Silk EV, a fledgling Italian automotive engineering and design company and FAW, one of China’s largest car manufacturers have officially announced a new joint venture to develop a new line of ultra luxury, high-performance electrified vehicles. This is the first JV between China and Italy in the super premium and premium car segments with a commitment of more than 1 billion euros (RM4.87 billion).

The person in charge of all things design is the famous Walter De Silva, whose work include the Alfa Romeo 156, first-generation Audi A5, R8, and the Volkswagen Scirocco. The Italian, who is now the vice president of styling and design of Silk-FAW, will oversee the design of the entire S series of cars, and is responsible for the S9’s design you see here.

The S9 will be the first S series model to be introduced. The concept was first shown at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show and is said to be packing an electrified 4.0 litre V8 engine that generates a whopping 1,400 hp. The century dash is claimed to be done in 1.9 seconds, and the car will top out at 400 km/h. If you want one, the base price is reportedly around 10 million yuan (RM6.3 million).

“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 said.

Silk EV chairman, Jonathan Krane said the new Hongqi S series line-up of cars will combine a dynamic, sustainable and exclusive driving experience with the use of cutting-edge technology and innovation. “The Hongqi S series will lead a new era in luxury and sustainable mobility,” he added.

Design and manufacturing of the S9 will take place at Silk EV’s headquarters in Regione Emilia-Romagna. There are also plans to establish a major production facility and innovation centre in Changchun, China. Silk-FAW added that this JV will be a unique opportunity for both countries to share and develop cutting-edge electrification technology.

So far, no additional info of the S9 have been revealed, but the company is expected to release details later in the year. FAW Group has an ambitious target to sell one million Hongqi vehicles annually by 2030.