Vietnamese automaker VinFast is getting ready to enter the European and North American markets with a pair of electric SUVs.
The company’s e35 mid-sized SUV and e36 large SUV made their global debut this week at the 2021 Los Angeles motor show.
The SUVs were designed in partnership with Italian design company Pininfarina and will be produced at VinFast’s 3,350,000 square metre production facility in Haiphong, Vietnam.
VinFast global CEO Michael Lohscheller announced the company plans to have open orders available to global markets by the North American spring (March to June 2022) and will deliver its first electric vehicle (EV) by the end of 2022.
The e35 mid-size electric SUV has been designed with “modern proportions” that marries soft curves with crisp lines.
With two rows of seating, it measures in at 4750mm long on a 2950mm wheelbase and will be available with the choice of two electric drivetrains.
The standard model has a single electric motor rated at 150kW of power and 320Nm of torque, while the premium variant has dual-motor all-wheel drive with a total system output of 300kW and 640Nm.
Fitted with a 90kWh battery, the e35 has a claimed range of 504km, although the automaker doesn’t list what efficiency standard it uses to calculate this.
There will also be a 2.0-litre petrol engine variant available in certain markets that produces 141kW and 280Nm.
The e36 large electric SUV has a boxier silhouette with a ‘wide-shoulder style’.
With three rows of seating, it measures in at 5120mm long with a 3150mm wheelbase.
Just one dual-motor drivetrain is offered with a total system output of 300kW.
This is powered by a hefty 106kWh battery as standard, for a claimed range of up to 550km.
There’s a petrol option too for certain markets, in this case a 2.0-litre petrol engine rated at 170kW and 350Nm.
VinFast was able to do all of the research and development (R&D) for these electric SUVs in-house by leaning on its VinGroup sibling companies, VinAI and VinTech.
On both electric SUV models is VinFast’s unique ‘V’ front-end lighting signature that starts at the front emblem and sweeps out to the corners of the vehicle, as well as its ‘Dynamic Balance’ design language.
Inside the VinFast electric SUVs is a standard 15.5-inch landscape-oriented touchscreen infotainment display that houses almost all of the vehicles’ functions.
There’s a ‘Zen Mode’ that allows owners to remove all of the unnecessary information with a swipe of the touchscreen and can display an image like a digital photo frame.
VinFast’s chief design officer, David Gillet Lyon, says the interiors of the VinFast electric SUVs evoke the themes of ‘simplified technology’ and ‘hand-craftsmanship’.
The VinFast e35 and e36 electric SUVs will also be sold with a 10-year warranty that the company says “encourages consumers to switch to EVs”.
VinFast is best known to Australians as the company that briefly set up shop Down Under, before pulling the pin on Australian development.
It recently put the ex-Holden owned Lang Lang proving ground up for sale, with the expressions of interest campaign finishing today.
The company also closed its Australian design and engineering office in Port Melbourne, Victoria earlier in 2021.
There were plans for the company to develop its next-generation petrol and electric cars on Australian soil with a staff of around 100 ex-Ford, Holden, Jaguar Land Rover and Toyota employees.
This Aussie plan was squashed with the company pivoting its focus to North America and Europe.
Still a fresh face on the automotive scene, VinFast was founded in 2017 by property developer Phạm Nhật Vượng, who is Vietnam’s first billionaire with a net worth of around $6.5 billion.
VinFast is a spin-off from its parent company VinGroup which was in fact founded as an instant noodle business in post-Soviet Ukraine.
Its global CEO, Michael Lohscheller, is currently responsible for scaling up the company’s operations and presence around the globe, and is also tasked with turning VinFast into a “global smart electric car company”.
There are currently no details about if the e35 and e36 electric SUVs will be coming to Australia.