Chinese car manufacturer Silk-FAW has announced former Ferrari, Alfa Romeo and BMW executive Roberto Fedeli as their new chief technology officer, as reported by Automotive News. The appointment will see the Italian national lead the JV’s tech advancement, centered around autonomous driving and electrification.
The news comes a month after the company recruited Ex-Ferrari CEO Amedeo Felisa as special advisor to the executive chairman and member of the senior advisory board.
Silk-FAW appears to be taking a rather bullish strategy to propel itself to the fore of the “ultra-premium” class. The latest signings come after several other important milestones for the US-Chinese joint-venture start-up.
In February, the company announced that they were to design and build the Hongqi S9 hybrid hypercar in the Emilia-Romagna region — also known as Italy’s Motor Valley that’s home to Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Pagani.
At the Shanghai Auto Show, Hongqi, a premium auto brand owned by FAW that”s associated with dignitaries in China, unveiled the S9 hypercar. With a 1,400 hp driveline that pairs a turbocharged V8 to three electric motors, it promises to hit 62 mph (100 km/h) in just 1.9 seconds and reach a top speed of 400 km/h (249 mph).
The S9 has been designed by Walter De Silva, who is vice president of styling and design. Hiring De Silva, who’s known as the designer who penned classic shapes such as the Audi R8, Lamborghini Egoista, and modern-day VW Sirocco, was indicative of the brand’s ambitions.
Fedeli will bring with him his 26 years of experience working at Ferrari. As technical director of the prancing horse from 2006 to 2014, he has overseen the development of hyper and supercars that Silk-FAW will undoubtedly be targeting. According to Auto News, Fedli’s experience extends to projects such as the La Ferrari, the 456, 355, 550 Maranello, 360 Modena, 458 Speciale, and California.
More recently, Fedeli worked for BMW, playing a role in the i8 plug-in hybrid roadster, before returning to Italy as chief technical officer for Alfa Romeo and Maserati.