Trucks & SUVs

The BMW You Want: VinFast Sells New X5s With GM V8s

Sometimes blasphemy is best. We’re sure the gold-chain Beemers will have a fit but there is a company converting BMW X5s to GM LS3 power. We’ll leave it to you to decide if this is good or bad but honestly, this is the BMW you want. Vinfast sells these mongrels new but you have to go to Vietnam to get one. 

Vietnam-based VinFast just released its President model

2021 VinFast President SUV | VinFast

Vietnam-based VinFast just released its President model. It’s an X5 swapped with an LS engine. To make it less BMW and more VinFast there is a unique mesh grille, hood scoop, and copper accents on the exterior. Inside, you’ll find wood trim and quilted leather upholstery. There is also a 12.3-inch touchscreen and the rear seats get heat, cooling, and massaging features. 

From BMW the X5 comes with a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8. But why settle for that when you can have the king of V8 swaps. We’re talking about a 6.2-liter EcoTec V8 with 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. This is the engine that comes in the Chevy Silverado, Tahoe, and Suburban, along with their GMC siblings. The Cadillac Escalade also gets the 6.2-liter action. All-wheel-drive is included, shifted by an eight-speed automatic transmission. 

The plan is to make only 500 Presidents

2021 VinFast President SUV interior | VinFast

The plan is for VinFast to make only 500 Presidents. The starting price is about $164,000, according to CarScoops. The sad part is that it will only be sold in Vietnam. Obviously, the reason we won’t get one here is due to emissions regulations.

You can’t swap out one engine for a different one. You can only replace a similar power plant, otherwise, you have defeated emissions laws. So there is no scenario we can think of that would allow the President to be sold in the US. The other problem is that at this price there is nothing that is compelling enough to warrant buying one. It is a conglomeration of German and American components which combined make it unique but only because of the pairing, not of itself.

VinFast is owned by VinCorp which is Vietnam’s largest corporation

2021 VinFast President SUV LS3-based GM V8 | VinFast

RELATED: Why the BMW X5 Is the Most Complained About BMW Vehicle

But, VinFast is owned by VinCorp which is Vietnam’s largest corporation. Covering everything from real estate to shopping malls it is the one company more than any other to be able to bankroll a deeper move in auto production. And, it has made no secret of its intentions to sell products in the US. Whether it happens with the President or a future vehicle is unknown right now. 

With electrification made up in many cases by off-the-shelf components, it would seem like an easy pivot to manufacture and import an exclusive EV to the US. But for now, there is nothing like that on the VinFast horizon. But knowing it wants to have the US as one market means that VinFast in some form will enter the US in the next two-to-three years. 

2021 VinFast President SUV rear | VinFast