mid-size premium - cuv
year in Vietnam as we say hello to their first dedicated automotive company, Vinfast.
Vinfast is not only the dedication of a long awaited dream for Vietnam, but the culmination of past GM experiences and a tie-up with BMW. Yes, Vinfast owes its roots to both GM and BMW as their manufacturing and distribution is thanks to the ill-departed General from Vietnam. BMW’s tie-in, is the use of its products and technology which underpin both of Vinfast’s models. Sound like a familiar trait, as most Chinese manufactures owe their creation to other automakers as well.
As the Asian market grows, it just seemed fitting that one of the fastest growing countries within this region would finally step up their game and enter the market. And that is what Vinfast is doing and with the help of BMW and GM their going to make their presence felt.
If the LUX SA 2.0 looks familiar to you, it could be because it shares the same structure as the BMW X5. That said, we couldn’t give it a copycat award as the two companies are working together on this project. Had BMW not been a part of this project, then Vinfast would have received a copycat award. That could have put a mark on their overall image and brought down the entire project. But as they are working together and the fact that they have delivered a better looking product, Vinfast has increased their overall appeal and set themselves out on the right foot.
Building on the decent looking front of the BMW X5, Vinfast has made massive strides in the enhancement of the X5’s front end. This is wholly attributed to their personal grille accent design, which runs from the lights to the center of the front. In doing that, Vinfast has created their main focal point which draws your eyes to their subtle front grille and down onto the highly impressive, yet not practical, lower air intake ports.
These ports have been designed to enhance the look of the front and give it the appeal of being sportier than it really is. This is true, yet they would have garnered more points had they actually worked. Added design features used to enhance parts are great, but only if they work with the design. That being said the fog lights are useful, but are in the wrong place. Moving them up and integrated them into the fake air ducts would have enhanced their look as well as better integrating the lights into the design. This is true with the skid plate as it is fully integrated into the bumper and flows perfectly with the front intake and bumper layouts.
Vinfast did do some subtle changes to the side of the X5 as they did smooth everything out. But smoothing things over did create a lost abyss of empty fields. A few character lines and better laid out features could have brought up the appeal of the side profile. They did however use proper accent color and material which works perfectly with all of the features.
Wheel design was kept to a standard appearance package, as Vinfast went above what BMW does and worked the wheel design into the appeal of the overall vehicle. This helps create balance between the accents and design of the vehicle. Of course they could have used a better color scheme as the cheap steel with black accents does drop the premium feel from the design.
Out back Vinfast has again gone over nearly every X5 detail and made some changes for the better. Doing away with the stand alone lights, Vinfast has opted for a 3D band light which blends very well into its surroundings. 3D lights may be a change from band lighting, but Vinfast has done very well with it as they really help enhance the overall appeal of the rear and make a perfect statement that this is not an X5.
Cheap plastic may be a downfall for most models, but the type that Vinfast used does work well and helps bring out the appeal of the skid plate. With a gloss finish this would have been lost along with the dual exhaust ports. A larger exterior finish could have enhanced the look of the dual exhaust, but they do work well with their surroundings.
Overall the LUX SA 2.0 does come off as a great proposal to the premium marketplace as it suits the segment very well. Proper usage of accents, sport appearance and an overall luxury appeal greater than most, help bring Vinfast up into the premium marketplace. This will act as bonus as Vinfast will be able to charge over the standard rate as their products fall into the same market as Acura, Lincoln and Buick. Now let’s hope that this isn’t the only product offerings to come from Vinfast as we hope to see more BMW variations in the future. But of course they could stray away from BMW and go it alone, once they recoup their startup costs. And if this product is just the start, then they are off to a great start.
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