Vietnamese carmaker VinFast, which once set up shop in Australia and planned to sell cars here, has revealed a new electric ute concept with Australian DNA.
Revealed at this year’s CES tech show in Las Vegas, the VinFast VF Wild electric ute concept has been jointly developed with Melbourne-based design firm Gomotiv.
The Vietnamese carmaker claims the VF Wild concept was developed over 8000 hours and involved “many designers”.
Details on the electric ute concept are few and far between, though VinFast has confirmed it measures in at 5324mm long and 1997mm wide. This is virtually identical in size to the Ford Ranger dual-cab ute.
The VF Wild concept also has a power-folding mid-gate which allows the bed length to be expanded from five feet (1524mm) to eight feet (2438mm) when the rear seats are folded down.
Other distinguishing design include full-width front and rear LED light bars, rear coach doors, a panoramic glass sunroof, and digital side mirrors.
At this stage VinFast hasn’t detailed the VF Wild concept’s electric motor and battery setup, nor if it plans to produce it.
“We are very proud to introduce the VF Wild concept, which encapsulates our mission to make sustainable, high-quality electric vehicles accessible to a broader market,” said VinFast Global deputy CEO of sales and marketing Tran Mai Hoa.
“This is not just a new product in our offering – it showcases our aspiration to venture into the fast-paced and thriving electric pickup truck market.”
In addition to the VF Wild concept, VinFast also publicly debuted the VF 3 three-door electric SUV at CES. It’s set to launch in Vietnam first during 2024 before launching “globally”.
VinFast previously detailed this tiny electric SUV for the Vietnamese market.
The VinFast VF 3 measures in at 3190mm long, 1679mm wide, and 1602mm tall, which is 290mm shorter, 34mm wider, and 118mm lower than the Suzuki Jimny.
Despite its tiny exterior dimensions, the VF 3 is still technically a four-seater. The rear seats also fold down to create a boot capacity of 550 litres.
VinFast hasn’t detailed outputs for the VF 3’s electric motor, though it has a targeted range of approximately 200km.
Inside there’s a 10.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Despite the VinFast VF 3 launching globally, it’s unlikely to be coming to Australia, though the Vietnamese firm is expanding globally with entries into the US and European markets.
VinFast is best known to Australians as the company that bought the Lang Lang proving ground previously owned by Holden, before closing its Port Melbourne design and engineering office in 2021.
There had been 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, and to electric vehicles.
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 $6.9 billion.
The company initially produced sedans and SUVs based heavily on BMWs, before ending production of combustion-powered vehicles and beginning its rollout of electric SUVs.