NIO ET9 unveiled! With a pre-sale price of 800,000 yuan, the million-level executive car welcomes “Chinese players”

The million-level executive flagship sedan finally welcomes a Chinese player.

NIO Day 2023 came to an end with Xu Wei’s singing. This is still a warm NIO Day. Telling brand stories through the mouths of users has always been what NIO is best at.

But this time, Weilai has taken "high-end" to a whole new level, and it relies not on brands and services, but on real products. That is the newly released executive flagship sedan, NIO ET9.

Here is a summary of some highlights:

  • The first NT3.0 platform model
  • Body size: 5325mm*2016mm*1620mm, wheelbase 3250mm
  • Steer-by-wire and rectangular steering wheel
  • Executive four-seat space
  • Flight-style headrest with active noise reduction technology
  • MicroLED smart high-pixel headlights
  • Self-formal floating wheel logo design
  • Body-in-white torsional stiffness 52600Nm/Deg
  • China’s first full-range 900V high-voltage platform architecture
  • The world's first 5nm car-grade high-end smart driving chip

Next, let’s talk about ET9 and Weilai.

Li Bin: The most comfortable suspension system in the world

This can be called a milestone product – not just for Weilai, but for all independent brands.

The executive-level flagship sedan market has always been dominated by traditional brands. Specifically, the market is monopolized by traditional brands’ fuel-burning models—BMW 7 Series, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Audi A8L, and Porsche Panamera. Entering the era of smart electric vehicles, even if it is as powerful as Mercedes-Benz and BMW, it cannot achieve product change through models such as BMW i7 and Mercedes-Benz EQS.

Is it because traditional fuel vehicles have stronger product capabilities? Not really sure.

One of the biggest changes to the third-generation Panamera, released in November, is its Active Ride suspension system. Its controller strategy and air suspension response speed were unparalleled at the time.

In order to demonstrate the power of Active Ride, Porsche engineers came up with an idea – to achieve synchronous control of the vehicle's suspension through the gyroscope of the mobile phone.

▲Picture from: Weibo @ Chang Yan CY

Admittedly, this is indeed an intuitive display method, but it can only be used for demonstration purposes.

Let’s see how Weilai ET9 does it.

NIO ET9 adopts the world's first integrated hydraulic active suspension system that combines intelligence and high integration, called "SkyRide Tianxing Fully Active Suspension".

Each shock absorber of this fully active suspension is highly integrated with an independent electro-hydraulic pump and a brushless DC motor, which can also achieve microsecond-level information collection and processing capabilities and support extensive height adjustment to meet different needs. driving scene requirements.

Li Bin said that this suspension allows the ET9 to be lowered by 5 centimeters in one second to facilitate passenger entry. "The body can be lowered while unlocking."

In terms of traditional driving, as a newcomer challenging the "78SP" camp, NIO ET9 naturally cannot lag behind. Relying on the vehicle's high sensing capabilities, Tianxing's fully active suspension can judge road conditions in advance and respond quickly.

Let’s take a look at the test video released by NIO:

"Compared with the third-generation Panamera, NIO ET9 is one generation ahead." Li Bin said.

In fact, the fully active suspension is only part of the Tianxing chassis.

Xiao Baihong, head of NIO's vehicle application software, said that at a technical level, the Tianxing chassis system is currently the only fully wired intelligent chassis in the world that integrates three core hardware systems, including fully active suspension and wired steering. It consists of three core hardware components: rear-wheel steering and rear-wheel steering.

Thanks to the addition of wired steering, when NIO ET9 is in intelligent driving and parking states, the steering wheel can be retracted inward, effectively releasing the driver's leg space.

At the same time, it is very responsive in scenes such as low-speed parking and U-turns. The driver does not need to cross his hands to turn the steering wheel. With the rear-wheel steering system with a maximum steering angle of 8.3°, the minimum steering diameter of this executive sedan of over 5.3 meters is only 10.9 meters. .

In fact, NIO has been involved in the field of wire-controlled chassis since the first generation ES8. Except for the steering system, which is still a mechanical structure, the air suspension and braking systems have adopted wire-controlled control.

In 2017, when Weilai launched the first-generation ES8, in order to add a suitable "brain" to the air suspension and electronically damped adjustable shock absorbers, Weilai integrated an independent chassis electronic control unit ECU – which is why In 2023, Weilai can also upgrade the control software for air suspension models on the NT1.0 platform.

The 2021 ET7 goes one step further and has NIO's full-stack self-developed intelligent chassis domain controller ICC. This new brain ICC integrates control functions such as redundant parking, air suspension, and CDC dampers, and supports high-level intelligent driving scenarios with cross-domain integration.

On ET9, the "brain" of the fully wire-controlled intelligent chassis has evolved into the VMC intelligent computing platform, which fully mobilizes various wire-controlled hardware.

"Like a charismatic symphony conductor." Xiao Baihong said.

VMC realizes the decoupling of software and hardware, and combined with the flexible deployment of Tianshu SkyOS, it can expand new functions and new line control hardware. Like the first generation ES8, it can be continuously upgraded many years after its introduction. In NIO’s words, That is to have the ability to "evolve, iterate, and grow."

In terms of AD intelligent driving, VMC is connected to various actuators and integrates drive system, steering system, active suspension and other wire-controlled hardware to enhance vehicle motion control.

Of course, in the field of smart driving, we still need another brain – the smart driving chip.

Computing power is the new horsepower

From Tesla's Model S to NIO's ET7, the computing power of intelligent driving systems has increased thousands of times. In which direction will smart driving chips develop in the future? What kind of chip is a good smart driving chip? Is it "a large amount but a full control"?

Enough computing power only solves the problem of food and clothing. If you want to "become a well-off person," AD chips need to be built for security, data, and evolution.

Bai Jian, an expert on NIO's intelligent hardware, believes that although computing power is the "new horsepower" in the era of smart driving, smart driving chips should not only have computing power as an indicator.

On NIO ET9, NIO uses a new central supercomputing platform, ADAM 2.0, which supports the computing functions of six major sectors: intelligent driving, intelligent cockpit, body, power, and cloud domain.

In terms of hardware, ADAM 2.0 includes China's first 5nm high-end smart driving chip developed by NIO – Shenji NX9031, self-developed image signal processor ISP, and self-developed inference acceleration unit NPU. Computing and storage resources are completely pooled to achieve It enables the sharing of cross-domain computing resources for smart driving and cockpit.

Bai Jian believes that intelligent driving algorithms will evolve in the direction of end-to-end and large models in the next few years. Therefore, core components such as CPU, NPU, and MSP must meet the current BEV (bird's eye view), occupied network, end-to-end End-aware regulation also needs to consider the future and match end-to-end large model algorithms.

In terms of perception, NIO ET9's super-sensing system Aquila2.0 still uses NIO's iconic watchtower sensor layout. The difference is that ET9 adds wide-angle lidar on both sides, and the perception capabilities of the side and rear are improved. promote.

At the same time, in order to not be affected by extreme weather, NIO ET9 also uses 4D millimeter wave imaging radar for the first time. To introduce this radar, we have to start with the common millimeter wave radar.

As we all know, bad weather and lighting conditions will have a serious impact on cameras. At this time, millimeter wave radar can help the system recognize some standard static obstacles. However, millimeter wave radar also has its limitations.

For millimeter-wave radar, the sensitivity of the detection target to electromagnetic wave reflection will affect the detection results, such as rubber. Secondly, millimeter wave radar can hardly distinguish between gantry, signs on the side of the road, or stationary vehicles parked on the roadside. The reason can only be attributed to the low spatial resolution of millimeter wave radar.

4D millimeter-wave imaging radar is different. It solves the shortcomings of ordinary millimeter-wave radar's insufficient spatial resolution. It can effectively distinguish objects such as stationary and slow-moving vehicles, gantry and road signs, and can also capture small objects such as ice cream cones earlier. obstacle.

It is not difficult to find that in the era of smart electric vehicles, NIO has greatly expanded the safety boundaries of executive flagship cars with the help of strong sensing and computing capabilities.

As for the car body itself, the super torsional stiffness of 52,600Nm/Deg brought by high-strength steel, aluminum-magnesium alloy is enough to illustrate NIO’s emphasis on safety.

NT3.0 goes online, NIO moves towards 900V

In addition, the "9" in NIO's ET9 also contains the meaning of 900V – ET9 is the world's first model to adopt a global 900V high-voltage platform. Before that, the best choice for consumers was 800V.

Currently, there are three main types of mainstream 800V high-voltage platforms on the market:

  1. The entire vehicle supports 800V, that is, the vehicle's motor, battery, electronic control, air conditioning and other electrical systems all support 800V;
  2. Key components support 800V. For example, the battery electric drive supports 800V, while the air conditioner uses 400V;
  3. Only the battery supports 800V high-voltage fast charging, and other components are 400V.

The reason why car companies upgrade their flagship models to high-voltage platforms is that, firstly, the speed of charging and energy replenishment is greatly improved. Secondly, compared with the traditional 400V platform, high-voltage platforms can reduce the energy loss of various vehicle components to a certain extent. , thereby improving vehicle battery life.

Unlike some car companies that like to engage in "language art", the maximum bandwidth of all core high-voltage components of NIO ET9, such as batteries, motors, wiring harnesses, air conditioners, DC-DC, car chargers, etc., has reached 900V.

NIO believes that expanding the bandwidth limit to 900V can bring higher system efficiency, more extreme performance output, higher safety standards, and a better comprehensive energy replenishment experience.

For example, the silicon carbide motor customized for 900V on the ET9 can well reflect the advantages of the high-voltage platform.

This new car still maintains NIO's tradition of dual motors. The front motor is a 180kW induction asynchronous motor and the rear motor is a 340kW permanent magnet synchronous motor. The maximum speed of the rear motor exceeds 20,000rpm and the peak torque reaches 5,000N·m. The comprehensive power of the entire system reaches 520kW, which is nearly 700 horsepower.

Another highlight of the NT3.0 high-voltage platform used by ET9 is its charging speed. According to the press conference, the peak charging power of ET9's 120kW battery can reach 600kW, and the peak current can reach 772A. It can be charged in 5 minutes and has a range of 255 kilometers.

On the other hand, NIO has also put some effort into fast-charging supporting facilities, launching a new 640kW liquid-cooled fast charging pile and the fourth-generation NIO power swap station.

Among them, the fourth-generation NIO battery swap station has increased battery positions to 23, and the single battery swap speed has been shortened by 22%.

At the same time, 500V-1000V fast charging piles all cover the boost charging function. Cars of different platforms can be charged on the same pile, and there is no need to specifically find a charging pile that matches the vehicle.

In addition to the above-mentioned high-voltage platform design, the performance of the battery itself is also a major factor affecting the charging speed of the entire vehicle.

Zeng Shizhe, Vice President of NIO Battery System, believes that 900V power batteries should have the advantages of low internal resistance, low energy consumption, fast charging, safety, thinner and lighter, long battery life at low temperatures, etc. In this "all-in-one" requirement Next, NIO has specially developed super-charged cylindrical cells and battery packs for the 900V high-voltage platform.

This is a battery cell that integrates "high voltage + overcharge". This layout and design can make the battery have higher energy density, stronger performance, and better safety.

Summarize

The above is all the information about ET9 on 2023 NIO Day. Looking back at the configuration, positioning and pre-sale price of 800,000 yuan of this new car, it is not difficult to see that it is destined to become another Wei that cannot be "sold out". Come model.
Sales volume has never been the main theme of luxury models, and how to make a luxury model well will directly affect the luxury tone of a brand. This is a common problem faced by many new brands, and it is also the secret why traditional car companies can still maintain sales today. .
We summarize the luxury of the vehicle into three points:
  • Brand power
  • Actual texture
  • value added
The performance of all major brands in the first two items is pretty good, but in the exploration of the "value-added" part, NIO is more distinctive. It divides the user's value-added experience into two major parts – service and battery replacement.
At the press conference, Li Bin told us in a slightly tired and proud voice that NIO has built 2,309 power swap stations so far, and will continue its crazy "Thousand Stations Plan" next year. By the end of 2024, the total number of power swap stations is expected to be 3,310 .
Finally, I would like to sum up by borrowing a sentence said by Li Bin at the press conference:
The administrative flagship has always been a technical flagship.

*Xiao Fanbo also contributed to this article.

Anyone with wheels is interested and welcome to communicate. Email: [email protected]

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