Only five are earmarked for production
La Hispano-Suiza Fábrica de Automóviles SA first introduced us to their electric Carmen hypercar at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, and now they’re back for 2020 with an updated and upgraded version, the Carmen Boulogne, with more power, less weight, exposed rear wheels, and an alluring clear-coat finish. The Barcelona-based company plans to build just five examples, bringing the total production of Carmens to 19.
While the Carmen focuses on luxury, the Bologne is all about Hispano’s racing heritage. The twin-motor electric powertrain gets a 94-hp increase to 1,100 hp, and that combined with taller gearing raises the car’s top speed by 25 mph to 180 mph. The motors can produce a total of 1,180 lb-ft of torque, and the company claims 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) acceleration in 2.6 seconds.
Changes to the structure lighten the Boulogne’s weight to just under 3,600 pounds, or 132 pounds less than the regular Carmen. We’re sure much of that comes from the loss of the rear fender skirts, which radically changes the car’s look and proportions. While the original Carmen was done up in silver paint—a tribute to the Hispano-Suiza Dubonnet Xenia of 1938—the new one shows off its hand-laid carbon-fiber weave beneath a clear coat varnish, with copper accents and a fresh set of 20-inch wheels. Trapezoidal openings in the wheel faces provide cooling air for the six-piston carbon-ceramic brakes.
Inside, the Carmen’s wood trim gives way to black Alcantara and genuine suede, while the chrome trim is changed out for metal anodized in orange. Like the Carmen, the Boulogne features carbon-composite seats upholstered in hand-sewn leather and Alcantara.
The Carmen Boulogne uses carbon fiber for most of the car’s structure (Hispano refers to it as “one of the most carbon-fiber-intense cars in the world”). The carbon fiber monocoque chassis itself weighs just 430 pounds. The T-shaped battery pack, which runs down the center of the car, serves as a tuned mass damper to quell vibrations. It is an in-house design featuring 700 cells with a capacity of 80 kWh and an integrated temperature control system. Range reportedly exceeds 250 miles on the European NEDC cycle, which translates to perhaps 175 miles on the EPA cycle.
The original Carmen was named for Carmen Mateu, granddaughter of Hispano-Suiza founder Damia Mateu Bisa, while the Boulogne name is a tribute to the town in France that hosted the 1921 George Boillot Cup, where Hispano-Suiza competed with their H6 Coupe.
The Carmen Boulogne was designed and developed completely in Spain, which is also the site of manufacture and origin of 75 percent of the car’s parts. Delivery of the five examples to be made are expected to begin in 2022, with a price of €1,650,000, or about $1.84 million.
Hispano-Suiza Carmen Boulogne Fast Facts:
- Powertrain: Two electric motors each driving one rear wheel with torque vectoring
- Horsepower: 1,100 hp
- Torque: 1,180 lb-ft
- 0-62 mph: 2.6 sec
- Top speed: 180 mph
- Battery : 80-kWh lithium-ion
- Range: 250 miles NEDC/175 miles EPA (est)
- Chassis construction: Carbon-fiber monocoque
- Seats: 2
- On sale: 2022
- Price: $1,840,000 (est)