NIO CEO confirms ET9, an executive flagship challenging Maybach

Less than two weeks after speculation began to swirl regarding this week’s NIO Day 2023 event and which new model we might see unveiled, the Chinese automaker’s founder, chairman, and CEO William Li has come out and confirmed it will be the ET9. Hailed as an executive flagship sedan, NIO hopes the ET9 can compete against Audi and Mercedes-Maybach in a luxury segment that’s tough to crack.

As we touched upon earlier in December, NIO Day is an event we look forward to toward the end of each year, as it always promises the debut of new EV models and relative technologies. In the past, we’ve seen NIO unveil its flagship sedan, the ET7, followed by the debut of the ET5.

Last year’s event included unveiling NIO’s ES8 and EC7 SUVs, pushing the automaker’s lineup to eight available EVs. Later this week at NIO Day 2023, we know that the EV family will grow by at least one model that features nomenclature that consists of a letter and a number. The higher the number, the more premium the EV.

Weeks after NIO’s CEO revealed the automaker would unveil a new flagship EV model during the event, William Li has now confirmed the debut will, in fact, be the ET9 sedan.

NIO founder, Chairman, and CEO William Li testing out solid-state batteries / Credit: NIO/Weibo

NIO ET9 confirmed and will debut on December 23

During a recent solid-state battery range test in its ET7 sedan, NIO recorded the 1,044 km (639 miles) drive on a single charge, posting a live stream to Weibo. With 3% battery remaining after the 1,000+ km journey, NIO’s range milestone is a celebration in itself. Still, it’s what founder William Li said during the drive that was just as interesting:

On NIO Day December 23, we’re going to unveil an executive flagship sedan, the ET9. When it comes to executive flagships, you know there’s Mercedes-Benz’s Maybach, the S-Class, the BMW 7-Series, and the (Audi) A8. And then there are some sporty ones like Porsche’s Panamera.

There you have it. The NIO ET9 will debut later this week and will arrive as the automaker’s more premium luxury sedan to date, looking to compete with the big dogs in luxury. NIO is already considered by many to be a luxury EV brand, so it will be exciting to see what sort of technology and design it will bring to the ET9 to push it to the executive echelon.

To date, Chinese brands have struggled to penetrate the ultra-luxe executive sedan segment, but Li thinks NIO’s technology offers an opportunity for the automaker to compete. NIO Day 2023 will occur on December 23 at the Xi’an Olympic Sports Center in northwest China’s Shaanxi Province.

Following the NIO Day event, we will post a recap and share all we learn about the flagship ET9 sedan. Check back soon.

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