• First vehicles to come from Vietnam
  • Based on BMW platforms
  • Exports to Southeast Asia to start in 2020
  • No word yet on U.S. or European export

 

Vietnam’s first auto manufacturer, VinFast, debuted a pair of new vehicles that it will build in a new plant outside Hanoi and begin exporting the vehicles to Southeast Asian markets in 2020. The sedan and SUV, based on previous generation BMW 5 Series and X5 architecture are called the VinFast Lux A2.0 sedan and Lux SA2.0 SUV.

In addition to the platforms, VinFast is also using turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engines built under license from BMW to power the vehicles. In the sedan, they will be offered in two states of tune, 173 horsepower and 227 horsepower, while the SUV will offer only the more powerful variant. Both models are equipped with ZF 8-speed automatic transmissions.

VinFast said the rear-drive Lux A2.0 sedan will be capable of 0-62 mph acceleration of 8.9 seconds with the lower output engine and 7.1 seconds with the 227-horsepower model. The SUV will have a 0-62 mph time of 8.9 seconds with rear drive and 9.1 seconds when equipped with all-wheel drive. Unlike the 2-row BMW X5, the SA2.0 will have 3-row seating for up to 7 passengers. Both models ride on independent front and rear suspensions.

Also: Check out the latest news from the Paris Motor Show

German tech, Italian design

In addition to relying on tooling from BMW, VinFast tapped the Italian design house of Pininfarina to do the styling. The exterior features clean crisp lines and a grille pattern that incorporates “V” and “F” shapes representing the company’s brand name. The clean and simple lines are carried over into the interior, which is dominated by a 10.4-inch touchscreen in the center of the dash. The large, configurable display is the control hub of the car and features simple, intuitive navigation and menus.

The Vietnamese startup began work on the project just 16 months ago and has tapped retired GM manufacturing executive Jim DeLuca, who also recruited a global team of executives, to organize the new $3.5 billion plant, which is expected to eventually produce 500,000 units per year. Initially, half that volume will be the Lux A2.0 and SA2.0, while the remainder is expected to include a smaller city car built in partnership with GM and then an EV.

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