Vietnamese marque VinFast will debut a new electric SUV at this year’s LA Auto Show.

Called VF e35, it’s designed to go head-to-head with the likes of the Hyundai Ioniq 5, Volvo XC40 Recharge and Tesla Model Y. The new car will be available in the US and Europe – possibly including Australia – with styling by Pininfarina and a range of up to 402km.

Making its debut alongside a larger SUV called VF e36, the VF e35 is the smaller of the pair, but it’s still around the same size as a Tesla Model Y. Previously, Vinfast intended to launch the models under the names VF32 and VF33.

Technical details for the VF e35 are yet to be confirmed, but previous media reports on the VF32 claimed that single and dual motor configurations will be available, with outputs of 150kW and 300kW respectively. A maximum range of 402km could be possible, although an official WLTP test figure is yet to be revealed, nor has a battery size.

VinFast has collaborated with Italian styling house Pininfarina to design the VF e35. The front end is angular and heavily sculpted, with a two-layer lighting arrangement that includes an LED light bar spanning the front of the car, split by the VinFast “V” logo.

Silver trim accents extend from the lower front bumper to the sills, and the VF e35 features deep scallops along its flanks and a steeply raked rear window, with a rear light bar design that places the brand’s emblem in the centre.

Inside, a 15.4-inch infotainment touchscreen takes centre stage, and like the Tesla Model Y, VinFast hasn’t added a digital instrument panel ahead of the driver. Instead, driving information will likely be baked into the central screen, or projected through a head-up display. A panoramic glass roof will be available, too.

The VF e35 will also be equipped with 14 cameras, an array of LiDAr sensors and 19 360-degree sensors to bring the car to Level 3 autonomous driving capability. This is enabled by a powerful Nvidia Orin X computer chip, which can process 200GB of data per second.

To compete against established rivals in Western markets, the VF e35 is expected to undercut rivals such as the Tesla Model Y on price, with deliveries expected to begin next year.


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