New VinFast Models Flesh Out Lineup, Join VF8, VF9 In Showrooms
When we last checked in with VinFast, we got the chance to see the VF8 and VF9 at the New York Auto Show and even went for a brief lap inside one at the EV test track they had. While illness kept us from being able to see the VF6 and VF7 in person, our first virtual look at them did help answer some lingering questions that we had. Like other members of the VinFast family, the VF6 and VF7 retain their family heritage, with the front fascia using the same family lighting signature with its flowing wing like shape. The VF6 and VF7 are also catered towards the smaller end of the CUV segment and are meant to appeal to urban buyers that want utility but don’t necessarily need the larger dimensions offered by the bigger VF8 and VF9.
However, the company also knows that it needs to make a splash in the marketplace and while CUVs will form the core of their model lineup, it appears that VinFast is willing to explore other segments with company reps hinting that a sports car offering could be unveiled by next year. The unnamed sports car will undoubtedly help bring more attention to the company, and it would perhaps also give VinFast the opportunity to one-up Tesla. It was only a few years ago that Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed the second generation Tesla Roadster and promised that it would shake up the sports car market. It’s fallen off the radar since then, and Tesla has not revealed any new information about a production version. If VinFast can fully commit to a similar offering from start to finish, it might be able to draw in some of those disappointed buyers.
VinFast To Be California Exclusive For Now, Will Expand Outward Later
VinFast also used the occasion to talk more about its plans for entering the U.S. market. The company will have a dealer network, but for now, the company will be operating exclusively in California with six store already opened. While this may not seem like it makes much sense at first, VinFast is actually leveraging its resources well in a rather ingenious manner. The Port of Los Angeles is where all of VinFast’s offerings will go through when they make the trek here from Vietnam and this close proximity will help cut down on some of the wait times for customers while also reducing the amount of charges the company would have to pay in shipping the models to its showrooms.
This move is also reflective of the fact that the bulk of pre-orders are coming from California which is partially due to the state’s built-in EV infrastructure as well as it’s unique position in this arena when compared to other parts of the United States. VinFast reps we have spoke to in the past have revealed that the company eventually wants to branch out to more parts of the country, but it won’t be rushed and will do so in a methodical yet strategic approach.
When Can I Buy One?
The company confirmed that VF6 and VF7 production are slated to begin production towards the end of next year. When they do arrive on our shores, the duo will have many of the core essentials that utility vehicle buyers want. That includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability with bundled in Amazon Alexa, cloth or leather interiors, as well as performance that will allow them to be on par with rivals though we have to wait to find out full range and performance figures.
VinFast does say that the VF7 is powered by either a lone or dual electric motor setup with the front-wheel drive model making 201 hp while the all-wheel drive version (thanks to the rear electric motor) produces 349 hp. That latter figure is considerably more powerful, and it does allow this version of the VF7 to be perhaps considered in the same club as some performance minded EV SUVs.
Meanwhile, the smaller VF6 is catered towards younger buyers and as a result has performance that’s reflective of this target. All models are powered by a front mounted electric motor that produces 174 hp in default trim though the higher level Plus model raises that up to 201 hp (which is also shared with the base VF7). Two other battery pack options will also be available but the company was not ready to dive into details on those options at this particular time. Brick and mortar service and sales centers are expected to go up next year and they will join the six mall-style outlet centers that VinFast has already setup. All VinFast models will come with a 10 year/125,000 mile warranty and the company will still offer its battery leasing subscription plan to all buyers though the plan isn’t mandatory and buyers can opt out of the leasing plan if they choose.