mounted to the centre console and providing media controls, climate settings and navigation. The decluttered, button-free design is reminiscent of other EVs such as the Tesla Model 3, but Nio has given the ET5 Touring its own flavour with composite material finishes and its ‘Nomi’ virtual assistant, which sits on the dashboard as an animated face that responds to the driver’s requests. A quirky touch in a resolutely sensible sector.
We don’t yet know how much the ET5 Touring will cost, but the saloon version is priced from €59,500 (£50,800) in Germany, with the 100kWh model costing €68,500 (£58,500). Expect the estate version to command between €2-3000 more.