Courtesy of a lesser-known Spanish carmaker...
Don’t worry if you’ve never heard of Hispano Suiza. You’re not the only one. But in a few weeks’ time the small luxury carmaker from Barcelona, Spain will be receiving a lot of attention because it’ll unveil a new model at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. This will be the world debut of the Carman, an all-electric "hyperlux” grand tourer named after Carmen Mateu, the granddaughter of the company’s founder.
We first reported about the expected debut of this new vehicle last November, but details were sketchy at the time. All we knew then was that it’d be an EV and, given Hispano Suiza’s long history, a luxury vehicle, too. We only have a few more details today, along with a new teaser image showing its carbon fiber structure.
We’re told the Carmen was designed, developed and will be manufactured by hand in Barcelona. It’s based on a super-stiff, hand-laid carbon fiber monocoque and the finished product will offer "exceptional luxury, comfort, innovation and attention to detail.” The only hint of its design is that it takes inspiration from the Dubonnet Xenia, a luxury car built by Hispano Suiza way back in 1938.
As for the new car’s powertrain, we’re told it’s a custom-designed system whose development was led by the automaker’s production partner, QEV Technologies, which is also based in Barcelona. In the past, this tech company has worked in motorsport as the technology arm of Mahindra Formula-E Racing.
It also serves as the European R&D facility for China’s BAIC. Hispano Suiza was founded in 1904. "When Hispano Suiza started, it built (an) electric car, but the prototype was never industrially manufactured. Now, 119 years later, in March 2019, Hispano Suiza has its first 100% electric car.” More than likely we won’t learn any more details about the Carmen until show time.
The last time Hispano Suiza attempted a revival was back in 2010 when it revealed a supercar based on the previous generation Audi R8, which had been re-skinned with unique carbon fiber body panels. This time around, the carmaker has built something entirely from scratch.