Vietnam’s first volume car manufacturer, VinFast, has debuted two vehicles at the 2018 Paris Motor Show. The global debut for the brand includes a mid-size sedan and a new crossover SUV.
Football legend David Beckham and Miss Vietnam, Trần Tiểu Vy, also addressed the crowds at the press conference, with Beckham stating that it was “a thrill to be in Paris to celebrate the arrival of a new carmaker on the global stage,” adding that he could see how the VinFast design team had been able to evoke “such a beautiful country in the lines of these amazing new cars”.
The two models are based on BMW platforms, the sedan called as the LUX A2.0 is based on the previous gen 5-series while the SUV labeled as LUX SA2.0 is based on the X5. The LUX A2.0 sedan is rear-wheel drive, measures 4,973 mm in height, 1,900 mm in width and 1,464 mm tall with a wheelbase of 2,968 mm. The LUX SA2.0 SUV measures 4,940 mm long, 1,960 mm wide, and 1,773 mm tall having a wheelbase of 2,933 mm.
Both vehicles will be powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, development of which was sourced at AVL in conjunction with Bosch. Two power outputs for the engine are available, starting with 174 hp and a more powerful 228 hp. This power is transmitted to the wheels by an 8-speed automatic gearbox, that is sourced from ZF with a Borg Warner transfer case on all-wheel drive units.
Both vehicles will come with rear-wheel drive as standard but the LUX SA2.0 will offer all-wheel drive as an option. Vinfast quotes a 0-100 km/h time of 7.1 seconds for the LUX A2.0 sedan and 7.3 seconds for the LUX SA2.0 with rear-wheel drive, when the vehicles feature the 228 hp output.
In an interesting move, Vinfast gave the people of Vietnam the opportunity to determine the styling direction at the very start of the design process. More than 62,000 people voted when presented with 20 design sketches. Starting with Italdesign’s winning concepts, the cars’ designs were then further developed and completed by Pininfarina, working closely with Vinfast design boss David Lyon, who formerly worked for General Motors.
Both cars share a distinctive design language, with the front end featuring slim, broad LED daytime running lights that originate from the V-shaped emblem. To the right of this emblem, a chrome F-shaped splint represents the second syllable of the VinFast name and gives the cars an asymmetric facade. The premium sedan has a long hood and horizontal body lines, while the SUV has a more muscular-looking hood.. The tail light graphics echo the ones on the front DRLs.
Interiors for the two vehicles are very similar, with inspiration from the Vietnamese lifestyle as their source. Both vehicles’ designs also included public input from the Vietnamese people in an open voting process.
Production of Vinfast cars will take place at a plant under construction in Hai Phong, in Vietnam’s north. Vinfast will start local sales of the LUX A2.0 and LUX SA2.0 in June 2019 and plans to follow up the cars with additional models, including electric cars, buses and commercial vehicles.
Vinfast says it will eventually start exports hoping to be a top car manufacturer in ASEAN, making 500,000 cars per annum by year 2025. It expects to produce 100,000 to 200,000 vehicles per year in the first phase.