There's surrounding Hispano Suiza's rebirth, as two companies currently claim to own the rights to the historic Spanish car/French aviation brand. One is Hispano Suiza Automobilmanufaktur AG, which is owned by Austrian car designer Erwin Leo Himmel. It debuted at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show with his Audi R8-based Hispano Grand Turismo Concept.
Eight years later, his team is working on a production model priced at $2.5 million. The Maguari HS1 GTC's powertrain is still based on the 5.2 Lamborghini V10, but the Austrians made it triple-charged with a pair of turbos, accompanied by electric compressors and a supercharger. They claim over 1000 horsepower, and deliveries will start late this year.
In the other corner, you find the Spanish Suqué Mateu family, represented by Miguel Suqué Mateu, the great-grandson of Damián Mateu, who co-founded the Spanish Hispano Suiza with Swiss engineer Marc Birkigt in 1904. This startup began last summer, yet its first product, the Carmen EV, is ready for your deposits. After all, we live in a time when, at a minimum price of $3 million each, Koenigsegg's run of 125 cars sells out in less then two weeks.
With its lines inspired by 1938's H6C Dubonnet Xenia, Hispano's 15.4-foot carbon fiber two-seater was named after Miguel Suqué Mateu's mother. The Carmen was engineered entirely by Barcelona-based QEV Technologies, who also run Mahinda's rather successful Formula E team. Meanwhile, Mahindra's own electric supercar, the Pininfarina Battista uses Rimac's technology.
The Spanish Hispano Suiza weighs 3726 lbs., due mostly to its T-shaped, 80 kWh lithium ion polymer battery pack, and the trio of radiators keeping it under control. Kept cool, those 700 liquid-cooled cells should give you 249 miles, with fast DC charging at up to 750V. However, a new 105kWh pack could come as early as next year.
There are 503-horsepower permanent-magnet synchronous motors on each rear wheel, for a combined output of 1005HP. Hispano Suiza claims 0-62mph in less than three seconds, with the top speed limited to 155mph.
As you would expect from a luxury car built around a carbon fiber tub, the suspension uses double wishbones front and rear, with adaptive dampers and active anti-roll bars. The brakes are massive carbon-ceramics with six-piston calipers by AP Racing, and there's regeneration. With a drag coefficient of 0.33Cd, the Carmen is also pretty sleek for its size.
Efficiency will no doubt matter to those 19 people who will get to buy one, starting at $1.7 million. Mind you, that figure makes the Spanish electric Hispano Suiza somewhat cheaper than the Austrian fire-breathing one mentioned above. What a world!