Operas involve a lot of drama, but Carmen is probably among the most dramatic. An EV named Carmen could not have a different fate. Its ups and lows did not start with the canceling of the 2020 Geneva Motor Show, where the Grup Peralada would present a stronger version of the electric hypercar called Boulogne. It started right when the car was born in a move to ensure the Grup Peralada could have the Hispano Suiza brand. So far, it has still not completed this task, which will provide more drama in the following years.
Gallery: Hispano Suiza Carmen Moves Around Barcelona
Autocar says the Carmen Boulogne will not only be more powerful, as the Grup Peralada confirms. According to the British magazine, it will also be a roadster. Without the Geneva Motor Show stage, we wonder when we will be able to confirm that.
What we can say is something Autocar has published, and MotorChase continued to develop about the fight for the Hispano Suiza brand. Even we talked about it when the car crossed Barcelona's streets. The Grup Peralada – which belongs to the Mateu family, from one of the founders – does not have valid trademarks for the company.
Some belong to the Safran Group and are not related to vehicles. Some others belong to Erwin Himmel, a former VW head of design that created a new logo and tried to sell a modified Audi R8 as the first vehicle for the new Hispano Suiza. It is called Maguari HS1 GTC.
Himmel had an affair with a Spanish businesswoman called Maria Pou Portús. She has some trademarks for Hispano Suiza in some countries, and, when they broke up, she started to battle for the brand as well.
The last person involved is Gonzalo Ramírez, a talented designer Himmel hired for his Hispano Suiza project that later left the company. Currently, the design director at Dongfeng and working in Germany, he also claims to be the rightful owner of the historic Spanish brand and is now in courts trying to have it.
There are many more details you can learn in the original articles. To sum this whole story up, the attorneys Simon Clark and Jake Palmer, from Bristows LLP, said anyone who manages to sell a vehicle first would be in a better position in any lawsuit.
That happens because you cannot trademark something and let it die. It has to sell products, have clients, and plans to prove it is indeed being used. None of the four parties competing for Hispano Suiza has sold any car so far. Not even in the countries where they have the brand properly trademarked.
Himmel’s Hispano Suiza Maguari HS1 GTC would be the easiest to homologate and sell. That would happen by the end of 2019, but we have not heard from the company anymore. We have tried to contact him but got no reply so far.
The former VW design head does not believe in electric vehicles, as he told MotorChase.
“In half an hour, the battery is empty. That is not suitable for a supercar. I also wanted to make a hybrid, but clients did not want it. You have a very small number of clients that want something exotic. It is a big discussion in the world. Electrics are not the final solution.”
The Grup Peralada does, but both Himmel and Ramírez said it could not be homologated as it currently is. The Carmen would have 19 units produced, starting in 2019 and ending in 2021. None was sold, as far as we know. When will any be? That can be the difference between bringing the brand back to the Mateu family, leaving it to Himmel, or seeing it live only on the cars the original company produced until the 1930s. Forgive us for the spoilers, but Georges Bizet’s Carmen dies. We hope the electric hypercar to have a happier end.
Hispano Suiza teases performance-focused model set for Geneva Show debut
Ahead of the its unveiling at the 2020 Geneva Motor Show, Hispano Suiza has teased the face of the Carmen Boulogne, a more powerful variant of the Carmen, alongside announcing the expansion of its Barcelona-based executive management team.
Barcelona, 27 February 2020 – Hispano Suiza, the luxury Spanish brand, has provided a sneak preview of its more powerful, faster, and even more exclusive Carmen Boulogne in advance of its global reveal at the Geneva Motor Show next week.
Drawing on the brand’s racing heritage, the new model boasts even greater performance figures than its Carmen sibling, plus features unique styling details that reinforce its sporting capabilities. A bold copper-coloured grille and matching detailing is evident in the teaser image, which also shows the car in a menacing and focused shade of black.
The brand’s teaser image accompanies an announcement of its expanded executive management team. Since the early 1900s, Hispano Suiza has based its success on inspired collaborations and partnerships based on experience, passion, and a shared goal to deliver the world’s finest automobiles.
Today, the story continues with the announcement of the newly expanded executive management team. Covering every area of design, development, and production, to sales and brand heritage, the team shares a common passion founded in the iconic brand’s long and distinguished history.
The expanded executive team now features Hispano Suiza President Miguel Suqué; CEO Sergio Martínez; Technical Director Lluc Martí; Design Director Francesc Arenas; Chief Technical Officer Joan Orús; Sales Director Oriol Vilanova; and Luis Perez Sala as the brand’s official test driver.
As a celebrated racing driver in Formula 1, the World Touring Car Championship, and numerous other arenas of motorsport, Perez Sala brings decades of racing knowledge to the Hispano Suiza team. He shares the team’s passion for mould-breaking design, 100% electric propulsion, supercar performance, and a bespoke ownership experience.
Hispano Suiza President Miguel Suqué, said: “Our long-standing family brand owes its early success to the shared passions of expert visionaries. We are continuing that trend today with our partners and the appointment of experienced, passionate, and driven team members.”
Miguel Valldecabres, CEO of QEV Technologies completes the team, which sees the e-mobility specialist company provide long-term technical production and electrification services to Hispano Suiza, channelling the company’s racing experience with multiple Formula E teams.
Hispano Suiza is a historic car brand owned by the fourth generation of the Suqué Mateu family. Between 1904 and 1946, Hispano Suiza built more than 12,000 luxury performance cars and 50,000 aeroplane engines. Today, with its headquarters, technical centre, and manufacturing facility in Barcelona – Hispano Suiza embodies a proud Spanish spirit with a strong family legacy.
About Hispano Suiza
Hispano Suiza is a historic Spanish car brand owned by four generations of the Suqué Mateu family. Hispano Suiza Fábrica de Automóviles S.A. was founded in Barcelona in 1904 by Damián Mateu with the support of Technical Director and engineer Marc Birkigt – a partner in the company.
In 2019, Hispano Suiza presented the all-new Carmen at the Geneva Motor Show, signalling the resurgence the 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.
In 2000, Hispano Suiza built a prototype luxury two-seat supercar HS21, which was shown in Geneva that year. The K8 and HS21-GTS models, both evolutions of the first, were presented in 2001 and 2002.
Since it was founded, four generations of the Suqué Mateu family have preserved the family brand, injecting impetus and dynamism to maintain the significant heritage. On taking control of the company, Miguel Mateu – the son of the founder – continued the production of prestigious, top-of-the-range cars.
After his death, his daughter Carmen Mateu was nominated President and she continued her father's work, keeping the essence of the brand alive through a diverse range of activities including events, exhibitions, conferences, book and magazine publication, research articles, and participation in rallies. Today, Hispano Suiza is overseen by its President – Miguel Suqué Mateu – the great-grandson of Hispano Suiza’s founder.
Hispano Suiza is part of the Peralada Group, which represents the pinnacle of luxury in gastronomy and entertainment through its music festival, golf course and global portfolio of casinos, restaurants, hotels, vineyards, and marinas.