Remember Hongqi? The Chinese car manufacturer was introduced to most of us by Jeremy Clarkson in the sixth episode, season 3 of The Grand Tour. The episode showcased a luxury saloon Hongqi L5 powered by a 6.0-litre V12 and worth GBP 8,80,000. Within a short drive, the man decided it wasn’t very great to drive and had a price tag too big and replaced it with a BMW 7 Series for GBP 8,400 for the rest of the episode. But that’s enough about The Grand Tour, we’ve now learned that Hongqi is set to begin production of its first supersport hybrid car called the S9.
Hongqi is a brand under Chinese automaker FAW Group which has announced that it will set up a joint venture with Silk EV LLC from the United States to manufacture its first super sports model. According to a Xinhua report, the municipal government of the northeastern Chinese city of Changchun, FAW and Silk EV LLC via a video conference on Thursday signed a letter of cooperation intent on the Hongqi S series project.
Silk EV LLC will invest 10 billion yuan (about USD 1.42 billion) in the next five years to build Hongqi S series products, aiming to make it a world-famous luxury sports car brand. The company, headquartered in New York, has wholly-owned research, development and production center in Modena, Italy.
Unveiled at the Frankfurt Auto Show last year, the S9 is Hongqi’s first super sports model, which claims a maximum speed of 400 km/h and a 0-100 km acceleration time of within 1.9 seconds. It is powered by a newly-developed V8T hybrid system with 1,400 horsepower.
In the first quarter this year, Hongqi sold more than 25,000 cars, up 88 percent year on year. Hongqi, meaning “red flag,” is China’s iconic sedan brand. The brand was established in 1958 and has been used as the vehicle for parades at national celebrations.
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