Vietnam's VinFast reveals three electric SUVs, plans to open orders this year
VinFast tossed around a lot of "self-driving" terminology as it aims to become a leader for "smart" electric cars.
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
Remember VinFast? Of course you don't. It's a startup based in Vietnam that's hell bent on becoming a global automaker, and it supposedly debuted its first two cars back in 2018 in Paris. Well, that sedan and SUV are apparently dead because this past Friday, VinFast revealed three new electric
Full disclosure: There aren't any details on the SUVs' architecture nor their electric powertrains, save for basic specs, but VinFast is confident it will open the order books for two of the SUVs in the US, Europe and Canada this November. What the company did share are specifics about where each model fits into its respective segment.
The first is the VF31, about the size of a
. VinFast calls it a C-segment SUV, though such vehicles are usually larger. Think of it as a subcompact SUV. The VF31 will come in two variants: one with 200 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque, and a less powerful model that makes 114 hp and 140 lb.-ft. of torque. Both will share a 42-kWh battery pack, a single motor and go 186 miles on a charge, so says VinFast. This one isn't for the US, Canada and Europe, however.
The second is, following an alphanumeric hierarchy to a T, the VF32. It will compete in the D-segment (
Edge-size machines) and feature two electric motors and make 402 hp and 472 lb.-ft. of torque. A second version will scale things down with a single motor and 201 hp and 236 lb.-ft. of torque, but a 90-kWh battery will serve both versions, according to VinFast. The company did not provide a range estimate for the VF32.
In fact, the details grow even slimmer for the third SUV, the VF33. All VinFast said was to expect two electric motors, a battery capacity "up to" 106 kWh and 342 miles of range. Tossing numbers out is simple. Building cars is difficult.
VinFast also incorrectly characterizes its "self-driving" technology across the board, and groups various systems such as driver-assist alerts as autonomous technology. Each car will, according to VinFast, offer some sort of lidar system that promises Level 4 automated driving, though you might consider bringing your salt shaker. Not even Waymo can make the claim yet with its extensive amount of testing. Also hang onto that salt shaker, as VinFast describes a futuristic interior for each SUV that includes facial recognition, artificial intelligence and a multilingual virtual assistant.
I'm not saying that none of this is possible, but these are precious few details for three SUVs gearing up to launch locally this May, and opening for orders globally just months later. VinFast has made a lot of promises here, and now we'll need to see if it delivers.
Check out the cars from Vietnam's first automaker, VinFast