VinFast might be a new automotive brand from Vietnam, but it certainly has global intentions. I mean, why else did you think the company hired Pininfarina to design its cars? I’m not sure from which part of the planet you’re reading this, but if you are from the United States and hold a VinFast VF 8 electric SUV reservation, you might be one of the lucky few first individuals to get your hands on one of the stunning new electric automobiles on the planet.
VinFast has shipped the first batch of 999 VF 8s to the United States—aboard the Silver Queen—a Panamanian cargo ship—and is expected to arrive at a Californian port in less than three weeks from now. The first VinFast customers in the U.S. can expect their cars by the end of December 2022. VinFast claims to have received over 65,000 global orders for VF 8 and VF 9 combined, and following the deliveries in the U.S., the company will start shipping to Canada and European markets.
While the styling was taken care of by Pininfarina, it appears that VinFast approached Magna Steyr (and most likely BMW too) for things under the skin. Why do I say BMW? Because VinFast’s first products were a sedan and an SUV based on the 5 Series and the X5, respectively. Which means that those who buy these freshly baked products are in safe hands, I think. I mean, the company has sought help from industry veterans, so nothing to worry too much I hope. Remember, Sony’s EV concepts too were helped by Magna Steyr.
But anyway, the VinFast VF 8 is slightly larger than a Porsche Macan and about the size of a Tesla Model Y. Prices in the U.S. start at $42,200 + a monthly battery subscription fee of $169 (fixed for lifetime). The monthly subscription covers battery repairs, maintenance, and replacement costs. Just to be clear, the battery is present in the vehicle but its cost is excluded from the vehicle purchase price. Or, if you don’t wanna deal with the monthly subscription plan, you’ll have to pay $57,000 outright which includes the battery pack price.
Buyers can choose from Eco and Plus trims; the latter gets extra features such as 20-inch wheels (21-inch optional) versus 19-inch in the Eco, a panoramic sunroof, and a powered tailgate with a kick sensor.
Key features on the inside include a 15.6-inch central display, a heads-up display, leather upholstery (leatherette in Eco trim), and an auto-dimming mirror (standard mirror for the Eco trim).
You get all the usual ADAS stuff you’d expect, such as Traffic Jam Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, Highway Driving Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, Blind Spot Detection, and Automatic Emergency Braking.
Regardless of the trim you choose, the VinFast VF 8 packs a dual-motor AWD powertrain. But of course, you’re not getting the same output figures. The Eco Trim offers you 260 kW (353 metric hp/348 bhp) and 500 Nm (369 lb-ft), while the Plus trim boasts 300 kW (408 metric hp/402 bhp) and 620 Nm (457 lb-ft).
As for the battery pack options, you got 82 kWh (usable) standard range and 87.7 kWh (usable) long-range, offering estimated WLTP ranges of up to 418 km (260 mi) and 470 km (292 mi), respectively, in the Eco trim, and up to 399 km (248 mi) and 446 km (277 mi), respectively, in the Plus trim.