Vietnamese automaker VinFast plans to leverage the world’s transition to EVs to become a global brand. The company will enter western markets with new electric vehicles, including a three-row electric SUV called VinFast VF e36.
Introduced at the LA Auto Show in November 2021, the VinFast VF e36 is an E-segment SUV. It looks identical to the VinFast VF33 unveiled in January 2021, and it’s probably a renamed version of that model. VinFast has decided to use the ’33’ number for a new B-segment electric SUV in 2023 – VinFast VF e33.
The VinFast VF e36 is a conventionally designed, wide-shouldered SUV that could appeal to American large SUV customers. The strong and masculine exterior’s main highlight is its wraparound glass that provides a seamless transition from the profile to the rear. Along with the sleek windows lying on the same horizontal axis, it forms an interesting X-shaped motif on the sides and enhances the SUV’s sophisticated exterior.
The interior of the VinFast VF e36 is clean and minimalist, making the least possible usage of physical controls. A large landscape central display is the focal point of the cabin. First-time EV buyers might have a hard time adjusting because of the omission of an instrument cluster. Quilted leather upholstery, brushed aluminum panels, and open-pore wood inserts, and mood lighting would help set an upscale ambiance. Highway pilot, traffic jam pilot, autonomous parking, and summon mode should be among the available ADAS features.
The VF e36 will be the flagship model in the VinFast line-up. The company plans to build it in high quality to meet the high standards of safety agencies in North America and Europe. It is targeting a 5-star safety rating from NHTSA and Euro N-CAP. Due to its large dimensions and batteries, the VF e36 could be quite heavy and thus require a high-performance powertrain. VinFast plans to fit two motors that generate 300 kW of total power and 640 Nm of total torque. 550 km (342 miles) is the driving range the company is targeting, and it will likely achieve that with a 106 kWh battery pack.
VinFast plans to launch the VF e36 globally in March 2022. The company has confirmed the U.S., Canada, Germany, France, and the Netherlands as its first overseas markets in the West. It has already launched a U.S. website where people can register their interest in its products – vinfastauto.us.
VinFast will import EVs initially, but it doesn’t see that as a long-term setup. In an interview with Reuters, Michael Lohscheller, CEO, VinFast, said that the company plans to start making its EVs in the U.S. in the second half of 2024. Lohscheller sees VinFast U.S. production as “an incredibly important strategic decision.” “We want to do everything locally,” Lohscheller said. VinFast may start taking pre-orders for the VF e36 in the U.S. in the spring of 2022 and begin deliveries in the fourth quarter. The Vinfast VF e36 price should be announced in early 2022.
VinFast is looking for investors to fund its electrification and global expansion. Three people in the know of developments at the company have told Reuters that the company is in talks with Qatar Investment Authority (Qatar’s sovereign fund) and BlackRock among others to raise approximately USD 1 billion in equity. Lohscheller had said in the interview that VinFast may launch an IPO in the U.S. in the next one or two years.
Featured Image Source: VinFast