VinFast Reveals A Trio Of Semi-Autonomous Electric SUVs

These three Vietnamese VinFast e-SUVs will enter the market as early as May of this year. 

Vietnam’s first home-grown automaker has recently made quite a big splash in the world of auto news, as it has recently announced not one, not two, but three all-new, all electric SUVs. 

Dubbed the VF31, VF32 and VF33, these three upcoming e-SUVs highlight the Vietnamese automaker’s lofty ambitions in the auto world. That is because not only do these three cars feature advanced self-driving tech, but VinFast has targeted for these three models will actually be sold outside of its home market in regions like Europe, Canada and even the United States. 

The details regarding the full specs of these three upcoming e-SUVs are still rather scarce at the moment. Looking at these three upcoming VinFast models however, it is clear to see that these three electric crossovers will still retain much of the automaker’s corporate design aesthetic with its split headlights and V-shaped lighting signatures. 

Going into further detail on each SUV and starting with the smallest HR-V-sized VF31 first, this particular compact crossover will be powered by a single electric motor that outputs 85 kW (114 hp) and 190 Nm. Fed by a 42 kWh floor-mounted battery pack which delivers a claimed 300 km of range, there is supposedly a more powerful motor option too with 150 kW (201 hp) and 320 Nm of torque available on the premium trim level. 

As for standard features, a suite of Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS), a portrait central infotainment touchscreen and a digital gauge cluster are to be offered on the VF31. The premium variant meanwhile adds HEPA and activated carbon cabin filters, a heated steering wheel and heated and ventilated seats. 

Continuing on Santa-Fe-sized VF32, this D-segment e-SUV features the same powertrain configuration as the premium VF31, though hooked up to a 90 kWh battery pack instead. Additionally, there is also a premium dual-motor trim level with a combined 300 kW (402 hp) and 640 Nm of torque that is sent to all four wheels. 

On the tech front, the VF32 is slated comes with Level 2 to 3 semi-autonomous driving capability. Other tech highlights within the cabin of this particular model includes a massive 15.4-inch central infotainment screen and customisable ambient lighting. 

Moving onto the largest car of the trio, the BMW X7-sized VF33 features much the same tech-specs as its smaller counterpart. Coming as standard with the VF32’s semi-autonomous driving features and a large central touchscreen, but adding a UV-reflecting panoramic glass roof and matrix LED headlights for that more premium feel. 

Powertrain-wise too, the VF33 is powered by the same dual-motor setup as the premium-spec VF32. Being a larger car however, the battery pack feeding these dual motors has been enlarged to a massive 106 kWh capacity unit with a claimed range of 550 km. 

Just to touch on a bit more on these three e-SUVs, the architecture looks to be entirely VinFast’s work, and not to be based on any other automaker’s platform. The Vietnamese automaker are also making big claims on safety, with all three cars targeted for 5-star EuroNCAP and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) safety scores. 

Aside from the aforementioned standard Level 2/3 autonomous driving tech on offer too, VinFast has stated that it aims for Level 4 autonomy in all three cars. Fully-optioned out, all three e-SUVs would gain LiDAR sensors, 14 cameras, 19 360-degree sensors and an Nvidia Drive Orin computer to enable three-dimensional environment mapping, automatic parking detection and manoeuvring, as well as a Tesla-esque summoning function.

Sales of these new trio of e-SUVs is set to begin with the smallest VF31 first in Vietnam sometime in May, with the first production cars reaching customers by November. The VF32 and VF33 on the other hand starts domestic orders in September and will be delivered starting in February 2022.

Internationally, the order books for the VF32 and VF33 are set open in the US and Canadian, European market in November 2021. Handover dates meanwhile for this export market cars are targeted for June 2022. 

Stepping back a bit and taking VinFast as a whole, it is worth recognising that what they are planning here is nothing short of astounding. In fact, it only took the company three short years for the Vietnamese automaker to go from making BMW and GM-based vehicles to a trio of bespoke semi-autonomous EVs that will soon penetrate into some of the world’s most competitive car markets. 

To put this into context, here in Malaysia we’ve had 35 years of Proton and the culmination of all those years of being the first home-grown automaker in ASEAN is the rebadging of a Chinese car. So it does beg the question as to where did we go so badly wrong? 

PRESS RELEASE: On 22 January 2021, VinFast announced 3 brand new self-driving electric SUV models, using AI with many outstanding smart features. This is an important milestone, affirming the vision of becoming a global smart electric vehicle company; and contributing to bringing Vietnam to a new level on the world map of automobile industry.

With this strategic vision, after only 3 years in operation, VinFast has successfully researched and developed the first three self-driving electric cars: VF31, VF32, VF33. All 3 SUVs are multi-purpose vehicles, with a strong and trendy high-chassis design; capable of steering and self-driving assistance; equipped with outstanding safety and intelligence features.

In particular, the VF31 is a mid-sized SUV/C-segment with basic self-driving and steering assistance features such as lane departure warning, blind spot warning, vehicle cross-section warning when reversing, vehicle warning from behind when opening. door, reverse camera, 360 camera, front-back parking assist sensor, automatic headlight …

VF32 (mid-size SUV/D-segment) and VF33 (full-size SUV/E-segment) own self-driving level of 2-3, with 30 intelligent features divided into 7 groups including: driver assistance, lane control, speed control, scene collision warning and mitigation, parking assistance and driver monitoring. This is among the few vehicles in the world, which reach level 3 autopilot capability, affirming VinFast’s R&D capacity and ability to deploy high-class, pioneering products.

In particular, the full-option versions of VF33, VF32 and VF31 own high-performance sensor systems including LiDAR sensors; 14 cameras are capable of detecting objects up to 687m away; 19 360-degree sensors allow warning and handling at high speeds (above 100km/h). The self-driving system controlled by the Orin-X chip can process up to 200 GB of data per second, allowing control and navigation up to eight times faster than current generations. In addition, the full-option versions of all 3 models are equipped with some level 4 autopilot features such as automatic 3-dimensional map setting (first and only in the market), auto-detect parking slot and auto-parking; summoning vehicles… with the ability to connect with the transport system and smart cities, bringing comfort, safety and high-class experience to the users.

In addition to outstanding autopilot features – with the “customer-centric” philosophy – VinFast specially invests in smart features (virtual cockpit) with advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence technology (AI), deep learning (Deep Learning), facial recognition, multi-lingual virtual assistant, etc. The above features not only open up a space for enjoyment, but also fully customizable to personalize the vehicle according to the characteristics and usage habits of the owner. This is an outstanding difference that VinFast focuses on accelerating user experience, creating every most valuable moment, only available in VinFast electric cars.

In terms of safety, all 3 models meet the world’s highest safety standards such as NHTSA 5*, Euro NCAP 5* with automatic detection, warning and notification systems to medical centers when users have accident. The batteries are arranged under the floor of the car, with heat resistance from 40ºC to 80ºC to ensure absolute safety when driving. In addition, all vehicles have automatic updating software and detecting faults and contacting service stations, etc.

The VF31 car is expected to start receiving orders in Vietnam from May 2021, and hand over to customers from November 2021.

VF32 and VF33 will receive orders from September 2021 in Vietnam, hand over from February 2022. In the US and Canadian, European market, VinFast will receive orders from November 2021 and hand over from June 2022.

The launch of smart electric vehicles, including electric scooters, electric buses and electric cars, is part of VinFast’s predetermined roadmap since joining the auto market – 3 years ago. In addition to the most modern factory complex in Southeast Asia in Vietnam, VinFast currently owns a network of R&D centers in Australia, Germany and the US; and a world-class vehicle testing center in Australia. This is a solid foundation for VinFast to reach its global vision and become a popular high-tech electric vehicle company in the world as well as develop green transport eco-system and reducing emissions.

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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