China and Italy to manufacture new energy sports vehicles for global markets

Contributor, SEA
·1 min read
Concept sketch art of the Hongqi S9, by Walter De Silva. (PHOTO: Silk EV)
Concept sketch art of the Hongqi S9, by Walter De Silva. (PHOTO: Silk EV)

Automotive engineering and design company Silk EV and FAW, China’s largest car manufacturer, announced today that they have launched a joint venture to develop a series of ultra-luxury, high-performance, new energy sports vehicles for the China and global markets.

The Silk-FAW joint venture plans to launch the new full electric and hybrid luxury models under the Hongqi ‘S’ series – the first model of this series will be the ultra-luxury hypercar, the S9. The Hongqi S9 will be designed and manufactured in Regione Emilia-Romagna, the heart of Italy’s Motor Valley, where Silk EV has its headquarters. Production will be in both Italy and Changchun, where FAW’s headquarters is located.

The world-renowned Italian car designer, Walter De Silva of Walter De Silva & Partners, has been appointed as Vice President of Styling and Design for the Silk-FAW JV. He will design the entire lineup of the Hongqi ‘S’ series of new energy vehicles which will embody the essence of innovation and beauty.

“I am excited to be designing the Hongqi ‘S’ series of new energy vehicles. We are in the final styling phase for the Hongqi S9. The S9 has core elements of beauty and elegance, ultimately embracing the ‘Essence of Beauty’. China and Italy are leading automobile innovation with this joint venture, establishing a new cultural model that believes in the beauty of design and technology as the link between these two great countries,” De Silva shared.

De Silva is a legend in the automotive world, having won multiple design awards over the years with styling credits for luxury brands such as Audi, Volkswagen, Seat, Skoda, Porsche, Bentley, Bugatti, and Lamborghini.