News: Relaunched Hispano Suiza Debuts 1,100bhp Motorsport “Homage”

Relaunched Hispano Suiza Debuts 1,100bhp Motorsport “Homage”

James Gent By James Gent
March 4, 2020
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Meet the Carmen Boulogne. It’s “motorsport-inspired” and pays homage to the competition history of Spanish carmaker Hispano Suiza (we’ll come back to them soon), it’s a sportier evolution of the Carmen supercar that debuted at last year’s Geneva Motor Show, it packs more than 1,000hp, and if you want one, it will set your bank balance back €1.65 million, plus taxes, or roughly $1.85 million.

Okay, there’s quite a bit of information to unpack there, so let’s break that down.

Firstly the name, ‘Boulogne’, dates back, quite remarkably, to 1921 and the George Boillot Cup endurance race at which Hispano Suiza, already 17 years old by that point, won three years in succession with its then flagship H6 Coupé. To do so required competing at speed for more than three hours on the coastal(ish) roads surrounding the French town, Boulogne-sur-Mer. A fitting tribute then.

Next up is the powertrain, and this is where things get really serious. Though the two 410kW electric motors – yes, we know, all-electric powertrains on Petrolicious, we’re sorry – are essentially the same rear-wheel driving examples that debuted with the Carmen last year, performance has been given a sizeable kick in the ribs. The Boulogne now boasts 820kW (1,100bhp) – up 70kW (94bhp) on its predecessor – and a whacking great 1,600Nm (1,180lb ft) of torque, the latter effectively en-pointe with a Bugatti Chiron.

Said grunt is also enough to nail 0-100kph in just a shade under 2.6 seconds and a 290kph top speed, some 40kph more than the two-seater GT that preceded it.

As for dynamism, the Boulogne is built atop the same lightweight carbon fibre chassis as the Carmen, named in honour of the granddaughter of Hispano Suiza founder, Damián Mateu, by the by. The motorsport homage though has managed to drop 60kg from the 1,690kg Carmen thanks to a variety of weight-saving measures. The new double wishbones for example are save 25kg, a further 15kg has been pulled from the already welterweight monocoque (now only 195kg), and a new carbon fibre roof and CNC components slice another 6kg away. Far from being just a weight-saver though, the suspension, much like the stiffened chassis, has been further developed with “driver-focused dynamic capabilities” in mind. Whether this will lead to another run around Boulogne-sur-Mer, we’ll have to wait and see.

The cosmetic make-over meanwhile has been performed with the lightest of brush strokes, the Boulogne’s exterior aesthetics pretty much identical to the Carmen save the loss of the rear fender skirts. The silver paint has also been given the boost in fabour of a clear coat varnish and copper detailing designed to highlight the bodylines.

As you’d expect for the better part of $.18 million, that price tag also buys a degree of exclusivity, given that only five Boulognes are set to join the 14-car production run for the Carmen. You’ll be waiting a little while yet though, as deliveries aren’t scheduled to start until 2022.

*Images courtesy of Hispano Suiza

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