The boxy VF 3 electric vehicle (EV) is a miniature addition to VinFast’s all-electric line-up, developed specifically for the brand’s domestic Vietnamese market.
Described as sitting in the ‘mini car’ segment, the VF 3 measures in at only 3114mm long, shorter than the recently revealed Fiat 500e by almost 500mm.
Despite resembling a shrunken Suzuki Jimny, it was predominantly designed for urban driving.
In the same way the Fiat 500 is the unofficial vehicle of Italy, or the Mini Cooper is the unofficial car of the UK, VinFast wants the VF 3 to become a simple, affordable cult vehicle in Vietnam.
A geometric exterior features square headlights and the V-shaped bird logo on the front and rear bumpers. The model runs on 16-inch wheels.
VinFast hasn’t revealed the power of the VF 3, only saying that the model will be powered by a single electric motor to “offer an impressive travel distance.” The two-door model has a pared-back interior, making space for five people and a boot in the rear.
The brand says “basic smart features are fully integrated” into a tablet-like digital instrument cluster.
VinFast claims the small car has been designed with the “distinctive characteristics and driving patterns of domestic consumers” in mind.
The model will be offered in two trims; Eco and Plus, which customers can order from September. Deliveries are expected to begin in Q3 2024.
As for pricing, VinFast has only committed to providing accessible pricing, as it believes the VF 3 has “the potential to become the new ‘national vehicle’ and a powerful catalyst for the widespread adoption of electric cars in Vietnam.”
VinFast partnered with Taiwanese battery company ProLogium Technology last year to develop the solid-state batteries which will support its next-generation line-up, including the VF 3, from 2024 onwards.
The solid-state technology is believed to offer greater range, less mass, and faster charging compared to popular lithium-ion or lithium iron phosphate chemistries.
With the launch of the VF 3, VinFast now offers seven EVs, including its core offering of the VF 6, VF 7, VF 8, and VF 9 SUVs.
Despite this domestic-only launch, VinFast is serious about its global expansion. The Vietnamese company signed a memorandum of understanding with the state of North Carolina last year and invested up to $2 billion (A$2.65 billion) in the first stage of construction for a factory that’ll build its VF8 and VF9 electric crossovers.
VinFast briefly set up shop in Australia with plans 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.
It eventually pulled the pin on development Down Under to focus on its North American and European expansion.