Not only built in Vietnam but in limited numbers, too

VinFast sounds more like an app of sorts that lets you check a car’s service history by introducing its VIN and getting details on when, where, and why it was repaired. However, VinFast is Vietnam’s only domestic car brand, which became independent in 2018, after it bought GM’s remaining operations in Vietnam.

At the helm of the company sits CEO Jim DeLuca, who also happens to be a former General Motors employee, but the owner is Vietnam’s richest man.

Why are we telling you all this? Well, VinFast just introduced its first SUV, a hot-rodded luxo-barge called the President, that’s based on the F15-gen BMW X5.

Wait, did you say hot-rodded?

Yes, sir.

The VinFast President gets a GM-sourced EcoTec3 V-8 engine displacing 6.2 liters.

Can’t go wrong with that, can you? Power is 420 horsepower while torque reaches up to 460 pound-feet of torque (or 624 Newton-meters of torque, depending on where you live in the world), as per Carscoops. That’s the same engine doing work inside the Chevy Tahoe, Silverado, and Suburban.

VinFast President: An Old BMW X5 With a GM V-8 That's Built In Vietnam Exterior
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What’s more, the President can go from naught to 100 kph (62 mph) in 6.8 seconds then carry on the charge to a top speed of 300 kph (186 mph). Those numbers are possible with the help of an eight-speed automatic and a full-time all-wheel-drive setup.

Limited to 500 units and definitely not cheap

VinFast President: An Old BMW X5 With a GM V-8 That's Built In Vietnam Interior
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For the sake of the bigger picture, know that VinFast is owned by Vietnam’s richest man and the country’s first billionaire, Pham Nhat Vuong. On that note, given the SUV’s price tag of around $164,000 and the fact that it will only be available on Vietnamese soil in just 500 units, perhaps Mr. Vuong wanted to offer a luxury car for his rich acquaintances.

Or perhaps he and VinFast are looking to make a statement and say look, here’s what we can do when it comes to building a car. Which is not much, considering the X5 platform was already there, as was the engine, but it’s a good start nonetheless for Vietnam’s emerging automotive sector.

VinFast President: An Old BMW X5 With a GM V-8 That's Built In Vietnam Drivetrain
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As for the way this SUV looks, we’ll let the photo gallery do the talking. Even with all the extra details VinFast added, you can still clearly see it’s a previous-gen BMW X5, inside and out. After all, those Hyundai Kona-style slim headlights aren’t fooling anyone.

Tudor Rus
Assistant Content Manager - Automotive Expert - tudor@topspeed.com
Tudor’s first encounter with cars took place when he was only a child. Back then, his father brought home a Trabant 601 Kombi and a few years later, a Wartburg 353. At that time, he was too young to know how they worked and way too young to drive them, but he could see one thing – each of them had a different ethos and their own unique personality. As time went on, he started seeing that in other cars as well, and his love for the automobile was born.  Read More
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