When you think of V12 engines, what typically comes to mind? German luxury sedans? Italian exotics? Think again: Chinese automaker FAW has taken the wraps off a new 6-liter V12 that will begin production in about a year from now. The engine will drive the new Hongqi HQE limousine, China's homegrown take on the Rolls-Royce Phantom previewed by the HQD concept car at the 2005 Shanghai Auto Show.

Established in 1953, First Automobile Works is, as you can guess, China's first automobile manufacturer, and remains one of the largest in the country. Hongqi ( "red flag") is FAW's flagship line, which also includes the (ahem) self-driving HQ3 that we reported on previously. In addition to its own range of vehicles, FAW also makes the Toyota Prius and several Volkswagens and Audis under local joint ventures. While the Hongqi HQE may find its share of buyers in China's burgeoning luxury market, we wouldn't expect to see it on American streets any time soon unless it's parked in front of the Chinese embassy.

[Source: Inside Line

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