At the 2024 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada; VinFast, the fast moving brand from Vietnam, unveiled several concepts sure to shake up their segments when they go into production.
CES has become the hottest spot for automakers to show their high-tech wares. In addition to VinFast, Mercedes-Benz, Kia, and a score of Chinese automakers showing electric vehicles were among brands present. It may seem odd to display cars at a consumer electronics show with scores of new televisions, phones, robots and all matters of artificial intelligence (AI) creations, but it works. Why? because the next generation of automobiles are chock full of high technology including AI.
As guests of VinFast, we were able to see up close the launch of two new EVs, a new electric bicycle, and witness the signing ceremony of a key collaboration for VinFast.
VF 3 Concept
The first press conference at the VinFast booth was for the VF 3. This concept mini-eSUV adds a new dimension to smart, sustainable, and accessible urban mobility.
The VF 3 features geometric blocks and sleek lines, creating an aesthetically pleasing exterior. In addition, ample ground clearance and 16-inch wheels underscore the vehicle’s practical design and its capacity to navigate a variety of terrains.
The car’s interior embraces a minimalist approach, providing ample space and incorporating essential smart features for a comfortable and convenient driving experience.
The VF 3 has a target driving range estimate of over 125 miles on a full charge. Standard functional and entertainment features include a 10-inch-screen infotainment system, and full-folding second-row seats allow for the expansion of cargo space (total capacity 19.4 cubic-feet).
VF Wild Concept
What a perfect name! The VF Wild Pickup Truck Concept offers style that’s Wild, yet exceptionally handsome.
The VF Wild is VinFast’s first attempt at producing a pickup truck, and indicates the company’s efforts to create a pickup truck they hope will draw a new generation of consumers looking for innovation and eco-friendliness without compromising on performance and durability.
VF Wild’s dimensions place it in the mid-size pickup category. Wild’s mid-size footprint offers a flexible bed size that combines the practicality of a power-folding mid-gate with a bed length designed to expand from 5 to 8 feet with the rear seats folded down. If the Wild were available for sale today, this feature would make it the largest bed in its segment. With the functionality of the expanding bed, work and play can be done in style and comfort. The design also integrates a panoramic glass roof and digital side mirrors to improve aerodynamics.
The VF Wild concept was jointly developed by VinFast and Australian design studio GoMotiv. The design, developed over 8,000 hours and involving many designers, was inspired by the flowing motion of a superhero’s cape in the wind. The name “Wild” represents the force of nature and embodies the brand’s ethos of breaking boundaries to venture beyond, and signifies its ongoing commitment toward a green future.
Ms. Tran Mai Hoa, Deputy CEO of Sales and Marketing for VinFast Global, stated: “We are very proud to introduce the VF Wild concept, which encapsulates our mission to make sustainable, high-quality electric vehicles accessible to a broader market. This is not just a new product in our offering – it showcases our aspiration to venture into the fast-paced and thriving electric pickup truck market.”
DrgnFly Electric Bicycle
The name “DrgnFly” is inspired by the image of the “Ascending Dragon,” which has deep roots in the history of Thang Long, Vietnam. The launch just one year after its initial showcase underscores VinFast’s unwavering commitment to a sustainable green mobility future.
Designed in collaboration with Eskild Hansen, an innovative Danish studio with multiple Red Dot Design awards, the DrgnFly combines a vintage design inspired by the golden era of motorcycles, still a major mode of transportation in Vietnam.
DrgnFly is crafted from lightweight aluminum, contributing to nimble handling characteristics. The exposed battery pack seamlessly integrates into the frame, creating a blend of classic aesthetics and electric innovation. DrgnFly has a wide handlebar, rugged balloon tires and an ergonomic riding position, optimizing long-distance comfort.
DrgnFly features a 750-watt motor integrated into the rear wheel, a top speed of 28 mph, and a riding range of up to 63 miles. It also features a detachable lithium-ion battery. Underpinning DrgnFly’s performance is an advanced energy management system with multiple riding modes, and a torque sensor that smoothly adapts to movements, detecting force changes 16,000 times per second, surpassing traditional cadence sensors used in typical e-bikes.
The VinFast Drgnfly is available in the U.S. market with prices starting at $2,800, and features a two-year and unlimited mileage warranty. It’s is expected to debut in other global markets in the near future.
The final press conference of the day was the announcement of VinFast’s collaboration with the Alliance for Automotive Innovation.
At the signing ceremony, Madame Le Thi Thu Thuy, VinFast Chairwoman and John Bozzella, Alliance for Automotive Innovation President and CEO, outlined VinFast’s commitment to automotive electrification and the company’s investment plans in the U.S.
As a member, VinFast will share information and best practices to help shape the policy environment on modern technologies, such as the benefits of electric vehicles, personal mobility, autonomous driving, innovations in automotive transportation and connected car technologies. VinFast will participate in committees, working groups to advocate for policies that promote innovation and investment in the automotive industry, while ensuring safety and environmental sustainability.
Madame Le Thi Thu Thuy, VinFast Chairwoman said: “Our membership demonstrates VinFast’s enduring commitment to become one of the leading EV-only car companies, advancing global electrified mobility. We are honored to join other prestigious automakers, semiconductor and technology leaders, battery manufacturers, suppliers and innovators who have helped create the global transportation industry. We are excited to contribute to the incredible work done by this association and its members to help shape the future of the automotive landscape.”
Mr. John Bozzella, Alliance for Automotive Innovation President and CEO said: “The Alliance for Automotive Innovation represents the iconic companies designing and producing most vehicles sold in the United States and today that includes VinFast, an important new voice in global automotive electrification. VinFast is pushing the boundaries of technology and design and has valuable perspective for policymakers in Washington and state capitals. We’re proud to welcome VinFast to our association.”
VinFast is a global EV manufacturer with U.S. headquarters in Los Angeles and is expanding its retail network with dealerships in addition to its stores to distribute their all-electric vehicles. VinFast is also building its first U.S. manufacturing facility in North Carolina which is expected to start production in 2025.
Pursuitist automotive and lifestyle contributor Brian Armstead has been involved in print, radio, web and television for over 47 years. Brian has traveled to 79 countries. He is a North American Car, Truck and Utility of the Year (NACTOY) Juror.