VinFast has rapidly become the new darling of the EV segment. This is thanks partly to the strong support from the VinGroup parent company and some of the automotive talent that the company has managed to recruit to its ranks. But can VinFast do what Chinese firms failed to do and bring an affordable EV alternative to consumers? We were eager to find out and made our way to the EV Test Track at the New York Auto Show to go for a ride inside the VF 8 to get a small taste of what’s in store for consumers when VinFast makes its way to our shores.
VF 8 Is A Looker In Stylish CUV Suit
The first thing that immediately becomes noticeable to observers is how stylish the VF 8 is. Unlike the bigger VF 9, the VF 8 is not a rolling box and instead embraces the athletic look that defines many CUVs. The sleek front fascia is complemented by a muscular roofline and a rear end that looks pretty distinctive.
That distinctiveness is a rarity in a segment where design is often cast-off to the wayside for the sake of functionality. Here in the VinFast, it’s clear that designers were strongly encouraged to let loose, and it shows in some of the sportier aspects of the design. VinFast released pricing for both the VF 8 and VF 9 recently, and the VF 8 will be the more affordable one of the two for now, with the bulk of the VF 8 family sitting firmly in the $40,000 range.
Simplistic Interior Defines EV Experience
As we slipped inside the interior of the VF 8 Plus that VinFast had on hand at the test track, we couldn’t help but notice that simplicity is a prominent theme in the interior, but that’s not a bad thing, especially when you look over some of the finer details. We like the centrally aligned push-button gear selector, with each button being nestled in a separate pod, while the seats felt like comfortable designer chairs.
The star of the show is the large infotainment screen that dominates the central part of the dashboard. It’s crisp, bright, and colorful, with logically placed menus and a clean layout. The brief acceleration runs that VinFast reps did at the track revealed that the VF 8 in Plus guise has plenty of performance to back up its looks, but we get to wait a bit longer to hear formal performance numbers beyond the impressive five-second range 0 to 60 times that VinFast revealed for both the VF 8 Eco and the VF 8 Plus.
When Can I Buy A VF 8?
VinFast revealed that the VF 8 would appear in showrooms in the second half of this year, where it will be sold alongside the bigger VF 9. The VF 8 will start at $40,700 and $41,000, respectively, with the Eco being split into version 1 and version 2, which offer 260 and 292 miles of range before they need to be charged. We have detailed the pricing for it and the VF 9 in a prior piece here.
The more powerful Plus model will begin at $47,700 and $48,000, with these prices once again being split between the version one and version two variants. The extra performance on hand does come with a slight drop in range, with this model getting 248 and 272 miles of range depending on which version you go for. A battery subscription plan will also be mandatory in the short term, but VinFast revealed that in 2023, buyers will also have the option of buying a VF 8 without a battery lease plan.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.