The all-new Hispano Suiza Carmen makes its global debut at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, signalling the resurgence of an iconic Spanish luxury car brand.
Designed, developed and manufactured in Barcelona, the fully-electric Carmen is a ‘hyperlux’ grand touring car – the ultimate expression of classically-inspired design, cutting edge chassis and powertrain technology, exhilarating power and expertly-engineered dynamics. It pioneers a new ‘hyperlux’ vehicle segment – one that combines hypercar performance with exquisite luxury, painstaking craftsmanship and meticulous attention to technical and engineering details. A genuinely unique proposition, and a fitting tribute to an iconic Spanish car brand.
The production car world premiere is the realisation of a lifelong ambition for the Suqué Mateu family and, in particular, for Miguel Suqué Mateu, current President of Hispano Suiza and great-grandson of the brand’s founder. The Carmen is inspired by the unique style and elegance of Mr Suqué Mateu’s mother, Carmen Mateu (1936-2018).
The all-new production model has been created from the ground-up to deliver an exceptional and luxurious driving experience. Combining an advanced, fully-electric 750 kW (1,019 PS) powertrain with a bespoke super-stiff carbon fibre monocoque, double-wishbone front and rear suspension and torque vectoring, Carmen delivers exceptional dynamics, with a focus on thrilling performance and an easy-to-drive character. With such prodigious power, and a kerb weight of just 1,690 kg, the Carmen has world-class performance capabilities: 100 km/h is reached in under three seconds, and top speed is electronically-limited to 250 km/h.
The Lithium Ion polymer battery pack boasts a power density of 230 Wh/kg on a fixed volume of 560 litres, for a base capacity of 80 kWh. The carbon fibre battery housing allows for easy upgrades when new technologies become available, future-proofing the Carmen: by 2020, it is anticipated that 300 Wh/kg should be a commercial reality, increasing the battery capacity up to 105 kWh. High-efficiency mechanical and electric components give a total energy loss from the battery to the ground of less than 10%, maximising vehicle range, which is targeted to exceed 400 km.
The battery pack – made up of 700 cells – was designed and produced entirely in-house, including a complete temperature control system to ensure the cells can operate optimally. The battery monitoring system ensures stable charge and discharge performance and delivers the safety strategies required for a 750V DC architecture.
The Carmen is compatible with the 80 kW CCS2 fast charging protocol, as well as CHAdeMO and GB/T charging options.
The battery and electric powertrain components are liquid-cooled via three front radiators: one under the hood at the front of the car for battery cooling, and one each side, inboard of the front wheel arches, for cooling powertrain components. The three front air intakes provide airflow to help cool the electric drivetrain system and battery. The location, size and diffuser-style shape of these intakes, together with split planes, distribute the air in the radiator’s core to achieve the optimal balance of drag and high air flow across the radiators. The outlets in the hood that expel air from the front radiator, and those in the front wheel arches that expel air from the side radiators, have been carefully designed and located to minimise drag.
The car’s Electronic Control Unit (ECU) software manages all vehicle power and control strategies, continuously interrogating myriad data streams and instruction actuators to control vehicle behaviour. These strategies are all developed and tested in-house by Hispano Suiza software engineers. A complex network feeds a huge amount of data to the ECU at a rate of up to 1,000 samples per second.
Data is also fed via the cloud to the Hispano Suiza back office infrastructure to ensure that vehicle status and condition is monitored by Hispano Suiza in real time to ensure ultimate reliability. This functionality also enables eCall emergency services as required.
Hispano Suiza has curated the finest materials for the bespoke interior, taking styling inspiration from the interiors of the most luxurious Hispano Suiza models of the past. The exquisite two-seat cabin exudes refinement and opulence, perfectly complementing the car’s effortless performance.
Hispano Suiza’s approach for the Carmen is illustrated by exceptional attention to detail delivered through artisan handcraftsmanship. The car’s design, engineering and production has been undertaken in Barcelona by a skilled team of highly-experienced experts at QEV Technologies, an electric powertrain and motorsport engineering specialist.
The Hispano Suiza Carmen will cost from €1.5m (plus taxes), and only 19 examples of the Carmen will be produced from late 2019 until 2021. Road testing begins in mid-2019, with the first media drives in October. Prospective customers can now register their interest to purchase one of the exclusive Carmen models, ahead of its official customer launch date in June 2020.
Check out our complete coverage on the Geneva Motor Show.