Nico Rosberg test drives the Nio ES8 electric SUV

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Formula 1 world champion Nico Rosberg was recently in China where he was able to visit electric car startup Nio and test drive the company's ES8, a twin-motor, mid-size SUV with 644 horsepower on tap.

He came away impressed with the vehicle's acceleration and handling, though he wasn't a fan of the aggressive energy recovery system which Nio says is still being fine tuned.

Rosberg was also impressed with the quality and technology, which includes a cute digital assistant known as Nomi that responds to voice commands and can handle multiple functions including finding destinations, your favorite music and your preferred vehicle settings.

2018 Nio ES8's Nomi digital assistant

2018 Nio ES8's Nomi digital assistant

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the Nio ES8 to Rosberg was the vehicle's price, which in China is roughly $65,000. Recall, this is a vehicle that can comfortably seat seven while sprinting to 60 mph in under 5.0 seconds. The range on a single charge is around 220 miles.

Nio's other model is the EP9 supercar, though the 1,342-hp beast is limited to just 16 units and all build slots are already accounted for. Visitors attending next month's Goodwood Festival of Speed will get to see the EP9 take on the British event's famous hill climb.

Nio plans to sell cars in the United States eventually but hasn't mentioned what models will come. The company has mentioned that an SUV with Level 4 self-driving capability will make it here around the end of the decade, though the timeline is ambitious and will likely be pushed back.

 
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