Hispano-Suiza Carmen Boulogne is Spain's gift to the electric hypercar segment

Ronan Glon

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Hispano-Suiza rose from the dead in 2019 to introduce a limited-edition electric hypercar named Carmen. It's not the only company on a quest to peddle multi-million-dollar EVs, the segment is getting unexpectedly crowded, so Hispano-Suiza injected a little bit more performance into its retro-futuristic coupe in a bid to help it stand out from the pack.

Introduced online, the Carmen Boulogne loosely channels the spirit of race-winning Hispano-Suiza models made during the early 1920s. It carries on with an electric powertrain that consists of two electric motors (one for each rear wheel) and a T-shaped, 80-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack, but engineers increased the system's output to 1,114 horsepower and 1,180 pound-feet of torque. The 95-horsepower bump gives the Boulogne a 180-mph top speed, up from 155 mph, and lowers its zero-to-100-km/h (62 mph) time to somewhere under the 2.6-second mark.

The reborn Spanish brand made rather bold claims about its two-seater coupe. It pledged to deliver a coupe gifted with "blistering acceleration," "seemingly endless pulling power," and "exceptional handling" in a package that remains "predictable and easy to drive." It backed up these ambitious statements by pointing out the 1,630-pound Boulogne is 60 pounds lighter than the Carmen, boasts a better stiffness-to-mass ratio than the Lamborghini Aventador, and has a lower drag coefficient (0.32) than high-profile hypercars like the Koenigsegg Agera R, the Ferrari F12, and the Porsche 918 Spyder made between 2013 and 2015.

Carbon fiber helps offset the weight added by the battery pack, which holds enough electricity for up to 250 miles of range, and the Boulogne proudly displays its lightweight construction by forgoing paint. It also stands out from the standard Carmen thanks to copper-colored accents, new-look wheels, model-specific interior trim, and either suede or Alcantara upholstery. Finally, stylists took off the rear wheel arch covers to achieve a sportier look.

The focus put on performance doesn't overlap with creature comforts, however. Every Boulogne comes standard with a six-speaker sound system, heated seats, and a Swiss clock designed by an unidentified watchmaker. There's also a 10.1-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system, and a mobile app.

Hispano-Suiza plans to cap global Carmen production at 19 units, and only five of them will receive the Boulogne package, meaning it's a limited-edition version of a limited-edition car. Pricing starts at €1.6 million (about $1.8 million) before taxes and options elbow their way into the equation. Deliveries from the Barcelona, Spain, factory are scheduled to begin in 2022, and the company is inviting enthusiasts who want one to get in touch.