Hispano Suiza to unwrap drop-top version of 1005bhp Carmen EV

Revived luxury car marque Hispano Suiza will reveal a drop-top version of its ultra-exclusive electric sports car, the Carmen, at the Geneva motor show next week. 

Called the Carmen Boulogne, the retro-styled roadster is said to pack more power and boast “even greater performance figures” than its 1005bhp hardtop sibling, which made its debut at last year’s event

Precise performance details of the convertible are yet to be confirmed, but Hispano Suiza claims the 4.7m-long coupé is capable of a sub-3.0sec 0-62mph sprint, with a carbonfibre central tub keeping its kerb weight below 1700kg.

The Boulogne can be expected to weigh slightly more, given it will likely feature a heavy convertible mechanism.

It can be expected to feature the same twin-motor, rear-wheel-drive powertrain as the standard Carmen. This was developed in conjunction with Barcelona-based QEV Technologies, which manages the Mahindra Formula E team. With a T-shape 80kWh battery pack stretching the length of the car, the Carmen is claimed to be capable of travelling 249 miles on a single charge. 

Previewed in an official image, the Boulogne has the same front end as the existing car, with a large trapezoidal grille flanked by a pair of sharply angled headlights and prominent lower air intakes. Key differences include a copper-painted grille surround and a lower splitter. 

The Spanish company’s appearance at the 2019 Geneva show was notable because it was one of two companies claiming to have the rights to use the historic Hispano Suiza name, the other being a Swiss outfit run by former Volkswagen designer Erwin Leo Himmel. 

Himmel claims to hold the European rights to the name and claimed he was ‘surprised’ to see the Carmen being advertised as a Hispano Suiza. A final legal decision over the wrangle hasn’t yet been made. 

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