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May 5, 2021

The Chinese Are Building A Supercar In Ferrari's Backyard

China is the world’s biggest auto market, so it was just a matter of time when they’ll get into the supercar game. Well, that time is now, and the first entrant is from First Automobile Works or FAW with their 2024 Silk-FAW Hongqi S9. And in a surprising plot twist, they’re building it in Ferrari’s backyard.

Perhaps realizing the importance of country of origin in an ultra-luxury, ultra-exclusive supercar, FAW has decided not to build its Silk-FAW Hongqi S9 in China, but in Italy’s Emilia Romagna region. Also known as “Motor Valley,” it’s home to supercar brands such as Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Pagani as well as motorcycle maker, Ducati.

Although FAW used the Auto Shanghai to show what the Hongqi S9 will look like, because the production version is slated for release in 2024, they haven’t provided any mechanical specifications—except, of course, that it will be a purely electric vehicle or EV.

However, FAW used the opportunity to introduce Walter De Silva as Silk-FAW’s vice president of styling and design. De Silva is best known for his stint at Audi, where he designed the first-generation Audi TT and Audi R8. He also designed the Alfa Romeo 156 and the Lamborghini Egoista—a concept car based on the Gallardo. For the 2024 Silk-FAW Hongqi S9, De Silva embraced the concept of, “Essence of Beauty.”

In order to build ultra-luxury sportscars, FAW will invest around 1.2 billion US dollars over three years.

Aside from setting up an innovation center and production facilities in Emilia Romagna, it will also maintain a major production facility and innovation center in Changchun, China, likely to produce the Hongqi S9’s all-electric powertrain.

Do you think the world is ready for a Chinese supercar?

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