Exclusive: Nio gives its EVs a "European flavour" in Oxfordshire

Since then, each of Nio’s eight production models – including the ET5, ET5 Touring, EL6, ET7 and EL7 sold in five European countries – has benefited from its input. Most specifically, this has been focused on chassis tuning, in which the UK-based engineering team is taking an increasingly prominent role.

“We develop specific suspension tuning for each market region, taking into account the differing demands of customers and differing road conditions,” he says.

It wasn’t until 2021 and Nio’s entry into the Norwegian market with the ES8 that its first European-specification model was launched.

Like those planned for the UK, that model receives its own chassis tuning for Europe, with steering, spring, damper, and bushing characteristics differing from those applied to the ES8 sold in China. They are characteristics that have now been brought to other Nio models currently sold in left-hand-drive European markets.

Teobaldi says: “Most Chinese customers place a premium on secondary ride, so shock absorption is important. They are more tolerant to large body motions.

“European customers, without generalising too much, are the opposite. They want good body control, so damping is very important. At the same time, they are more tolerant to ride harshness.”

Oxfordshire, says Teobaldi, is the perfect location for Nio to refine that bespoke dynamic character: “We draw on specialist engineers and world-class testing facilities. 

It also provides great scope for technology scouting. There are developments here that you don’t see anywhere else.”

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