VinFast: World-class Italian design flair, influenced by the Vietnamese people

VinFast: World-class Italian design flair, influenced by the Vietnamese people

02.10.2018: • Debut models feature perfectly balanced proportions with a contemporary, timeless design language that exhibits Italian design flair and sophistication • Design direction was heavily influenced by Vietnamese people through innovative vote

•    Debut models feature perfectly balanced proportions with a contemporary, timeless design language that exhibits Italian design flair and sophistication

•    Design direction was heavily influenced by Vietnamese people through innovative vote

•    Distinctive front grille incorporates asymmetric ‘VF’ motif

•    LUX A2.0 and LUX SA2.0 represent the powerful, progressive spirit of a new, energetic and developing Vietnam

The proud and energetic styling of VinFast’s first two models were heavily influenced by the new company’s progressive approach to design, and display a world-class design language developed in close partnership with the world-renowned Pininfarina design team in Italy.

In order to find a style that reflected the desires of the Vietnamese driver, VinFast did something no car brand has ever done before. First, it commissioned design sketches for a sedan and a SUV from four of the world’s best car design studios – Italdesign Giugiaro, Pininfarina, Torino Design and Zagato. Then in October 2017, it put all 20 designs on its website and asked Vietnamese consumers to vote on which models they liked the most.

These Vietnamese consumers were excited to help determine the look of the first cars made expressly for them. With over 60,000 people voting for their favorite designs, the decision was clear; they chose designs for an SUV and a sedan both penned by celebrated Italian design house Italdesign Giugiaro.

Since then, VinFast has worked hard with Pininfarina to further develop the cars and deliver the winning designs – designs which are distinctively Vietnamese in character and style and exciting for an international audience, too.

One specific highlight of the debutant’s design language is prominent at the front of both its new cars. The chrome ‘V’ emblem at the centre of the grille is confident and distinctive. To the right is a horizontal chrome element that combines with the LED daytime running lights to create an italicised F-motif, representing the second syllable of VinFast, and a unique asymmetric flourish. From the central ‘V’ emblem radiates the bold crease lines that run over the bonnet.

“The strong brand identity, enhanced by elegant lines and refined details, gives our cars several distinctive highlights,” explains David Lyon, Director of Design at VinFast. “First and foremost, these emanate around the ‘V’ logo in the grille, which references the country of Vietnam, as well as the Vingroup and VinFast brands.

 In conjunction with Pininfarina, we have carefully sculptured each body line to express the natural beauty of Vietnam and the warm-hearted and dynamic characteristics of its people through a modern and world-class design language.”

From a starting point of exceptional proportions, designers from VinFast and Pininfarina created timeless cars that each feature a long wheelbase and elegant, inspiring styling.

Contemporary and timeless, the designs are beautifully balanced, with a sleek profile created by a long bonnet and cab-rearward stance.

They exhibit an emotional dynamism through taught and lean surfacing created by carefully sculpted convex and concave forms. Exuding a sense of technological advancement, complex lighting is in layers at the front and in distinctive block-form combination modules at the rear, each incorporating bold LEDs for a very modern style.

LUX A2.0 Sedan

The sleek sedan has a powerful, dynamic stance and a mixture of curved and concave surfaces that create a sense of elegance and desirable prestige.

It is defined by exceptionally balanced and harmonious proportions. The long bonnet visually extends the front of the car, with the sleek minimalistic headlights drawing the eye to the corners, while the roofline stretches rearward to create a cab rearward, sleek elegance. The C-pillar is elongated to visually continue the roofline rearwards, with the rear glass raked at a fast angle.

The chrome elements and sleek, modern design give the car a prestigious appeal that enrich the sense of premium. A lower chrome line runs along the length of the body side through to the rear to accentuate the lean proportions. Higher up the bodyside is a sharp, flowing line that enhances the impression of elegance and creates a sense of forward momentum.

The aerofoil splitter at the lower edge of the front bumper improves aerodynamic performance – optimised through wind tunnel testing – as air is forced into the intake and expelled ahead of the wheel arches to reduce drag-inducing turbulence around the wheels.


The SUV is muscular and robust in appearance, with design elements adding to the strong SUV impression, yet still retaining a lithe, sporty look.

At the front, the LUX SA2.0’s imposing bumper guard was developed to be very sculptural and to incorporate cleanly the headlight layout, air intakes and fog lights. The lighting elements create a strong SUV style, vertically stacked from the low-positioned fog lights up to the headlights half-way up, capped by the daytime running lights that flow out from the VinFast logo.

As with the LUX A2.0 sedan, the bold front-end design ensures the ‘V’ and ‘F’ of the VinFast brand is a key focal point. Contrasting surfaces and materials subtly enhance the clean, flowing lines, and the sheet metal is juxtaposed with black elements in the front grille to lighten the front end and enhance the sporty character of the SUV.

Visual drama in the front is further enhanced by chrome brightwork and highly sculptured gloss black elements that together project a sense of luxury. Meanwhile, the headlights, fog lights and air intakes are presented in a contrasting matte black surround, to heighten the sense of solidity and structure.

The new SUV’s aesthetic appeal is strengthened with sculptural, flowing lines that create a sense of forward-leaning aspect, giving the car a sense of dynamic power. This is a seven passenger, three-row SUV that still feels very compact and sporty.

The deep body side and shallow glasshouse are carefully proportioned to visually lower the profile and increase the dynamic appearance. The single chrome line across the bottom of the glasshouse sweeps up the C-pillar, accentuating the dynamic lines.

Further chrome brightwork around the windows adds to the sense of luxury and creates visual drama, while the striking ‘floating’ roof at the D-pillar adds even more athleticism to the side profile.

Calm, rewarding interior

The inspiration for VinFast’s interiors was Vietnam itself. The design team understood that finding a way to express the Vietnamese personality and broader cultural traits was vital, so they could build a car that would emotionally fulfil the desires and aspirations of Vietnam’s motorists.

Clean lines and quality materials make the interior of VinFast models a tranquil and rewarding place to be and reflective of a Vietnamese aesthetic. The exterior of the LUX A2.0 sedan and LUX SA2.0 SUV define the character of the cars, and VinFast’s design team have echoed that character in the interior spaces of each model.

The focus is on providing uncluttered simplicity and creating a relaxing ambience. VinFast wants this to be a place that drivers feel they can get away from everything: the drive to work and journey home should be the best part of the day.

The lines are very clean and simple, and the control surfaces feature very few buttons. For VinFast, creating a clean, cutting-edge user interface was essential. Technology is vital – Vietnam is a smartphone country: more than 80 per cent of the population use smartphones, a higher proportion of the population than in other countries including the USA.

And the large 10.4-inch touchscreen dominating the centre console presents a very familiar and welcoming interface for a tech-savvy population. The large configurable touchscreen is the control hub of the car and features simple, intuitive navigation and menus.

The design team tasked themselves with creating a fresh new look for the interface without compromising its usability. The goal was to simplify features whenever possible and to make the mood and the feeling of the interface as distinctly Vietnamese as possible.

VinFast has created a system to incorporate a more human element for VinFast cars. It uses fewer buttons, prioritizing the hierarchy of functions logically and uses a simple color palette that is easy to read.

The result is a UX design that is both simple and elegant. The homepage, for example, has just three icons for top level access, plus a display showing the climate control status in the car. This home menu is contextual with just three large buttons for phone connectivity navigation and audio.

 The sub-level menus below this — including for the phone and the audio and even the navigation system — owe far more to contemporary smartphone design in terms of both aesthetic and function than perhaps anything yet seen in automotive UX de-sign. Users even swipe down for shortcuts in the same way that you would using an An-droid or Apple phone.

As a principal point of interaction between occupant and car, the touchscreen has a color palette to reflect the dramatic use of color in the Vietnamese culture and nature. There are three different themes each based on an iconic Vietnamese landscape, offering the driver a choice of mood and color. Customers can upload their own photos and choose from Vietnam-themed wallpapers for use as a background to the interface, landscapes familiar to Vietnamese customers, including terraced rice fields and Hạ Long Bay.

This element of personalization is part of an overall aesthetic designed to connect emotion-ally with local consumers.

In addition to the centre console touchscreen, a prominent seven-inch colour driver information display is set in the centre of the instrument binnacle, flanked by an analogue dial on each side. The layered form of the instrument panel – as with other elements of the interior styling lines – was inspired by the Vietnamese countryside.

The subtle presence of technology in the cabin is further complemented by ambient lighting strips integrated into the horizontal interior trim lines across the dash and doors.

Designers spent significant time getting the proportions right, with optimised ergonomics and clear lines of sight dictating much of the interior layout.

Quality is a primary focus for VinFast throughout the car, and this is especially evident in the selection of materials and the hand-crafted finish. Everything the occupants touch and feel in the car is authentic – if it looks like aluminium it is aluminium; if it looks like wood it is wood.

To maintain quality and consistency of material grades and grains, a single supplier – Faurecia – has been appointed to supply all interior parts. Its commitment to achieving the required level of quality and finish is evident in the fact that most surfaces are hand-wrapped and custom-stitched.

- Will Reeves, photos VinFast


02.10.2018 / MaP

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