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Hispano Suiza Carmen

The all-electric Hispano Suiza Carmen ‘grand tourer’ produces 1,019 PS and when matched with a kerb weight of 1,690 kg, this gives a 0-62mph acceleration time of under three seconds and a top speed of 155 mph, and a range of 250 miles.

The styling is influenced by Hispano Suiza cars of the early 20th Century, specifically the 1938 Hispano Suiza H6C Dubonnet Xenia, of which only one example was ever produced.

The Hispano Suiza Carmen, on display at the Geneva Motor Show, will cost from €1.5m (plus taxes), and only 19 examples of the Carmen will be produced from late 2019 until 2021. Road testing begins in mid-2019, ahead of its official customer launch date in June 2020.

Hispano Suiza’s production partner in the development of the Carmen – QEV Technologies – has extensive experience in developing electric vehicle powertrain technology, specifically for teams participating in FIA Formula E and FIA Electric Production Car Series (EPCS).

The Carmen is powered by two 375 kW permanent-magnet synchronous motors (PMSM), one for each rear wheel. Each motor’s torque is controlled through torque vectoring systems developed in-house by QEV Technologies.

The high-energy battery pack is T-shaped, running as a central spine of the car and behind the seats. It also serves as a tuned mass damper (TMD), providing stability and reducing structural vibration.

The Lithium Ion polymer battery pack has a power density of 230 Wh/kg and a capacity of 80 kWh. The carbon fibre battery housing allows for easy upgrades when new technologies become available. By 2020, it is anticipated that 300 Wh/kg should be a commercial reality, increasing the battery capacity up to 105 kWh. The mechanical and electric components give a total energy loss from the battery to the ground of less than 10%, maximising vehicle range, which is targeted to exceed 250 miles.

The battery pack – made up of 700 cells – was designed and produced entirely in-house, including a complete temperature control system to ensure the cells can operate optimally.

The Carmen is compatible with the 80 kW CCS2 fast charging protocol, as well as CHAdeMO and GB/T charging options.

The battery and electric powertrain components are liquid-cooled via three front radiators: one under the bonnet at the front of the car for battery cooling, and one each side, inboard of the front wheel arches, for cooling powertrain components. The three front air intakes provide airflow to help cool the electric drivetrain system and battery.

Carbon fibre composites are employed extensively throughout the vehicle, and account for the vast proportion of vehicle structures.