All posts in “Hispano-Suiza”

10 things you didn´t know about Hispano Suiza

Hispano Suiza Fábrica de Automóvil S.A. is a company that dates back to the ‘old days’ of automotive history, between 1904 and 1946 they not only created a total of 12,000 luxury high-performance cars but also 50,000 aircraft engines in Spain, sadly after 1946 this glorious name became somewhat dormant … until 2000, when the HS21 supercar was shown in Geneva, followed by the K8 in 2001 and the HS21-GTS in 2002 as evolutions of the HS21 version.

The 2001 Hispano Suiza K8

But there is a lot more to know about the history of this glamorous car builder, so take a look at the 10 things you might not know about them is the extract from their latest press release below:

1 – More than 100 years of history
Hispano Suiza was founded on June 14, 1904, by Damián Mateu together with Francisco Seix and Swiss engineer Marc Birkigt, who had worked for two companies that had preceded Hispano Suiza: La Cuadra and J. Castro. Birkigt’s experience in the industry was key in laying the foundations for Hispano Suiza.

In 1905, Hispano Suiza created their first vehicle, the Armored Type Birkigt System, which was equipped with a four-cylinder engine and 20 CV of power, and which reached a top speed of 87 km/h. It was followed, a year later, by what would be the first car with a six-cylinder engine built in Spain, a model delivering 75 HP of power that completed the Perpignan-to-Paris route in 22 hours, a feat which received great media attention at the time.

2 – Hispano Suiza did not just produce cars throughout its history
During World War I, Hispano Suiza went from producing cars to manufacturing aircraft engines. It was a period of great success for the company: they applied their technological know-how in the manufacture and development of automotive engines to a new field, which brought them great benefits.

Georges Guynemer and his fighter plane

Birkigt built an aircraft engine that was based on a racing car engine, following the “direct drive” principle, with a V8 layout and aluminum alloy blocks to reduce weight. Hispano Suiza began to receive numerous orders, so many that they had to sell licenses to other manufacturers in France, the United Kingdom, the United States, Italy, Japan and even Russia… In total, more than 50,000 Hispano Suiza engines were built.

Hispano Suiza aviation engines also found their place at sea. The most spectacular engine, a V12 delivering 1,300 HP, was mounted on a series of racing boats, including the so-called Aurora, built in 1935. Birkigt collaborated in the assembly of this boat, which was auctioned a few years ago for a figure close to a million euros.

3 – King Alfonso XIII

King Alfonso XIII played an important role in the early days of Hispano Suiza. The monarch was a car enthusiast, who instantly fell in love with the 20CV Hispano Suiza that he drove in in 1905. So much so that in 1910 he became a shareholder, purchasing 8% of the company shares. King Alfonso XIII also had a car named in his honor, a two-seater sports car, with a 3,619 cc four-cylinder engine, delivering 60 HP, with a top speed of 120 km / h. It was the Hispano-Suiza T45, better known as Hispano Suiza Alfonso XIII.

King Alfonso XIII of Spain with Hispano Suiza

4 – A car for the elite
Thanks to the performance of its vehicles, which combined speed with lightness and amazing driving sensations, thanks to its luxury materials, the handcrafted to the highest quality standards, Hispano Suiza immediately rose to fame.

In addition to King Alfonso XIII, the vehicles of the Spanish brand were chosen by aristocrats, intellectuals, and the most renowned artists in the world, such as Gustavo V of Sweden, Carlos II of Romania, Louis II of Monaco, Pablo Picasso, André Citroën, Coco Chanel, René Lacoste, Paul McCartney or Albert Einstein.

The history of Hispano Suiza cars has always been closely linked to clients with high purchasing power, an exquisite taste for luxury and an incalculable passion for the automotive world. Today, classic Hispano Suiza cars are preserved with great care in museums and private collections around the world.

5 – Hispano Suiza, not just a car but an asset of cultural interest
The Hispano Suiza 30-40 HP was an important model in the history of the brand, developed by Birkigt as a replacement for the 20-30 HP. Of all those produced, there was a very special unit custom-built for the Marquis of Zayas and bodied by Francisco Capella.

This model used noble woods and materials such as ivory and silver. The steering wheel was positioned to the right, as it was customary then, and featured mahogany details, ivory handles, beveled glass, automatic blinds, fine cushioned upholstered seats, a perfume diffuser, vases, and numerous details that underlined the elegance and exclusivity of the car. It was a Hispano Suiza made to measure.

The model, after all cars once belonging to the Marquis of Zayas were auctioned, was acquired by the Spanish Home Office which declared it an Asset of Cultural Interest in 1988, being the first car to achieve this status,  which is normally granted to monuments and works of art. The vehicle was then displayed in the Museum of Automotive History located in Salamanca (Spain).

6 – The stork
Hispano Suiza’s emblem, the stork, is a nod to the company’s heritage as a manufacturer of aircraft engines. The brand decided to feature it in all its models to pay tribute to Georges Guynemer, a French fighter ace, who had a stork painted on the fuselage of its fighter jet during World War I, powered by a Hispano Suiza engine.

In 1919, the silver stork accompanied the new Hispano Suiza H6B in its presentation at the Geneva Motor Show and, since then, it featured in all the brand’s models, accompanied by the flags of Spain and Switzerland. 100 years later, the stork flew again at Carmen’s presentation, once again at the Geneva Motorshow.

7 – Carmen
Carmen is the name that Hispano Suiza has given to the vehicle with which it made its comeback to the world of automotive manufacturing. It is a model that has already made history; the most technologically advanced that has been designed, manufactured, and developed in Spain. The choice of the name is not a mere coincidence: it is a tribute to Mrs. Carmen Mateu, granddaughter of Damián Mateu – founder of the company – and mother of the current president of Hispano Suiza, Miguel Suqué Mateu.

“The name Carmen is a tribute to our mother. When we were debating what to name the new vehicle, we immediately thought of Carmen and the family loved it ”, declared Miguel Suqué Mateu. “She always told me that she wanted to see Hispano Suiza roaring on the streets again, and I am sure that she would be very proud of it. The signature on the back of the vehicle is her original signature.”

The ‘last name’ Boulogne, which is used for the more powerful version of Carmen, is not a coincidence either. It is a tribute to the victories achieved by the Hispano Suiza H6 Coupé in the Georges Boillot Cup, held in the French town of Boulogne-sur-Mer a century ago.

8 – A car made to race
The Hispano Suiza Carmen and Carmen Boulogne have been developed on the racing circuits. For the creation of this very special model, which was presented at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, Hispano Suiza had the backing of QEV Technologies, a motorsport company that built the first car that went on to win the drivers’ title in the Formula E championship.

Thus the Hispano Suiza Carmen´s dream performance, typical of a racing car. Its 1,019 CV of power – 1,114 CV in the Boulogne version – and its less than three seconds of acceleration from 0 to 100 km / h, make it one of the most powerful and fastest road cars in the world.

9 – Hispano Suiza has a former F1 driver in their team
After completing the design and manufacturing process, Hispano Suiza handed over the steering wheel to a former Formula 1 driver: Luis Pérez-Sala. Pérez-Sala has been in charge of developing the model on the track and on the road since the Hispano Suiza comeback was announced, and has worked to ensure that the select group of owners of the new Hispano Suiza feel like racing drivers.

In addition to Pérez Sala, Pablo Suárez, an experienced rally and rallycross driver with training as a motorsport engineer, also participated in the development process, bearing witness to the creation of an authentic work of art on wheels.

10 – The opportunity to create the car of your dreams
Each Hispano Suiza Carmen is unique. Thanks to the brand’s Unique Tailormade program, customers have access to a wide variety of options to create the model they have dreamed of all their life. There are 1,904 possible combinations, so no two Hispano Suiza are alike.

Hispano Suiza Carmen Boulogne

Clients can choose between three main configurations that reflect the key values ​​of the brand’s DNA – Elegance, Heritage and Sport – and, based on these, they can choose different colors and materials for the interior and exterior of their car, to add a personal touch to the design and adapt it to their individual tastes. Colors have been chosen and named in a tribute to the history of the brand, and include Peralada Green, Swiss Red, Xenia Gray, Birkigt White, or Begur Blue, among others.

Hispano Suiza is part of the Peralada Group, which represents the pinnacle of luxury in gastronomy and entertainment through its global portfolio of casinos, restaurants, hotels, golf courses, vineyards, music festivals, and marinas.

Tailormade by Hispano Suiza

Hispano Suiza presents Unique Tailormade, a customization program that will convert each Hispano Suiza created into a unique work of art. The brand raises the concept of luxury to its maximum exponent, thus creating the concept of “Hyperlux”, which allows its discerning customers to create a totally custom-made car. In total, there are 1,904 different customization combinations, achieving unmatched differentiation.

Hispano Suiza Carmen is much more than a vehicle. Its performance, materials, and technology make it a dream come true both for the Suqué Mateu family, who brought the legendary Spanish brand back to life and for luxury car lovers. As if it were a work of art, each Carmen produced is unique, since the buyer can make countless customizations inside and outside.

It is here where the concept of “Hyperlux” is raised to its maximum exponent. The Hispano Suiza Carmen is already a highly exclusive piece, due to the fact that its production is limited to 19 units, of which only five will be built in the Boulogne version. Carmen’s design inspiration is based on the Dubonnet Xenia from the 1930s, although the technology has nothing to do with that of the past, nor with that of any other car in the market today. Proof of this is the more than 1,000 CV of power that it achieves thanks to its four permanent magnet synchronous motors housed in the rear axle, its 1,160 Nm of torque, or the acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in less than 2.6 s.

Hispano Suiza also wants its customers to turn the vehicle of their dreams into reality, and for this reason, the Hispano Suiza Design Studio has created the Unique Tailormade Program based on the Color&Trim defined by the brand. Each customer will have at their disposal an internally developed customization program to configure their vehicle. Through this, they will be able to choose between three configuration lines that reflect the main values ​​of the brand’s DNA – Elegance, Heritage and Sport – and, based on these, each client will have the option of choosing different colors or materials for the interior and exterior of the vehicle, which will allow them to add a personal touch to the design and adapt it to their tastes. The colors have been named after the historic landmarks and milestones of the brand, such as Peralada Green, Swiss Red, Xenia Gray, Birkigt White, or Begur Blue, among others.

Customizable exterior parts include the grille, rear-view mirrors, body color, wheels, and air intakes; with regards to the interiors, the customer can choose different options and colors for the steering wheel, dashboard, seat upholstery, or floor mats. In total, there are 1,904 possible combinations, which practically prevents two identical Hispano Suiza Carmen from leaving the Barcelona factory.

“To create the Hispano Suiza Carmen we were inspired by one of the brand’s most iconic vehicles, the Xenia Dubonnet, a vehicle commissioned by André Dubonnet in the late 1930s,” says Francesc Arenas, Design Director of Hispano Suiza. “Its futuristic lines linked the past of the brand with the present and the future that we want for the brand. We were also inspired by the art deco movement and by Mrs. Carmen Mateu, granddaughter of Damián Mateu, founder of Hispano Suiza, and mother of our president, Miguel Suqué Mateu. His premise was very clear, when we were designing the interiors, he told us that the Carmen, in addition to being a Hispano Suiza, should look like one. We were inspired by the tradition of the brand and recovered all those materials that the historical Hispano Suiza carried inside ”, he points out.

With the Unique Tailormade Program, we wanted to capture the most diverse possibilities of creating a unique Hispano Suiza Carmen for each client. We want these 19 units of the Carmen to be a work of art on wheels, collectibles, symbols of excellence, and that each owner can participate in the customization process of their vehicle ”. explains Francesc Arenas, Design Director of Hispano Suiza. “Starting from the original DNA and taking into account the Color & Trim of Hispano Suiza, we have created three lines of configuration – Elegance, Heritage, and Sport – that reflect the main values ​​of our vehicles. We are aware of the needs and desires of our buyers, so we have developed an online tool and a catalog that will allow them to configure the design of the vehicle according to their needs. We want our customers to be able to drive the car of their dreams ”.

Hispano Suiza maintains its original essence of manufacturer of elegant, exclusive, and reliable vehicles, as well as sporty and now sustainable, values that have been present in the company’s models since its founding in 1904.

From Race to Road

Hispano Suiza and competition have gone hand in hand since its foundation in 1904. Back then, taking part in the most prestigious races not only gave the brand national and international visibility, but also allowed Hispano Suiza to learn about the behavior of its vehicles, when they were tested to the highest level of demand: it was vital to continue offering its customers increasingly powerful, reliable and, ultimately, better cars.

In its new stage, Hispano Suiza has maintained this philosophy. Both the Hispano Suiza Carmen, as well as its more powerful version, Carmen Boulogne – whose name honors its triumphs in the George Boillot Cup, in Boulogne, a century ago – have been designed by racing engineers, and their development carried out by professional racing drivers. Likewise, Hispano Suiza takes part in the new 100% electric SUV championship, Extreme E, an innovative concept that promotes values ​​such as sustainability, equality, and electrification, and that will also provide the brand with valuable knowledge to be applied in future models.

A motto that defines the brand

“From Race to Road” is the motto that perfectly defines the philosophy of Hispano Suiza, the same one that has accompanied it since its foundation more than a century ago and that has forged its legend on circuits and roads around the world. The aim of the brand has always been to transmit through its new cars the passion for driving, high performance, luxury, craftsmanship, and ultimately, excellence on wheels.

When the historic Spanish manufacturer resurfaced in 2019, it did so together with its technological partner, Spanish engineering company QEV Technologies, bringing together a group of professionals with a wealth of experience in the main automotive championships all over the world. Hispano Suiza decided to return to the automotive world with Carmen, a hyper-luxury sports car, 100% electric. It needed that know-how to offer its customers a product that lives up to the brand’s legacy, with a design inspired by its own history, cutting-edge technology, dreamlike features, and unlimited customization possibilities that turned each car into a work of art on wheels.

Many of the technologies present in Carmen and Carmen Boulogne derive directly from Formula E, the first 100% electric racing championship where the members of Hispano Suiza’s technological partner achieved the first Drivers’ title in history, with the NEXTEV team and Brazilian driver Nelson Piquet Jr behind the wheel. Formula E has evolved enormously since that first 2014-2015 season, a period in which cars had to be replaced mid-race due to lack of autonomy, and during which they barely reached 270 hp of power. Now, the single-seaters are much more spectacular aesthetically, they complete the races without even having to stop to recharge the batteries, they exceed 340 hp and reach a top speed of 280 km/h, 55 km/h more than the previous generation.

Hispano Suiza has not only been a direct witness of this evolution but has also used this experience to build one of the most beautiful and innovative vehicles ever made in the world. Among the technologies derived from Formula E that are part of Carmen and Carmen Boulogne is its power train, with four permanent magnet synchronous motors, housed in its rear axle. The impressive torque of each engine is controlled through sophisticated vectoring systems developed in-house with experience gained in Formula E. From 0 to 6,500 rpm, the engines are capable of reaching a maximum of 1,160 Nm of torque, enabling breath-taking acceleration, from 0 to 100 km/h in less than 2.6 s, and seemingly endless power and traction.

The lithium-ion polymer battery has a capacity of 80 kWh that allows it to develop a homologated range of up to 400 km. Batteries are designed and produced in-house and include a complete temperature control system to ensure that the cells can operate optimally. They have a fast charge capacity of more than 80 kW DC, requiring only 30 minutes to charge 30-80% through a CCS2 fast charger.

The exterior is made of carbon fiber, a material that guarantees maximum resistance and lightness, and which began to be used in Formula 1 in the 80s. In total, the Hispano Suiza Carmen Boulogne weighs 1,630 kg, which together with its 1,114 hp of power, guarantees a magnificent power-to-weight ratio of 1.5 kg/hp. The suspension also comes from Formula E: it is optimized to guarantee the maximum possible lightness. It’s design and architecture are the meeting point between the asphalt and the driver. It preserves the Racing DNA, also guaranteeing reliability and safety.

Another important technological feature is the software, responsible for transmitting more than 1,000 hp of power to the wheels, and which has been developed – also based on experience gained in Formula E – so that any customer can get behind the wheel of a vehicle with these characteristics without being a professional driver. Through the software, different driving modes (Sport, ECO, and Comfort) can be selected to guarantee the best sensations and performance at the right time.

“We have tried to transfer our six years of experience in Formula E to a vehicle that is unrivaled,” says Joan Orús, CTO of Hispano Suiza. “It is not a car made to break records but to convey the passion for driving and, above all, to make everyone who climbs in it, fall completely and utterly in love. It is a vehicle designed to enjoy. Its more than 1,000 hp of power, located on the rear axle, ensure exceptional performance, and together with a magnificent exterior and interior design, unique and handcrafted, we achieve an innovative, beautiful, and at the same time comfortable vehicle ”.

“Thanks to this project we made a dream come true”, adds Orús. “We have been able to shape a sketch made on a blank sheet of paper. It is the dream of any automotive engineer: we have taken all the technology from Formula E and we have brought it to a road car. We have built a high-performance supercar and added details of pure luxury, hence our concept of hyperlux ”.

Luis Pérez-Sala, at the forefront of development

For the development of its vehicles, Hispano Suiza chose to have authentic racing drivers, who were used to pushing competition cars to the limit to discover where they can improve, continue to evolve, and who knows how to transmit the feedback of the vehicle to the engineers. as precisely as possible. During the development process of Carmen and Carmen Boulogne, the brand relied on the expertise of Luis Pérez-Sala, former Formula 1 driver and two-time Spanish Touring Car Champion, and Pablo Suárez, technical specialist in electric vehicles and racing driver.

Over the past year, Pérez-Sala and Suárez have travelled more than eight thousand kilometres on roads throughout Spain and on circuits such as Calafat, the Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya and even Le Mans. All this to achieve the best performance, reliability and thus be able to transmit to the driver of the Hispano Suiza Carmen the authentic sensations of a unique car born on the circuit, prepared and developed by professionals and racing drivers, and that, in addition, can be driven on the road.

Here’s the Hispano Suiza Carmen undisguised

After teasing it out for some time, the Spanish-based and recently re-animated Hispano Suiza has released photos and renderings showing its new electric “Hyper-Lux” Carmen grand tourer in its entirety. The 1,019-horsepower supercar appears to be very retro-futuristic.

The aggressive teardrop shape establishes a link between tomorrow’s electric supercar technology and the early-20th-century Dubonnet Xenia by Hispano Suiza. While the new car is a lot faster, there are visual similarities between it and its spiritual forebearer, made more obvious by the rendering showing them side by side. Both have faired-in rear wheels, which give the Carmen a strong helping of century-old streamliner cool. The aerodynamics are also helped by that, as its drag coefficent of Cd 0.325 is lower than a Porsche 918 Spyder or Koenigsegg Agera R.

Seen from behind, the taillights peek out from the Carmen’s negative area like red jewels from an opened clam. Inside, the Carmen has luxurious leather and high-end audio. The battery electric drivetrain offers a 250-mile range, and Hispano Suiza says the Carmen takes less than 3 seconds to reach 62 mph. Top speed is limited electronically to 155 mph.

Road testing for the Carmen is said to begin in the middle of this year, with the first journalist test drives intended to start in October. Given that this car was “merely a conceptual idea” nine months ago, this is a stunningly quick turnaround. The Spanish company is already taking pre-orders, having priced the car at a cool 1.5 million euros or nearly $1.7 million. Only 19 cars will be made during the 2019-2021 production run. An official customer launch is slated to take place in June 2020.

The other Hispano-Suiza unveils Maguari HS1 GTC with 1,070-hp V10

Earlier this month, Hispano-Suiza Cars of Barcelona, Spain, teased an all-electric “hyperlux” GT called the Carmen. Now, Hispano-Suiza Automobile Manufaktur AG of Zug, Germany, has revealed a twin-turbo V10 supercar called the Maguari HS1 GTC. Both companies claim ownership of the historic carmaker’s name, and it appears each wants to bolster its case by getting a car to market first. The German concern might have made its job easier by using what is likely the Lamborghini Huracán‘s 5.2-liter V10, boosted to the tune of 1,070 horsepower.

We’re not clear how many helpers provide all the boost. The press release mentions twin turbos with electric compressors, as well as “the supercharger of the 100-year-old ancestor.” Nine years ago, the same German Hispano-Suiza showed the Maguari’s ancestor at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show, the name back then simply V10 Supercharged. That first effort used an Audi R8 engine with two superchargers to make 739 hp and 516 pound-feet of torque. Regardless, the latest engine looks to have been upgraded in the process, getting “special cylinder liners” and sodium-filled valves.

The mid-mounted engine sends all that power through a seven-speed sequential automatic gearbox to the rear wheels only. Thanks in part to a lightweight carbon fiber body, the run from standstill to 62 miles per hour takes 2.8 seconds. Top speed gets electronically capped at 236 miles per hour.

Designer Oliver Boulay‘s styling is even more captivating than the specs. Look closely at the grille that redefines the word “gaping,” and you’ll spy a stork peeking from between two vertical strakes. That would be a shout-out to the original Hispano-Suiza, which decorated its cars with a gorgeous flying stork hood ornament. The name doubles down on the long-billed imagery, a maguari being a South American stork. The rear has plenty of attitude about it, but we can’t help the feeling that it looks like a Chrysler Crossfire joined The Avengers. We don’t mean that in a bad way. And someone put the climate vents where the exhaust pipes go.

Since the original Hispano-Suiza closed shop in 1968, none of the reborn concepts have made it to production. The company says the Maguari HS1 GTC “is in the last testing phase,” and promised a springtime launch at a price of 2.2 million euros, or $2.5 million U.S. That leaves us with two storks simultaneously vying to deliver two babies, but the chimney’s probably only large enough for one. We’ll get a better take on the odds come Geneva.

Hispano Suiza Manufaktur AG Shows Off the Maguari HS1 GTC

It’s Funky Looking and Powerful

The car you see in the photos here is the Magurai HS1 GTC from Hispano Suiza Manufaktur AG. This is not to be confused with the Hispano Suiza car that was teased not long ago. Apparently, that’s a different company, and both claim to have the rights to the Hispano Suiza name. As Carscoops points out, the chances of a lawsuit between the companies is very likely.

Setting aside the issue with the company naming rights, the Magurai HS1 GTC appears to be a seriously crazy car. It looks like a mashup of several different sports car, luxury car, and supercar manufacturers styling. There are hints of Lamborghini in the rear of the vehicle, the curves down the side remind me vaguely of McLaren’s vehicles, and I even see hints of Cadillac and Genesis here. Maybe I need my eyes checked, though.

Anyhow, the Magurai HS1 GTC features a V10 engine the supposedly comes from the Lamborghini Huracan. The company then took that massive engine and added two electric compressors, according to Carscoops. The result? A whopping 1070 hp. The car can reportedly hit 62 mph from a standstill in just 2.8 seconds, too. Need to go faster? No worries. The Magurai HS1 GTC has a blisteringly fast top speed of 236 mph. That’s not bad for a car named after something as bland as a South American stork.

We’re looking forward to getting more information about this car, and will keep an eye out for any additional info about the likely upcoming lawsuit between Hispano Suiza Manufaktur AG and Hispano Suiza Cars.

Could Hispano Suiza Make a Comeback With Its Electric Supercar?

The Spanish Automaker’s Return Could be Coming

This year’s Geneva Motor Show is shaping up to be a blast from the past. Now, the long-dormant Hispano Suiza brand could start a comeback with an electric supercar. From the 1900s to the mid-1940s Hispano Suiza sold thousands of unique luxury cars. After that, it more or less disappeared from the luxury automotive world. That changes this year in Geneva.

Hispano Suiza recently teased an image of a new car. According to a press release from the company, its next car will be an all-electric grand touring luxury supercar. The details on the model are currently scarce, and it will be interesting to see a modern Hispano Suiza appear.

According to Top Gear, the car will be called Carmen. The name Carmen comes from the mother of the company’s current president. The great-grandson of the founder of Hispano Suiza and the company’s current president, Miguel Suqué Mateu, sounded excited in his statement to the press. He said he wants to see Hispano Suiza cars on roads around the world. 

Back in 1900, when Hispano Suiza started, it built the first electric car in the world, but the prototype was never industrially manufactured. Now, 119 years later, in March 2019, Hispano Suiza has its first 100% electric car, offering great performance and manufactured in Barcelona, the realization of my great grandfather’s dream.

The rich heritage of the Hispano Suiza brand is engaging. While many people don’t have any recollection of the company’s cars, it would seem that’s about to change with the introduction of a new model. We eagerly await the Geneva Motor Show as it’s shaping up to be quite an interesting show.