FAW’s multi-billion-Yuan project to revive the luxury brand Hongqi began to bear fruits two months ago when the first batch of H7s were delivered to the provincial government of Jilin. Later this year the H7, which targets Audi A6 and Mercedes-Benz E-Class, will get wider release, and the more luxurious L series will hit the market in limited quantities.
The L9 and its short-wheelbase version the L7 are derived from the Hongqi flagship, the HQE ceremonial car, 17 of which are believed to have been made for the central government. The HQE, in turn, is a descendant of Hongqi CA770 (originally as Dongfeng CA71, CA72), which was produced between 1958 and 1980 for communist leaders.
A Hongqi HQE carrying Hu Jintao before the Tiananmen in 2009
A Hongqi CA770 carrying Deng Xiaoping in 1984
Intended to inherit that tradition, the L9/L7 retain many of the design elements of the CA770. But underneath they are said to have a chassis built through imitating a past model of Toyota Land Cruiser.
FAW GA12GV 6.0L V12 Engine
Main engine option is FAW’s CA12GV, a 6.0L V12 that can deliver up to 300kW of power and 550Nm of torque. Featuring cylinder-deactivation technology the V12 can be switched to an L6 operation. Paired to it is a 6-speed "manumatic" transmission (codenamed TB-6A).
The L9 sits on a 3900mm wheelbase, with overall body-length exceeding 6000mm. The non-bullet-proof version weighs about 3200kg.
The L7 has a shorter wheelbase of 3435mm and is 5555mm long, 2018mm wide, and 1578mm high. It weighs 3150kg.
The most expensive Chinese-built car available to the general public, the L9 is reportedly to carry a list price of 5 million Yuan (US$810,000). The L7 can be owned for about 3 million Yuan.
FAW Hongqi ("Red Flag") L9
FAW Hongqi L7