For a price, Vietnamese manufacturer VinFast is counting on its new VF9 to attract a growing audience for three-row, all-electric SUVs when it reaches North America by year’s end. Starting price for the VF9 “Eco” version is $83,000. Consider, however, that the company announced this week that the entry-level model received 330 miles certified EPA range for the Eco trim and 291 miles for the $91,000 Plus trim. The figures beat initial estimates of 272 miles and 262 miles, respectively.
The VF9, with an exterior designed by the classic Italian firm of Pininfarina, has already been delivered to customers in the Vietnamese market and is available for reservations globally. The SUV, which will likely compete with three-row offerings from Tesla, Ford and Rivian, has electric motors and an AWD powertrain with 402 total horsepower output.
“The VF9’s 330-mile battery range is among the best on the market, confirming our efforts and dedication to produce competitive vehicles. VinFast expects to export this model to the North American market this year, joining the VF8 model,” said Madam Le Thi Thu Thuy, Global CEO of VinFast.
The base Eco and Plus trims will provide Level 2 autonomy developed with ZF. The driver assistance menu will include tech like adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assist, lane-keeping assist and automatic lane changing. Both the smaller VF8 and VF9 models were shown in 2021 at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The starting price for the VF9 at that time was estimated to be about $56,000. Last year the carmaker announced an initial investment of up to $2 billion to build a new manufacturing facility in Chatham County, North Carolina, that would have an annual capacity of about 150,000 cars, all electrics. The facility broke ground in July.