The 2019 Geneva Motor Show saw the latest resurrection of Spanish luxury car brand Hispano Suiza, which used the event to debut the fully-electric Carmen grand tourer.
Between 1904 and 1946, Hispano Suiza designed and manufactured more than 12,000 luxury performance cars. But shortly after the end of World War II, its automotive assets were hived off and the company largely continued as an aerospace firm.
In 2010, an initial attempt to revive the automotive marque was made, with a model displayed at that year’s Geneva Motor Show. However, the planned production run fell through.
Petrolheads will be hoping the same fate doesn’t befall the Carmen, thanks to its impressive specifications and striking aesthetic.
Described by Hispano Suiza as the world’s first ever “hyperlux” car – namely, one that combines painstaking craftsmanship with hypercar performance – the Carmen boasts a fully electric 750 kW powertrain.
This represents a huge amount of grunt for a vehicle with a kerb weight of just 1,690 kg. So much so that the Carmen is capable of accelerating from 0-60 mph in under three seconds and has an electronically-limited top speed of 155 mph.
While the specs are undeniably impressive, the Carmen’s biggest draw is its design. According to Hispano Suiza, the car blends “aggressive sportiness” with “timeless elegance”, drawing heavy influence from the marque’s previous models.
Its biggest inspiration was the 1938 H6C Dubonnet Xenia, a one-of-a-kind car commissioned for French flying ace and racing driver André Dubonnet.
“The Carmen unmistakably honours the Dubonnet Xenia’s distinctive form and styling characteristics, resulting in a retrospective aerodynamic teardrop profile, albeit modernised for the 2020s,” explained Hispano Suiza.
“Deliberately, the Carmen’s styling is provocative, intended to generate an emotive reaction and to be instantly recognisable.”
Road testing of the Carmen is scheduled to begin in mid-2019, with a production run of just 19 vehicles planned for late-2019 to 2021. Prices will start at €1.5 million (£1.3 million).
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