The debut is only a few weeks away.
A new plug-in hybrid supercar will debut in Italy next month and it's not a Ferrari nor a Lamborghini. Pagani? Again, no. The Hongqi S9 plug-in hybrid supercar will make its official live debut on the sidelines of the Milan Design Week in Italy early next month.
Why is the S9 so interesting? For starters, it comes from the Chinese-US startup Silk-FAW, a joint venture between China's FAW and American company Silk EV. Not only does the S9 produce a claimed 1,400 horsepower and carries a $1.9 million price tag, but it's also the result of some of the best minds from Ferrari and Lamborghini coming together. Silk-FAW hired former executives and design talent from both iconic brands and kindly asked them to create a new supercar. This is the result.
And not only will it debut just up the road from those prestigious carmakers, but it'll also be built at a new factory just 27 miles away from Ferrari's headquarters in Maranello. Lamborghini HQ is located nearby in Sant'Agata. Maserati is also in the neighborhood.
The S9 was previewed last spring at the Shanghai Auto Show but next month's reveal is said to be far more in-depth and its creators will be on hand, one of whom is Walter De Silva, formerly the Volkswagen Group's design boss. Some of his past creations include the first-generation Audi TT and the R8 as well as the Lamborghini Miura concept. The S9 will be the company's only model to feature a combustion engine; all future cars will be purely battery-electric.
Power comes from a brand new 4.0-liter V8 with electric turbocharging for a total of around 880 horsepower. A pair of electric motors increase that output to 1,400 hp. The S9 is just one of several new models planned for the Hongqi brand which will eventually see vehicles built in both Italy and China.
Along with the S9, the S7 range, which includes the HS7 SUV and, later on, a coupe and convertible, is also expected to see Italian production. A 320,000 square foot R&D center with its own test track in Reggio Emilia is also part of the grand $1.2 billion investment plan.