If you ever felt like the previous-generation BMW X5 never quite had enough displacement, a new company in Vietnam is now producing the SUV with a redesigned body and a 6.2-litre V8 engine sourced from General Motors stuffed under the hood.
VinFast is Vietnam’s proud new, first-ever home-based automaker. The only catch is it’s really hard to develop and produce a safe, modern vehicle these days.
Instead of doing all that hard work, VinFast turned to automotive supplier and manufacturer Magna Steyr in Austria, which redesigned the previous-generation BMW X5 SUV to work out for the new car company. Pininfarina did the design work.
They also threw out most of BMW’s powertrain options, which has always been one of the bigger selling points to driving a BMW platform. But don’t worry, VinFast has a solid plan to make up for that. Via Autoblog:
BMW offered the F15-generation X5 with a twin-turbocharged, 4.4-litre V8, but VinFast followed the path blazed by thousands of hot rodders and dropped an American engine under the President’s hood. It’s a 6.2-litre EcoTec3 V8 tuned to send [313 kW] and [283 Nm] of torque to the four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission.
So yeah, the new luxury flagship SUV from Vietnam is a redressed German vehicle with a big, loud V8 crate motor under the hood. And they called it the President. Do you think they’re mocking someone a bit?
Regardless, the new “President” now shares a motor with American trucks like the Chevy Tahoe, Suburban and Silverado, and the GM family of similar SUVs and pickups. As well as any other project that features the 6.2-litre crate motor dropped in.
The VinFast President will be limited to just 500 units for now, and is basically just a very dressed up version of the company’s current Lux SA2.0. The difference is that the President comes with a hood scoop, copper trim accents, a new 12.3-inch infotainment display, heated, cooled and massaging leather seats front and rear, that massively-upgraded 313 kW and 283 Nm of torque V8 engine, and a price tag reportedly equivalent to about $227,534.