The world is not short of long-dead car brands, neither seemingly the urge to revive them. Hispano-Suiza is one of those dead carmakers set to be reanimated. Founded in Barcelona in 1904, the Hispano-Suiza name was chosen to celebrate the collaboration between its Spanish founder Damián Mateu Bisa and chief engineer, Marc Birkigt, from Switzerland. In Spanish, the name means “Spanish-Swiss.” From its founding to its end at the onset of the Second World War, the company made more than 12,000 cars in both Spain and France. When war broke out, the company switched to building aircraft engines and armaments.
Yet now, improbably, there are two rival attempts to produce new cars under the (where’d the hyphen go?) Hispano Suiza name, both combining four-figure power outputs and seven-figure prices. In Switzerland, a company led by veteran car designer Erwin Leo Himmel is working on what it calls the Maguari GS1, which promises a turbocharged and supercharged Audi V-10 with 1085 horsepower. Meanwhile, in Barcelona, a Spanish Hispano Suiza is making an electric hypercar called the Carmen.
We’ve now driven the Carmen, but we don’t want to pick sides until we’ve experienced both cars—we’re suckers for a ludicrously powerful gasoline engine. But it is hard to argue against the credentials of the Spanish company, whose president, Miguel Suqué Mateu is the great-grandson of Hispano-Suiza’s original founder. The new car is being built by a motorsport specialist called QEV Technologies, which runs the Mahindra Formula E cars and is based less than a mile from the famous Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Which is where we got to experience it.
For the full story, check out this article from Car And Driver