The electric Hispano-Suiza Carmen will be a 1,005bhp streamliner | Top Gear
BBC TopGear
BBC TopGear
The Latest US News & Reviews
USA News
Tuesday 5th December

The electric Hispano-Suiza Carmen will be a 1,005bhp streamliner

One of two companies calling itself Hispano-Suiza is bringing an EV hypercar to Geneva

Published: 01 Mar 2019

One of the 2019 Geneva motor show’s interesting subplots will be two companies both calling themselves Hispano-Suiza unveiling totally unrelated hypercars. Last week we brought you news of the old-school V10 one. Now we can tell you all about its brother from another mother.

The Hispano-Suiza Carmen, named after the company president’s mother who passed away last year, will be a 1,005bhp electric hypercar. Built around a carbon tub, the 1,690kg two-seat, two door streamliner will focus on low drag and quick acceleration. Top speed is limited to 155mph, but we’re promised the rear-drive Carmen will get from 0-62mph in under 3.0 seconds.

Advertisement - Page continues below

Total range is estimated at 248 miles, but that’s using the old NEDC testing method, which flatters EVs. Expect closer to 200 miles if the Carmen does indeed make production. And that’s very much the intention, judging by the bullish, detailed press bumf. The team behind the car may only be 25 strong, but straight after the Geneva show we’re told the Carmen will begin a hardcore six-month testing programme on road and track.

The company pitches it thusly: “Not only will the Carmen exhibit exceptional handling, but the characteristics and behaviour of the car should be predictable and easy to drive. Carmen is not a racing car for the road: rather, it is a grand tourer that embraces and harnesses the most advanced motorsport-inspired technologies.”

Only 19 examples will eventually be made at the Barcelona factory, each costing €1.9million (£1.6m). For that, you’re getting a car developed by Mahindra’s Formula E boffins. It’s got a water-cooled battery pack, torque-vectoring for more agile cornering, and a smartphone app allows remote setting of the cabin temperature, lights, and checking the charge status.

Speaking of charge, the T-shaped, 750-cell battery pack is designed to be completely removeable, so that when battery tech improves, a new set of cells can be swapped in, updating the car’s range and performance. Handy.

Advertisement - Page continues below

Because battery packs are hardly feathers and candy floss, carbon fibre is used throughout the Carmen, to save weight. The 11 body panels weigh 64.5kg in total. The entire monocoque chassis apparently only weighs 195kg, but offers greater stiffness per kilo than a Lamborghini Aventador’s tub. Lots of science seems to have been lavished on the Carmen.

In fact, with so many facts and figures trumpeted out, it’s a pity we’ve only got one new teaser shot to gaze upon. The car will be revealed in full at Geneva. Hopefully it won’t be too awkward when the other car with the same name shows up…

Top Gear

Get all the latest news, reviews and exclusives, direct to your inbox.

More from Top Gear

See more on Electric

Subscribe to the Top Gear Newsletter

Get all the latest news, reviews and exclusives, direct to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, you agree to receive news, promotions and offers by email from Top Gear and BBC Studios. Your information will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

BBC TopGear

Try BBC Top Gear Magazine

Get your first 5 issues for £5