VinFast is planning to enter the U.S. market with two electric SUVs that it introduced today at the 2021 Los Angeles Auto Show.
Aided by a $20.5 million state tax credit, the Vietnamese company plans to spend $200 million establishing a headquarters in the U.S. This facility will be located in the Playa Vista area of Los Angeles and house more than 400 employees across a 15,000 square-foot site. The two electric SUVs that VinFast will launch in the U.S. are the VF e35 and VF e36.
Let’s start with the VF e35, shall we? This SUV has been designed as a rival to the Tesla Model Y, Volkswagen ID.4, and Hyundai Ioniq 5. It has a modern exterior design that was penned by Pininfarina highlighted by split front headlights and a full-width LED light bar.
Elsewhere, the VF e35 sports silver trim across its side skirts and sits on multi-spoke black and silver wheels. The rear-end complements the fascia with LED taillights and an LED light bar that also has a V-shape, just like the front.
Found in the cabin of the VF e35 is a huge 15.4-inch infotainment screen and much like the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y, the VF e35 lacks an instrument cluster. The SUV also sports 14 cameras, LiDAR sensors, and 19 360-degree sensors that make it capable of Level 3 autonomous driving.
Technical specifications haven’t been announced but it is tipped to be offered in single and dual motor configurations with 201 hp and 402 hp respectively. It should be good for 285 miles (459 km) of range with the standard battery and 310 miles (499 km) with the larger battery.
The VF e36 Is A BMW X7-sized Electric SUV
As for the larger VF e36, it acts as a rival to the Tesla Model X and is similar in size to the BMW X7. It is reportedly powered by a dual-motor setup with 402 hp and fed by a 106 kWh battery pack. It will be offered with battery packs offering 301 miles (484 km) and 422 miles (679 Nm) of range.
VinFast also called on Pininfarina to design the VF e36. It has a boxier shape than the VF e35 but features similar LED light bars both at the front and rear, each complete with a V-shape in the middle. The exterior of the VF e36 also stands out thanks to a particularly intriguing C-pillar design. It also has a 15.4-inch infotainment screen like the VF e35 and is Level 3 self-driving equipped.
“We are deeply motivated to inspire our customers to be bold and join the revolution to EVs to accelerate solutions that will address this crisis,” VinFast Global chief executive Michael Lohscheller said in a statement. “VinFast believes that the ‘Future of Mobility’ will be one of smart electric cars that are highly personalized and integrated with technologies that benefit life and our environment. These vehicles will do so while meeting safety standards and delivering superior and comfortable driving experiences.”
Both the VinFast VF e35 and VF e36 will be available for pre-order in the first-half of 2022 with the first U.S. deliveries scheduled to start before the end of the year. VinFast will initially focus on the Californian market and wants to eventual open as many as 60 showrooms across the country.