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Unique design process for Vietnam's first premium cars

Independent Online (IOL) logo Independent Online (IOL) 2018-09-11 Motoring Staff

a black and red car parked on the side of a road © Provided by Independent Media Hanoi, Vietnam - These are the first official pictures of the VinFast SUV and sedan, the debut models from an unusual Vietnamese startup.

Developed by Pininfarina, they’ll be shown for the first time in public at the Paris motor show on 2 October - and yes, the prominent arrowhead grille and central strake to the right are intended to represent the V and F of the brand name. Cheesy, we know, but at least they’re proud of their cars.

And so they should be - these designs are the result of a unique selection process that started with 20 concept sketches from four famous Italian studios. The Vietnamese public were then invited to vote for their favourite sedan and SUV designs - and 62 000 of them did, with the Italdesign concepts the clear favourites.

a red car parked in a parking lot © Provided by African Technology and Media Holdings (Pty) Ltd These sketches were then given to Pininfarina (we can’t help wondering what Italdesign thought of that) to be developed into real cars, in collaboration with VinFast engineers led by head of design David Lyons, who described them as “national products of Vietnam, designed for the Vietnamese people based on a selection made by the Vietnamese people.”

Cheesy, we know, but as the first cars from Vietnam to be presented at a major international motor show, they are something to be proud of.

No technical specifications on the two models - not even their names - have as yet been released. Hopefully, we’ll find out more from the media presentation at Les Halles on 2 October.

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