Hispano Suiza Teases Revival With Electric Supercar For Geneva

The Spanish automaker is keeping quiet for now, other than releasing a shadowy teaser.

Hispano Suiza was a Spanish firm that specialized in creating lavish luxury cars and aircraft engines in the early 20th century. Now, the historic name is preparing for a return next year by debuting a new electric supercar at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show in March.

Judging by its shape, the revived Hispano Suiza puts a much bigger emphasis on being a sporty machine, rather than the original model’s focus on luxury. Three arches make up the design that include arcs in the silhouette for the hood, passenger compartment, and rear deck.

Miguel Suqué Mateu, great-grandson of Hispano Suiza’s original founder, is the firm’s current president. “Back in 1900, when Hispano Suiza started, it built the first electric car in the world, but the prototype was never industrially manufactured,” he said in the new model’s teaser. “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.”

One of Hispano Suiza’s biggest original innovations was developing a cast aluminum engine block with steel cylinder liners that created a lighter part than manufacturing the powerplant entirely out of steel or iron. The firm applied this philosophy to a variety of mills, including V8s, inline-sixes, and eventually a massive 9.5-liter V12.

More recently, Hispano Suiza had a brief revival in 2010 when the company unveiled a supercar (gallery above) that used an Audi R8 as a starting point but fitted a completely different body using carbon fiber panels. The tweaks made the Hispano Suiza 66 pounds (30 kilograms) lighter than a road-going R8 V10. The standard 5.2-liter V10 received a pair of electrically driven superchargers that allowed the powerplant to make 740 horsepower (552 kilowatts) and 516 pound-feet (700 Newton-meters) of torque. It allowed the coupe to reach 62 miles per hour (100 kilometers per hour) in 3.4 seconds and a top speed of 211 mph (340 kph). Hispano Suiza sold these machines for 700,000 euros ($794,815 at current exchange rates). The total number of customer orders is a mystery, though.

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