What do the original Audi R8 and this Hongqi S9 supercar have in common? A designer, believe it or not. Revealed on Monday at the Shanghai Auto Show, the S9 comes from Vice President of Styling & Design Walter de Silva at the joint venture named Silk EV-FAW. He's the same man who once led Audi and VW Group design through 2015.
The car's properly wild, if a tad anonymous up front with some generic lines that feel very at home inside a Grand Theft Auto or Burnout video game. You can only design a mid-engined car so many ways. The rear feels more purposeful with hunched rear end, rectangular LED taillights and bulging hips to accentuate the mid-mounted powertrain. Speaking of it, the powertrain's a 1,400-horsepower V8 with a plug-in hybrid setup. Silk EV-FAW promise a 0-62 mph time of 1.9 seconds and a top speed above 250 mph. Although details on the powertrain are slim, there will supposedly be enough battery juice for the car to travel 25 miles on pure electric power.
Silk EV-FAW plans to build 99 of these supercars at the former's operations center in Italy. FAW hopes to cash in on the glitz and glamor as it works to revive the Hongqi brand locally in China. For real car nerds, Hongqi is the brand that built limousines for Mao Zedong. FAW's goal is to make the brand into a domestic luxury powerhouse to compete with American and European luxury marques. A supercar is definitely one way to try to grab attention.