Bringing back an iconic automaker is not a bad way to drum up Spain’s national pride.
One of the beautiful things about the modern-day is that in spite of the fact the rulebooks outlining how automakers must play the game are getting thicker, there is still no shortage of dreamers who want to take on the challenge of building the next great automobile that will define the era. In fact, there’s evidence that there may be too many of those dreamers.
Look no further than to the story of Hispano Suiza’s return for evidence of that. The dream to bring the Spanish prewar brand back to life has met a fork after two separate companies, Hispano Suiza Automobilmanufaktur AG and Hispano Suiza Cars, claimed to own the rights to the Hispano Suiza name.
Better yet, both of those companies are reviving the marque with a high-output supercar, which at the very least gives us the opportunity to see which company should earn the sole right to bestow the Hispano Suiza name on its cars.
At the very least, each of the two companies is taking a much different approach. While Hispano Suiza Automobilmanufaktur AG debuted the Maguari HS1 GTC, a 1,070 horsepower supercar powered by a Lamborghini Huracan’s V10, at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, Hispano Suiza Cars is going the green route with a 1,005 horsepower electric supercar it calls the Carmen, which it also brought to the same auto show. Talk about awkward. And now, as if to trump the Maguari, Hispano Suiza Cars has officially sent the Carmen off on a tour of Barcelona to ring in the car’s dynamic debut.
While the Carmen toured Barcelona’s most iconic roads, it got to showcase a number of upgrades it gained since its Geneva debut. These include an entirely new suspension system alongside a series of weight-reduction and rigidity enhancements. The chassis’ crash structures have also been optimized with extensive amounts of carbon fiber to enhance performance while shedding weight.
Miguel Suqué Mateu, Hispano Suiza President, said: "We are extremely proud of our long heritage, which dates back to our beginnings on the streets of Barcelona in 1904. This legacy and the style icons of our home city made it easy to decide where the Carmen should make its global dynamic debut.” While it remains to be seen when the Carmen will make its production debut, what we do know is that it needs to undergo more testing on both the road and track before it gets Hispano Suiza Cars’ seal of approval.