While the European Union is thinking about how to protect domestic electric car manufacturers from Chinese companies, another Asian company is sending its electric cars to the EU. It is Vietnamese manufacturer VinFast, which plans to deliver 3,000 electric VF8 models by the end of this year.
VinFast has received approval to import its first electric SUV into the EU, which is manufactured at a factory in northern Vietnam. The cars will be delivered to the French, German and Dutch markets, making the EU the largest overseas market for this Vietnamese company. Earlier this year, the company delivered about 2,100 electric vehicles to the United States.
“We expect to deliver the first VF8 models to French, German and Dutch customers in the last quarter of this year,” said CEO, Le Thi Thu Thuy. He also added that other models VF6, VF7 and VF9 will be delivered to the European market next year.
VinFast VF8 is a mid-size crossover SUV that comes in options of one or two electric motors. The VF8 in a single-motor variant with front-wheel drive, delivered 201 hp (150 kW) and 236 lb-ft (320 Nm) of torque (FWD).
The VF 8 with a dual-motor all-wheel-drive comes as ECO with 348 hp (260 kW; 353 PS) and 368 lb⋅ft (499 N⋅m) or as Plus with 402 hp (300 kW; 408 PS) and 457 lb-ft (620 Nm). Two types of batteries are offered, 82 or 87.7 kWh, which allows a maximum range of 264 miles on a full charge. The more powerful VF8 Plus reaches 62 mph in 5.5 seconds with a top speed of 124 mph (200 km/h).
Automakers are trying to squeeze more money out of their customers in various ways, like BMW which has started charging extra for the manual gearbox on the BMW M2.
“The vast majority of BMW cars are now offered exclusively with an automatic transmission, as few buyers are looking for a manual transmission. It would be easier if only automatic cars came off the assembly line. Instead we have a small number of customers looking for a manual transmission in the M2 series which creates additional complications and increases costs,” said CEO at BMW M GmbH Frank van Meel.
In the UK, buyers pay an extra £545 for the manual gearbox, while in Germany it’s €500. Frank van Meel justifies this by the fact that automatic transmissions are more practical, but that the manual gearbox will remain in the offer because it is more like a matter of tradition. “A manual gearbox is slower, results in higher fuel consumption and sometimes affects the top speed, so from an engineering point of view this type of gearbox no longer really makes sense,” said van Meel. He also admits that there are still a decent number of people looking for a manual gearbox, because that’s the only way they can experience the full potential of the car.
As automakers increasingly embrace automatic transmissions, it wouldn’t be a surprise if BMW’s manual transmission surcharge system became an industry-wide practice.
The Porsche 911 Carrera is one of the most desirable collector’s cars, especially if it is a well-preserved example such as one of 528 imported to the US for the model year, 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera coupe.
The Porsche 911 Carrera is powered by a 2.7-liter flat-six engine, equipped with Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection, with a factory output of 167 hp (123 kW) and 168 lb-ft (230 Nm) of torque. Power is sent to the rear wheels via a five-speed manual transmission. It is mounted on forged 15″ Fuchs alloy wheels wrapped in 195/65 front and 205/60 rear Kumho tires.
This good looking car is one of 528 imported to the US for the model year. It is finished in Light Yellow, well maintained and in good condition. It is equipped with flared rear fenders, body-color headlight trim rings, dark chrome window trim and door handles, Carrera-script side lettering, a front spoiler, body-color impact bumpers, and four-wheel ventilated disc brakes.
Inside, the high-back bucket seats are upholstered in black leather that covers the door panels and dashboard. The three-spoke steering wheel is also wrapped in black leather and behind it is a five-digit odometer that shows 68,133 miles and has rolled over. Additional equipment includes power windows, an analog clock, a JVC CD player, Polk cabin speakers, and a heated rear window.
The car comes with a clean California title.
The auction ends on September 25 and the current highest bid is $25,000 USD.