Two companies with the same name are inbound at the Geneva Motor Show. Hispano Suiza, the one from Spain, unveiled a new concept at this year’s Geneva Motor Show.
The Carmen, named after the company’s current President’s mother, Carmen Mateu, possesses styling quite unlike anything on the Swiss show floor.
Joining the bandwagon of recent hypercars, Carmen uses Formula E developed battery tech that sends 1,055hp to the rear wheels with a top speed of 250kph. “I don’t want to compete with the performance of a Koenigsegg or a Rimac,” says technical director Lluc Marti. “We limit the top speed because we don’t think there’s a sense in anymore.”
The front end is designed to sport an era-appropriate modern look.
The brand, as we know, was resurrected after 70 years. While its absence might indicate a lot that has been missed, the same has given the 40-strong development teams more reasons that are close to their heart to return to Spain.
Lluc Marti’s CV includes three years at Koenigsegg, working on the One:1. However, in a bold statement, Marti said “Even though I came from Koenigsegg this is a dream job. There, we had the old chassis and engine and suspension, here I was given a white sheet of paper and told ‘create the car’. I was like ‘really, I can put everything I’ve learned in this chassis?”.
Meanwhile, the rear-end is inspired from the 1938 Dubonnet Xenia.
The styling inspiration for the Carmen dates back to the 1938 Hispano Suiza Dubonnet Xenia. The teardrop shape, covered rear wheels and round headlamps are all directly inspired from 81 years ago. The Carmen is built on a carbon fibre monocoque chassis which is relatively light considering that it carries hundreds of pounds of lithium-ion batteries along its floor.
For $1.7 million dollars, you get sub-three seconds of triple-digit speeds and reliable electric power. Not a bad deal if I must say. This modern front end with a retro-inspired rear end reminds us of another one-off special that was launched at this year’s Geneva Motor Show. Yes, the $18.9 million Bugatti La Voiture Noire. However, with Carmen you can save a lot of bucks and get more or less the same heritage.