On the occasion of the EVS35 show in Oslo dedicated to electric mobility, we had the opportunity to approach the VF 7, VF 8 and VF 9 from the Vietnamese manufacturer VinFast. We were able to board the prototype of the VF 8.
We were at the EVS35 show in Oslo dedicated to electric mobility. The Vietnamese brand VinFast had invited us to come and discover “in real life” their VF 7, VF 8 and VF 9 which had already been presented at CES in Las Vegas. You may have also already seen them on the web under their old names VF 34e, 35e and 36e.
These vehicles, designed in collaboration with Italian designers from the Pininfarina studio, are aimed in particular at the European and American markets. If the VF 7 and VF 9 were simple models without interior, the VF 8 was closer to the prototype, with a real interior. We were able to board the VinFast VF 8 and here are our first impressions.
An SUV cut out for Europe
The VF 8 is a D-segment SUV, which could be compared to Tesla’s Model Y. The exterior dimensions (4,750 x 1,900 x 1,660 mm) are more or less similar to those of the competing SUV. The lines are flowing and we are clearly facing a model that is intended for the European market. We are far from Chinese or American creations that instantly stand out from the vehicles circulating on our roads. The moderate size of this SUV will therefore allow you to drive around town without being too afraid of slots and underground parking.
Silhouette level, we can compare the front of the VF 8 with the Megane E-Tech. In contrast, the front and rear light signature should make it fairly easy to recognize the VF 8 on the road. There are indeed long LED bars forming the V of the VinFast logo, whether above the front bumper but also on the tailgate at the rear. Fitted with 21-inch wheels, the VF 8 conveys a massive image, reinforced by the presence of foot steps on each side of the vehicle and the black plastic wheel arches, contrasting with the rest of the bodywork.
A half-tone interior
Inside, the Vietnamese brand does not play the innovation card, but relies on quality materials and neat finishes. We notice at first glance the beige seats (ventilated, hence the presence of perforations on them), the roof lining of the same color, contrasting with the rest of the cabin, black and sober. We find the presence of a sunroof, but this one seems out of proportion with the car : it occupies a small part of the width of the car and gives the feeling of being too small.
Like Tesla, VinFast chooses not to offer an instrument cluster behind the wheel. We thus find a single 15.6-inch screen in a horizontal position in the middle of the dashboard. We could not see it in operation, prototype requires.
On the different seats offered by the car (five in total), comfort was essential. Be careful, however, for long legs: the central tunnel at the front of the vehicle is very wide, too wide even for the car. Thus, we feel a little cramped and the knee comes to rest against it.
The central armrest offers storage, but these were occupied by the equipment necessary to operate the prototype. We can ask ourselves the question of the shape of the four physical buttons used to choose the driving mode (forward, reverse, neutral and park) which are very bulky and therefore take up a lot of space on the central console.
In the rear, legroom is good in the two side seats. But the central square sees its habitability severely degraded because of the presence of the central tunnel. Unfortunately, we couldn’t open the trunk, which was used to store the prototype’s electrical equipment.
First deliveries end of 2022
The good news is that we should be able to try the VinFast VF 8 and its big brother the VF 9 in a few weeks on the road. The opportunity to come back in detail to all the elements of the two cars, and to handle them dynamically and not statically.
Technically speaking, VinFast offers two batteries (82 and 87.7 kWh of useful capacity) for a WLTP autonomy of between 400 and 471 depending on the finishes (Eco or Plus) which vary the power of the two motors. It is little, reduced to the capacity of the batteries and this does not bode well for the efficiency, and therefore the electrical consumption of the vehicle. Especially since the recharge does not seem to be very fast (24 to 31 min to go from 10 to 70% according to VinFast).
If you are interested in the VinFast VF 8, we invite you to read our presentation article. It is already possible to pre-order the VinFast VF 8 and VF 9 directly on the manufacturer’s website, for deliveries expected by the end of the year. It is necessary to count at least 43,050 euros for the VF 8, without taking into account the 120 euros per month to be paid to the Vietnamese brand for the rental of the battery.
VinFast provides the possibility of buying the battery afterwards, without announcing a price. We are eagerly awaiting this information because renting a battery at 120 euros per month without time limit can quickly become more expensive than buying it and making second-hand resale more difficult.
It will also be possible to see the brand’s cars “in real life” in the 20 future stores planned to arrive by the end of the year across France. Something to reassure potential buyers, but also to take care of car maintenance. Note that VinFast cars are guaranteed for 10 years (or 200,000 km), as is their battery.
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