Backed by the corporate might of Vietnam's largest conglomerate, Vingroup, the 2023 VinFast VF 8 is the cheaper of two new all-electric SUVs bound for our shores. Initial specs from VinFast indicate that the two-row VF 8 will start in the low $40,000s with a dual-motor setup (one at each axle) good for up to 402 horsepower. If that bears out, the VF 8 will pack a big punch compared to other EVs in its price range. VinFast estimates a 0-60 sprint of 5.9 seconds even for the base 348-hp model, whereas the Volkswagen ID.4, for example, needed 7.7 seconds in our instrumented testing.
However, VinFast has announced that all EVs sold until the end of 2023 will come with a mandatory battery lease on top of the vehicle price. In the VF 8's case, the monthly lease payment starts at $35 for limited use (310 miles per month) and goes up to $110 for unlimited mileage. This unusual requirement hurts the VF 8's value proposition compared to rival EVs that include the battery pack as part of the purchase.
On the range front, VinFast projects that the dual-motor VF 8 can squeeze 292 miles out of a full charge in the 348-hp Eco trim, while the full-strength 408-hp Plus trim tops out at 277 miles. A 300-mile performance in our real-world EV range test seems not out of the question when we get our hands on a VF 8 to evaluate.
Details on the VF 8 are otherwise limited. We know it's 187 inches long, which means it's about the same size as an Acura RDX — one of the larger small luxury SUVs. And we know it has a 15.6-inch central display screen, 11 airbags, and two rows with seating for five. Beyond that, we'll have to wait for more news to roll out as the year goes on.