It seems the show is a good occasion to dust cobwebs off old brands. Last year it saw the repositioning of Aston Martin’s luxury Lagonda brand as an electric carmaker of the future. This year Hispano-Suiza, a storied carmaker dating back to the early 1900s, is set to bring its own electric car to Geneva, a fitting debut site, as the name Hispano-Suiza stands for “Spanish-Swiss”. This won’t be the first Hispano-Suiza of this century, as there have been several Audi-engined Hispano-Suiza concepts, blending pre-war detailing with modern styling.
The car is called Carmen, and Hispano-Suiza says it’s inspired by the 1938 Dubonnet Xenia model, and the handbuilt Carmen has been designed, developed and manufactured in Barcelona. The design is shrouded in mystery, though: the company’s website shows a silhouette of a dramatically shaped car, underpinned by the carbon fiber monocoque shown above. The Carmen is said to be a “hyperlux” level car, so expect it to be sumptuously trimmed. As for the powertrain Hispano-Suizo is partnering with QEV Technologies, which is connected to Mahindra’s Formula E team and Chinese automaker BAIC.
Hispano-Suiza is currently taking pre-orders on its website, meaning they have production plans instead of just showing a concept. However, none of Hispano-Suiza’s cars have spawned production versions, and while the electric car market has been friendly to lesser-known brands, we still have some skepticism regarding the car’s success.