Silk-FAW Automotive Group
Company typeJoint venture
FoundedApril 2021
Area served
Key people
Jonathan A. Krane (Chief Executive Officer, Founder of Silk EV)
Walter da Silva (Vice President of Styling and Design)
ParentFAW Group
Silk EV

Silk-FAW Automotive, founded in 2021, is a joint venture between Chinese auto manufacturer FAW group and Italy based Silk EV.[1] Based in Reggio Emilia,[2] Silk-FAW automotive plans to invest up to US$1.2 billion to design, develop and build high performance electric cars with production planned in Italy as well as China.[3]

In 2021 Silk-FAW started production on its first car, the Hongqi S9. Designed by Walter de Silva, the S9 features a hybrid powertrain with a 4-liter twin-turbocharged V8, which produces over 1,300 Horsepower and a top speed of close to 250 MPH.[4] Silk-FAW plans to manufacture a line of 'S' cars, the S3, 35, and S7 respectively.[5]

The Silk-FAW manufactured S9


Hongqi S9 Concept

In September 2019, the Chinese company FAW Group presented a prototype of a fully electric hypercar brand Hongqi,[6] previously focused on luxury limousines and SUVs. Hongqi S9 Concept debuted at the IAA 2019 international trade fair in Frankfurt am Main, announcing the debut of its production version two years later.[7]


In order to develop the production Hongqi S9, FAW Group decided to cooperate with the Italian engineering and design company Silk EV. The partnership was intended to acquire experienced engineers and designers as well as technological resources.[8] In April 2020, a joint-venture company called Silk-FAW was established,[9] which was officially launched in February 2021.[10] At the same time, it was announced that the alliance would also engage in long-term cooperation in the development of other luxury, electrified sports cars[10] for Chinese and global markets.[10] Production of future Silk-FAW vehicles has been indicated at both Italy and the FAW plant in Changchun, China.[10]

With the launch of Silk-FAW in February 2021, it was announced that the famous Italian stylist Walter de Silva was at the helm of the design department, whose first project was the production Hongqi S9.[11] 3 months later, another experienced Italian in the automotive industry, former CEO of Ferrari Amedeo Felisa, joined the Silk-FAW team.[12]

A month earlier, during the Shanghai Auto Show 2021, the official world premiere of the production Hongqi S9 took place.[13] The hypercar received a completely new body design by Walter de Silva, however, despite the dedicated Silk-FAW company logo, it was decided to keep the Hongqi brand for it.[14] The production vehicle is not a fully electric car, but a plug-in hybrid.[15] In May 2021, it was announced that the Hongqi S9 will be a strictly limited vehicle that will be built in 99 units[16] at the Italian Silk EV factory in Modena.[17] However, these plans did not come to fruition due to legal problems of the Italian subsidiary of the joint venture, as a result, limited production plans were transferred to China without a specific date or pool.[18] In May 2023, Hongqi S9 was exhibited at the prestigious Italian Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este event.[19]


  1. ^ Silk-FAW. "Silk EV And FAW Launch Global Joint Venture To Develop Hongqi 'S' Series Of Ultra-Luxury New Energy Sports Vehicles". (Press release). Retrieved 2022-06-16.
  2. ^ "Silk-FAW to build sportscar plant in Italy's 'Motor Valley'". Reuters. 2021-05-03. Retrieved 2022-06-16.
  3. ^ "Silk-FAW names veteran FAW exec to board of directors". Automotive News Europe. 2022-01-18. Retrieved 2022-06-16.
  4. ^ "1,400-Horsepower Hongqi S9 Hypercar Promises 250 MPH". Retrieved 2022-06-16.
  5. ^ "China Auto Industry Takes on its Biggest Challenge Yet - a Hypercar". China Marketing Insights. 2021-08-18. Retrieved 2022-06-16.
  6. ^ "Hongqi S9 Sports Car and E115 Concept EV Debut in Frankfurt". Retrieved 2021-10-06.
  7. ^ "Hongqi Crashes Frankfurt Party With 1,400HP S9 Hybrid Hypercar And 373-Mile E115 Electric SUV". Retrieved 2021-10-06.
  8. ^ "FAW Group to co-build first Hongqi sports car with U.S.-based company". Retrieved 2021-10-06.
  9. ^ "FAW Group, Silk EV to co-produce Hongqi sports car". Retrieved 2021-10-06.
  10. ^ a b c d "Silk EV And FAW Launch Global Joint Venture To Develop Hongqi 'S' Series Of Ultra-Luxury New Energy Sports Vehicles". Retrieved 2021-10-06.
  12. ^ "Silk FAW hires ex Ferrari CEO". Retrieved 2021-10-06.
  13. ^ "Auto Shanghai 2021: Hongqi S9, China's 1400bhp hypercar that will be made in Italy!". Retrieved 2021-10-06.
  14. ^ "The Hongqi S9 is the start of a new chapter in China's automotive story". Retrieved 2021-10-06.
  15. ^ "Hongqi S9 – chiński hipersamochód na marę czasów" (in Polish). Retrieved 2021-10-06.
  16. ^ "1,400-Horsepower Hongqi S9 Hypercar Promises 250 MPH". Retrieved 2021-10-06.
  17. ^ "Silk-FAW to build sports-car plant in Italy". Retrieved 2021-10-06.
  18. ^ "HONGQI S9 TOCH NIET IN PRODUCTIE IN ITALIË" (in Dutch). Retrieved 2023-06-13.
  19. ^ "FAW's Hongqi S9 sports car showed up at the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este in Italy". Retrieved 2023-06-13.