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Chinese-US brand Silk-FAW to debut S9 hypercar in Milan

Silk-FAW S9 hypercar said to have 1044kW PHEV, 400km/h top whack and USD$1.8m price

16 Aug 2021

CHINESE-US start-up Silk-FAW will premiere the production version of its highly anticipated S9 hypercar at next month’s Milan Design Week. 


The plug-in hybrid longtail coupe produces a claimed 1044kW and is expected to retail for USD$1.8m. It will enter production from 2023 at an all-new 320,000 square-metre facility in Reggio Emilia, Italy, close to renowned automotive manufacturers including Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Ducati.


The S9 is built on a carbon-fibre spaceframe chassis and will draw motivation from a newly developed 4.0-litre V8. The 656kW petrol engine features electric turbocharging and is enhanced by a pair of 194kW electric motors. 


According to its manufacturer, the S9 boasts a top speed north of 400km/h and a 0-100km/h time of 1.9 seconds.


Silk-FAW is a joint venture between Chinese manufacturer FAW and Silk EV, a US-based start-up. The company has recruited former executives from Ferrari and Lamborghini to design and build its S9 hypercar and employs former Volkswagen Group styling chief Walter De Silva in a consultancy-based design role.


“We designed the shapes and technical surfaces skilfully until we reached the point of maximum balance between aerodynamics, proportions, and beauty,” explained Mr De Silva on the company’s website.


“No detail was left to chance in order to complete the body shape of the S9 with an aesthetic language of essential, dynamic lines.”


The joint venture is chaired by US financial specialist Jonathan Krane, who has recruited a roll call of elite automotive executives. 


The list includes former Alfa Romeo, BMW, Ferrari, and Maserati veteran Roberto Fedeli; former Ferrari, Maserati, and McLaren engineer Carlo Della Casa; Ferrari, Maserati, and McLaren software and electronic technologies expert Davide Montosi; former Aston Martin and Lamborghini executive Katia Bassi and former Ferrari CEO, Amedeo Felisa.


Variable geometry aerodynamics, including seamless intake and extraction via the headlight and tail-light surrounds, are handled by Italian aerodynamic and chassis specialists Dallara Automobili.


The S9 is the first of a range Silk-FAW is developing under the Hongqi (Chinese for Red Flag) brand, which was launched in 1958. The joint venture plans to produce a range of models in China and Italy, including SUVs, coupes and at least one convertible.


The manufacturer has stated previously that only the S9 will feature hybrid power. All other models will be fully electric.


Alongside the S9, the less expensive S7 will also be produced in the group’s Italian facility. The smaller S5 and S3 ranges will be built in Changchun, China, where FAW has its base. FAW already boasts existing joint ventures with Mazda, Toyota, and Volkswagen.


“The S9 is the combination of technology and art, the convergence of the classic and the innovative, the blend of East and West,” states the Silk-FAW website.


“With a maximum speed of over 400km/h, performance hybrid functionality, and an acceleration time of 1.9 seconds, the S9 is the birth of supreme [performance].” 


Milan Design Week begins on September 4.

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