Nio is preparing to enter the upper-luxury sector with a new electric saloon, according to a Chinese media report citing an insider with knowledge of the Shanghai-based car maker’s future model plans.

Claimed to be in the early design and engineering phase, the new four-door has reportedly been conceived around a price of more than RMB1 million (£116,000) – almost twice that of its existing most expensive model.

It will also be sold under the Nio brand name and will compete with the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class in terms of luxury, the source told AutoHome.

The new flagship Nio saloon is set to be unveiled in 2024 and sold globally, the person is quoted as saying.

The new saloon model is said to be part of plans to provide the Nio brand with a higher market position.

Its most expensive model to date, the ES7 SUV, has a base price of RMB 548,000 (£63,800) in China.

In a recent statement to the media, company president Qin Lihong said the average price of Nio models sold in China was RMB 466,000 (£54,000).

Nio has previously indicated that it is working to enter the volume electric car market with a separate sub-brand. It is being developed under the internal working titles ALPS.

In an interview with Chinese media in 2021, Nio CEO William Li said the company had established an engineering team for the new sub-brand.

Li said ALPS models have been conceived to compete in a price segment between RMB 200,000 and RMB 300,000 (£23,000-£35,000).

Recent rumours have also suggested Nio is working on a third brand under the name Project Firefly. It has reportedly been conceived for markets outside China.


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