- Vietnam-based automaker VinFast announces that the first non-City Edition VF 8s have arrived in North America.
- Compared to the current VF 8 City Edition, the standard VF 8 has much more range.
- Customers who opted for the City Edition may transition to the new version in the future.
Deliveries of the Non-City Edition 2023 VinFast VF 8 Start in June
Addresses one of the VF 8's many, many issues
Earlier this year, new Vietnam-based automaker VinFast delivered its first batch of VF 8 City Edition all-electric vehicles to dealerships in the U.S. Reviews have skewed negative so far, with journalists chiding the vehicle for a number of reasons, including uncontrolled suspension movements, subpar build quality and unpredictable brakes. Our full review catalogs the issues.
Another issue with the City Edition — which is limited to 999 units — is its range. To solve this particular problem, VinFast has announced that its second shipment of nearly 2,000 VF 8 EVs has arrived in North America. These non-City Edition models have an updated battery pack with more range: 243 to 264 miles versus the City Edition’s 191 to 207 miles depending on the trim. The City Edition uses a Samsung-sourced pack with 82 kWh of usable capacity, while the non-City employs a CATL-manufactured pack with 87.7 kWh of usable capacity. The company says it expects to begin deliveries to U.S. customers this June.
Available in two trim levels — Eco and Plus — the VF 8 starts at $46,000 and $51,800, respectively, not including destination and handling charges. The company does note, however, that the prices above include the battery, which seems obvious until you realize that, at one time, VinFast dabbled with the idea of selling the battery separately. Both lease and purchase options are available for the vehicle; VinFast specifies that “qualified customers can lease the VF 8 with a minimum term of 36 months and loan with a minimum term of 60 months.”
Those who opted to lease the VF 8 City Edition and find the range disappointing can request a trade for the new longer-range models after a full year. Knowing it has a disadvantage as a startup, VinFast came out of the gate with a warranty exceeding that of its South Korean competitors: 10 years/125,000 miles for the vehicle, a 10-year warranty for the battery with unlimited mileage, and 24/7 emergency roadside assistance within the warranty period.
VinFast is the car manufacturing arm of VinGroup, a Vietnamese conglomerate with billions of dollars at its disposal. That means it has room to make mistakes and adjust accordingly, and it has done so a few times already in regard to the pricing and leasing/selling structure. It’s scrabbling to find its footing in a competitive market, but that doesn’t mean it can’t get there. But early reviews of the unappealing VF 8 might just mean that VinFast is going to experience some intense growing pains for some time yet.
So far, VinFast has gotten off to a rocky start, at least in the U.S. Hopefully the impending release of a larger battery pack is signaling that the automaker is responding quickly to solve its problems.