Kris Tomasson’s NIO ET5 sedan seamlessly blends purity of design and hypercar DNA with luxurious style and progressive technology


Munich, Germany

Designed for intelligent living, the NIO ET5 by Kris Tomasson is the most compact car in NIO’s range of smart EV’s the ET5 perfectly encompasses NIO’s four key design attributes – “pure, human, progressive and sophisticated.”

Conceived in early 2020, the creative process took on a new direction as the world’s focus shifted in the wake of the pandemic.

Working in a digital sphere – and across dispersed locations -called for a revolutionary approach which harnessed these new stimuli.

From the first sketch to the road-going vehicle in just 28 months, ET5 was the design team’s most efficient design process to date.

Their belief was so strong that the first clay was delivered directly from one of their earliest sketches.

“The design notion of ‘purity’ is not about being about simple or basic. It is about essence,” explains Kris Tomasson, Vice President of Design, NIO.

“If you look at the exterior of the ET5, the forms are very pure, very organic. These blend perfectly with elements which embody the ‘human’ side of our mantra – found deep within NIO’s DNA – whereby they strive to make the form appear sculpted as if it’s been shaped by human hand.”

“Our commitment to progressiveness meanwhile, is realized in the way we integrate technology to enhance the user experience- such as the 33 sensors dedicated to autonomous driving.

ET5’s interior is designed to be a second living room – a relaxing and cocooning space that cossetting materials with the latest technology.

Inspired by exemplary furniture design and consumer electronics, the lounge-like cabin has been created specifically to accommodate the needs of both driver and passenger in this new era of transportation.

The cockpit is split by a horizon line – which forms a key element of the NIO logo. The first, slower ‘comfort’ layer, is where occupants interact with the car through seating, touch-points, and controls.

The upper “technology” layer, meanwhile, highlights progressive design through screens. Invisible air vents, and NOMI – NIO’s intelligent in-car virtual assistant.

A panoramic glazed roof brings the outside in while protecting against 99.9% of the sun’s UV rays. The bright interior is further complemented by natural and organic hues inspired by the earth including vetiver, sand, and terracotta.

With sustainability and longevity at its heart, ET5 features a range of recycled and more sustainable materials, including over 100 recycled standard PET bottles in each car.

The Clean+ Composite material uses natural minerals and plant fibres, which contribute to a 30 percent reduction in carbon emissions during the production process when compared with conventional alternatives.

On the road, ET5 fulfills its promise of energy efficiency – capable of covering up to 1,000km when equipped with the 150kWh “ultra-long range” battery.

The rear-mounted permanent magnet motor uses a SiC power module to reduce both energy consumption and noise refined driving experience yet not compromising on dynamic performance – including a 0-100km/h time of just 4.3 seconds.

Alongside the drivetrain, precision details such as flush door handles, frameless windows, and air curtains, improve aerodynamic efficiency.

Ready for tomorrow, the ET5 also features NIO Autonomous Driving (NAD). With NIO Aquila Super Sensing and NIO Adam Super Computing, NAD will gradually cover use cases of expressways, urban areas, parking, and battery swap to enable a safer and more relaxing intelligent driving experience.

Finally, the ET5 bristles with the latest in display technology – with PanoCinema offering an immersive digital experience featuring AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality) technologies, 256 customizable interior lighting colors and the 1000W 7.14 Dolby Sound System is complemented by the human-like breathing rhythmic speaker covers.

Project: NIO ET5 
Designers: NIO GmbH.
Lead Designer: Kris Tomasson
Manufacturer: NIO GmbH.


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