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Up Close and Personal With the VinFast Lineup at the 2022 New York Auto Show, Lots to Like
VinFast had a lot of pressure riding on the 2022 New York International Auto Show on first impressions alone. There was a sense that if the Vietnamese electric vehicle startup had a strong showing at their second big North American auto show event, just about anything was possible. Including competing with the Alphas in the market

Up Close and Personal With the VinFast Lineup at the 2022 New York Auto Show, Lots to Like

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VinFast will have to bring their A-game to have a hope of competing with giants from Ford, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Volvo, among a slew of others. But after getting a nice closeup look at what's on offer, we can safely say VinFast is at least worth considering if you're in the market for an EV. On looks alone, they've already passed with flying colors.

Indeed, VinFast clearly made an effort to produce vehicles that North Americans likely want to buy. After four or so years of touring motor shows outside of the Western Hemisphere, VinFast is at the Jacob K Javits Center in mid-town Manhattan with three bold and capable-looking electric vehicles. A range that encompasses vehicle types known to sell strongly in U.S. and Canadian markets.

The VF-8 crossover SUV and the VF-9 full-sized SUVs' gave the impression of how comfortable and at home these EVs feel amongst an American crowd. It's as if the spitting image of a contemporary Chevy Suburban and Blazer were laid overtop an instantly recognizable SUV template. From there, the electric drivetrain comes straight out of VinFast's HQ in Hanoi.

If you thought this as well for your first time looking at a VinFast product, you're not wrong. GM and VinFast have been working in a mutually beneficial business partnership since the late 2010s. It's one of the reasons why the Hanoi-based startup company was able to bring a finished product to market in such an expedient timeframe.

If the looks of any vehicle passively convey its performance figures, the looks of both the VF-8 and VF-9 certainly fit the bill. As for the third vehicle on display, the VF-7, there's a bit less conventionalism at hand. This coupe-style SUV, a-la BMW X6. Even so, it has a very different silhouette than low-slung SUVs of years gone by. Eat your heart out, Acura ZDX.

Throughout the makeups of all three cars, there are design cues from all over the globe in every curve, every angled surface, and just about every aspect of the exterior of the VinFast North American lineup. Late-model GMC Yukons, Acura MDXs, and Mazda CX-9s come to mind when the pantomime of being at the show live paints the VinFast lineup in an effervescent and LED light lit convention center.

An estimated range of 260 miles (418.4 km) with the base VF-8 and up to 292 miles with the upgraded battery pack (470 km) make for figures relatively in line with what other EVs in its segment can muster. 272 miles (437.7 km) and 369 (593.8) miles of range with the larger VF-9 SUV make for much more impressive figures, assuming they can be replicated in everyday conditions.

With price figures like $55,500 for the battery version 1 and $56,000 for the battery version 2 with the VF 9, and $40,700 and $41,000, for the respective eco I and II packages in the VF-9, it's neither the biggest bargain nor the biggest ripoff at the 2022 NYIAS. But it's safe to say you at least get a lot for your money.

VinFast has made a habit of making gorgeous interiors to show off at European and Asian motor shows. It's nice to see that much of the same quality is on display for us all to see with the VF-9 especially.

The 15.6-inch (390.6mm) infotainment may not dazzle like the double-decker tablet computer on offer in the Ford Lightning pickup on display a few hundred yards away, but it's safe to say the EV-9 is comfortably approaching half the price of one of those, especially with dealer markups.

There are only so many comments one can make about a vehicle before you're allowed to get behind the wheel and learn its mannerisms on a daily basis. But a first impression must be worth nearly as many words as the average picture. Expect to see VinFast models on roads somewhere near you sometime between the late winter of 2022 to early spring of 2023.

But what are your thoughts about a Vietnamese tech startup ready to sell SUVs to American buyers? Do you think they have a fighting chance? Or do you think they'll be bankrupt in five years' time? Let us know in the comments down below.

Check back some of our other pieces on the ins and outs of VinFast if you want to learn more. Be sure to check back soon for more from our live coverage of the 2022 New York International Auto Show right here on autoevolution.

 
 
 
 
 

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