During his three-day official trip to Vietnam earlier this week, prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was invited to visit Vietnamese automaker VinFast‘s facility at the Hoa Lac Hi-Tech Park in Hanoi, where he took out the company’s LUX SA2.0 SUV for a short test drive.
VinFast, the country’s first automaker, premiered the LUX A2.0 and SA2.0 at the Paris Motor Show last year. Both are based on BMW models, the A2.0 on the F10 5 Series and the SA2.0, on the F15 X5. The two VinFast vehicles are powered by a BMW-sourced N20 2.0 litre four-cylinder petrol engine, in two output tunes – the first being 174 hp at 4,500 to 6,000 rpm and 300 Nm from 1,750 to 4,000 rpm, and the other 228 hp at 5,000 to 6,000 rpm and 350 Nm from 1,750 to 4,500 rpm.
It was previously reported that the LUX A2.0 sedan will get both tunes, while the LUX SA2.0 SUV will only get the 231 PS unit. Both models are equipped with an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission. The cars are expected to go on sale in Vietnam this year.
The Fadil, meanwhile, is essentially a rebadged version of the Vauxhall Viva/Opel Karl, and by extension the Chevrolet Spark. Announced in November last year, the Fadil is powered by a 1.4 litre four-cylinder petrol engine delivering 98 hp at 6,200 rpm and 128 Nm of torque at 4,400 rpm, and the mill is paired with a CVT.
Earlier this month, VinFast and FastGo Viet Nam signed an agreement for the automaker to provide 1,500 units of the Fadil for FastGo’s ride-hailing service. The two companies have also agreed to implement the LUX sedan for luxury transport services in the future, according to Viet Nam News.
The company – which is a subsidiary of Vingroup, the largest privately-held conglomerate in Vietnam – has previously stated plans to come up with other vehicles, including an electric car, which will be developed in house in partnership with German engineering firm EDAG, as well as an electric bus with the support of Siemens.