U.S.-Chinese challenger to Ferrari picks Italy to debut $1.8M hypercar

The car was designed by Volkswagen Group’s former styling chief Walter De Silva. It is expected to go into production at the beginning of 2023.

The S9 will use a newly developed 4.0-liter V-8 gasoline engine capable of about 880 hp, with electric turbocharging. Two electric motors increase its power to about 1,400 hp.

The S9 is part of a range of cars that Silk-FAW is developing under the Hongqi bran. The joint venture plans to build a full range of models in Italy and China.

Besides the S9, the less expensive S7 range will also be produced in the Italian factory. The range is likely to comprise an SUV, a coupe and, later, a convertible.

The S9 will be the only plug-in hybrid in the range. All the other models will be full-electric cars.

The smaller S5 and S3 ranges will be built in China in Changchun, where FAW’s headquarters are located, but sold globally.

FAW has joint ventures in China with VW, Toyota and Mazda.

Its Hongqi brand (Chinese for Red Flag) was launched by FAW in 1958 and is regarded as a symbol of China’s ruling Communist Party.

Silk-FAW is investing an initial 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) to develop the S9 and S7, as well as to build a production facility and r&d center in Reggio Emilia.

Construction work is expected to begin by the end of the year. The complex will also include a small test track.