The car was designed by Volkswagen Group’s former styling chief Walter De Silva. It is expected to go into production at the beginning of 2023.
The S9 will use a newly developed 4.0-liter V-8 gasoline engine capable of about 880 hp, with electric turbocharging. Two electric motors increase its power to about 1,400 hp.
The S9 is part of a range of cars that Silk-FAW is developing under the Hongqi bran. The joint venture plans to build a full range of models in Italy and China.
Besides the S9, the less expensive S7 range will also be produced in the Italian factory. The range is likely to comprise an SUV, a coupe and, later, a convertible.
The S9 will be the only plug-in hybrid in the range. All the other models will be full-electric cars.
The smaller S5 and S3 ranges will be built in China in Changchun, where FAW’s headquarters are located, but sold globally.
FAW has joint ventures in China with VW, Toyota and Mazda.
Its Hongqi brand (Chinese for Red Flag) was launched by FAW in 1958 and is regarded as a symbol of China’s ruling Communist Party.
Silk-FAW is investing an initial 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) to develop the S9 and S7, as well as to build a production facility and r&d center in Reggio Emilia.
Construction work is expected to begin by the end of the year. The complex will also include a small test track.
ROVATO, Italy (AP) — There are no fans lining the road. No teammates providing support. And there is no race to win.
Professional cyclist Davide Martinelli has achieved a moral victory, though, by using his bike to help deliver medicine to elderly residents and others in need during the coronavirus pandemic.
The service is of great use in Lodetto, Martinelli’s hometown in the hard-hit Lombardy region of northern Italy. The village has neither a pharmacy nor a supermarket.
Martinelli makes a daily trip to Rovato, the next town over, to pick up supplies.
“I’ve got a bike and two legs in pretty good form, so riding 10 kilometers (6 miles) a day is no big deal,” Martinelli said in an interview this week. “I wanted to help the people who always support me during the season. It’s time to give back to them.”
Martinelli joined up with a Facebook group called “Lodetto Solidale” (Supporting Lodetto) where those in need can place their requests online, by phone or message.
Martinelli receives his orders each night and maps out a route for the following day.
“I go to the pharmacy and when I arrive outside I put on gloves and a mask,” he said. “If I go for three or four people, there’s less risk of contagion.”
With a population of 1,500, everyone in Lodetto knows who Martinelli is. Or rather, they know who Martinelli’s father is.
That’s because Giuseppe Martinelli is one of the most successful team directors in cycling, having guided the likes of Marco Pantani and Vincenzo Nibali to Tour de France victories and a handful of riders to Giro d’Italia wins.
The elder Martinelli said that what his son is doing now is “a step above a victory for one of my athletes, because it’s gratifying to him and to us because he’s part of our family.”
Davide Martinelli is also part of Giuseppe Martinelli’s Astana team — the squad that Lance Armstrong rode for in 2009 when he came out of retirement.
Still, Giuseppe Martinelli said he had nothing to do with his son’s initiative besides offering fatherly advice: “I just said, ‘Be careful. Be safe. Don’t touch anyone. Use a mask and gloves when you enter the pharmacy.’”
At 26, Davide Martinelli likely still has his best racing years ahead of him. So far in his career, he has won only two stages in minor races — both in 2016. This initiative has brought him more recognition than anything else he’s done on his bike.
While professional athletes were at first allowed out to train during the nationwide lockdown in Italy, the government ordered them to remain home, too, after the Tokyo Olympics were postponed to 2021.
“But don’t think for an instant that there’s some sort of training strategy behind all of this,” Giuseppe Martinelli said of his son’s initiative. “Eight out of 10 times he goes out with normal running shoes and his mountain bike. … So we’re talking about 30-40 minutes twice a