Vietnamese car-maker VinFast will mark its entry into the Western car market with this: the VF e36, a seven-seat electric SUV flagship to rival the Tesla Model X. The new car will spearhead a range of VinFast EVs destined for the US and Europe, and possibly the right hand drive markets of the UK and Australia, when deliveries commence next year.
The VF e36 will launch alongside the smaller VF e35 SUV at this year’s LA Auto Show. The flagship seven-seater was previously called the VF33 when it was announced, and media reports from earlier this year detail what could be the car’s final specification.
At 5.12-metres long, the VF e36 is around the same length as a BMW X7. To power such a large vehicle, VinFast is set to opt for a dual electric motor setup – the single motor option of its smaller VF e35 sibling won’t be available.
According to previous media reports, the dual-motor setup will produce a combined 300kW. The car will be powered by a 106kWh battery, which could provide a range of almost 570 kilometres – although we await an official WLTP figure.
The VF e36 is styled by famous Italian design house Pininfarina, and adopts an imposing stance and VinFast’s family face at the front. A set of narrow headlights incorporate an LED light bar that extends across the front of the car, creating “V” shape in the centre, in keeping with the VinFast logo.
A scooped bonnet and a pair of sharp bumper cut-outs bring added aggression, along with a high shoulder-line and bulging wheel arches that house a set of diamond-cut alloy wheels. There’s chrome detailing on the side sills, rear bumper and flush-fitting door handles, too, and a large full-width light bar at the rear.
Like its VF e35 sibling, the VF e36 will use VinFast’s latest infotainment suite. A 15.4-inch infotainment screen is mounted in the centre of the dashboard, which has minimal physical controls. Instead, radio and climate controls will be accessed using the touchscreen, and there’s no traditional gauge cluster or instrument panel, either.
A panoramic glass roof and ambient lighting will also feature inside, along with an array of sensors that enable Level 3 autonomous driving. First deliveries of the VF e36 are expected to arrive next year.