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Upstart Vietnamese EV maker VinFast reveals two SUVs

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Electric vehicles are coming, and if you needed further proof, there’s a new EV manufacturer making a push into the US market. VinFast is a Vietnamese automaker that is now focusing all of its resources on EVs and discontinuing making internal combustion automobiles (that were only available in Asia).

During last year’s LA Auto Show, VinFast showed off a couple of its vehicles, but during the 2022 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), VinFast went “all in” on EVs and revealed two all-electric SUVs that will be sold in the US market.

The nomenclature is simpler now. Previously, its EV models had double digit numbers and a lower case (to signify it was electric). Now, to clear things up and prepare for the US launch later this year, VinFast will have two different electric SUVs.

VinFast VF 8

What is the VF 8?

The VF 8 is a midsize SUV, which hits at the heart of the cut-throat SUV segment. The five-passenger EV looks the part of other vehicles in this segment. The front end lacks a traditional grille, indicating that it’s an EV. Otherwise the looks are fairly traditional.

Many of the details are not available, including the actual range. However, according to VinFast, the estimated range of the VF 8 will be just more than 300 miles. Dimensions from its website show the VF 8 comes in at 187 x 74.8 x 65.3 inches.

Unlike other EVs, the horsepower, torque and 0-to-60-MPH times aren’t mind blowing. VinFast says the VF 8 will have 402 horsepower (with 300 kW output) and 472 pound-feet of torque and an estimated 0-to-60-MPH time of 5.5 seconds. There are certainly faster vehicles out there, but this would indicate VinFast is targeting families rather than trying to impress young people with status symbols.

Most importantly, the VF 8 has a starting price of $41,000. The VF 8 is targeted to be available toward the end of this year, but a model year and actual release date is not yet known.

VinFast VF 9

What is the VF 9?

The VF 9 is based on the same platform and underpinnings as the VF 8, but it’s bigger. It’s a six- to seven-passenger full-size SUV. It has the same 300 kW output and thus will have slower 0-to-60-MPH times as it weighs more and has bigger dimensions.

According to the VinFast website, the VF 9 has overall dimensions of 201.5 x 78.7 x 67.7 inches and the same 402 horsepower/472 pound-feet output as the VF 8. The big difference is the range is better for the VF 9 as the automaker estimates the range to be 422 miles.

Starting price jumps to $56,000 for this larger SUV. The VF 9 is targeted to be available toward the end of this year, but again, a model year and actual release date is not yet known.

The bottom line on VinFast

Like Rivian, Fisker and Lucid, it’s good to have outlier competition trying to come in on Tesla (the original outlier) and now the major auto manufacturers. Competition and options for consumers are good, too.

There will be a natural distrust and uncertainty about a unknown entity from an unknown brand, so regular consumers may withhold their spending to see how these vehicles fair. Thus, whether VinFast can truly make a splash here remains to be seen. But we will be watching and reporting. You can learn more about VinFast and their story on their website.

What are your thoughts about this Vietnamese EV manufacturer? Interested or skeptical? Leave us your comments.

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Jimmy Dinsmore

Jimmy is News Editor for PickupTruckTalk with an expertise in new vehicles. He is also a Ford Mustang historian having authored the book Mustang by Design (available on Amazon). His second book, about the history of Ford's F-Series truck comes out next year.

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