2024 Nio ES8 - Design Review
Dropping from a B rating, the new ES8 is a step into the wrong direction. But, how could that be? Let's take a look.
NIO has moved its product line from being an alternative to an I.C.E. product, to now running in the EV ring. This is no more true than up front, as the hard edges and great lines, have given way to a double chin. Where there was once a front grille, there is now a nose protrusion. The great looking intake gills, have given way for oversized running lights without any accents fins. And up on the hood, they have removed any form of character in favor of clean edge lines.
Running along the side profile, NIO has toned down the beltline and removed the accents. This gives the ES8 a smoother side profile, but pulls any sport appeal away from the entire layout. With no defining lines now, the ES8 could only be saved by the new rim layout. But the addition of side cameras adds a feature which does not blend in well.
Out back NIO has done away with any hard defined character lines, in favor of a seamless look. This bodes well for its image of a clean design, but adds in a CopyCat factor borrowed from Lincoln. Without the hard edge lines, NIO has moved over to a clean wrap around tail light which blends well, but does not make this rear stand out from the crowd. The best design feature is the fact that NIO has buried the rear wiper into the upper spoiler. This adds onto their new clean line design profile.
NIO has done a wonderful job at moving the ES8 into a new world of Premium products. But has failed to keep its sport appeal alive. The once great appeal of a crossover with some character to it is now gone. Pushed out by clean lines and blended windows, this new product is a step out of what we had come to expect.
Moving further up the Premium food chain is one thing. But sacrificing your original image in place of a new one. That could push a few of your original customers away. Let's just hope their original image can be moved over to the new entry level brand NIO is working on.
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