This Hispano Suiza Carmen Boulogne is an EV of a different color
Seventy years after closing its original factory, Spanish automaker Hispano Suiza rose again in 2019 with a single purpose: to produce vehicles “that previously existed only in car enthusiasts’ imaginations.” As Miami collector Michael Fux can now attest, the Barcelona-based automaker achieved that right out of the chute.
Fux (pronounced similarly to Fuchs, the wheels) is known for the brightly-colored automobiles that populate his expansive collection, like a pink McLaren 720S and an orange Rolls-Royce Cullinan. He recently added a stunning purple hypercar to the mix. Hispano Suiza CEO Sergio Martinez Campos officially presented Fux with a 2022 Carmen Boulogne at The Amelia, where the 1114-horsepower head turner was swarmed by photo-taking automotive enthusiasts from near and far.
Calling the car “a dream come true,” Fuchs says he was introduced to reborn Hispano Suiza three years ago, when reps showed him some images of the carbon fiber-bodied Carmen EV. Fux had never purchased an electric car before, but he was intrigued with the opportunity to purchase the first of only five Carmen Boulogne models that were being planned. Before flying to Barcelona to see the operation for himself, however, Fux called for backup.
“Tony Kanaan (the 2013 Indianapolis 500 champion) is a friend of mine, and I asked him to come with me. I said, ‘I want you to tell me what you think,’” he says. “So he came along and drove (the prototype). I didn’t know what he was thinking beforehand, but afterward he said, ‘I came here because it’s you and you asked me to, but that car is so fast!’”
That’s all Fux needed to hear. “I met with their people and told them, ‘I love it. I want one,’” he says. “It took me awhile to choose the color and what I wanted on the car, and I went over there a couple of times. They did everything I asked for.”
The color that Fux selected is called “Ocean Song Rose,” inspired by his favorite flower. He sent one of the purple-toned roses to Hispano Suiza’s design department, so the color could be reproduced for the exterior of the car. Since carbon fiber is black, the Boulogne required a layer of Alutex—a composite that contains epoxy resin—to successfully create the color that Fux requested. It is exclusive to him; you won’t see it on anything else built by Hispano Suiza.
The Ocean Song Rose finish is combined with “Birkigt White” design details; the car’s grille, with the Hispano Suiza logo, is finished in a contrasting high-gloss black; and the the monobloc nuts on the polished aluminum alloy wheels—19 inches up front, 20 inches in back—are painted to match the body color. The car’s interior is covered in Birkigt White leather, and “Boulogne” is embroidered on the headrests.
Project manager Fabiano Ferreira says the car was “completely designed and built from scratch … Some of our designers come from Formula E, so it has racing influence.” That much is obvious. What isn’t so obvious is the Carmen Boulogne’s power source.
“When people hear that it’s all electric,” Ferreira says, “they’re very surprised.”
The Boulogne is a quicker, more powerful version of the Carmen EV that was released in 2019 after only a 24-month development period. Hispano Suiza plans to build only 19 of the 1000-hp Carmens in addition to the five Boulogne models. Base price is $1.7 million for a Carmen and $1.9 million for a Boulogne.
The Carmen is named after Carmen Mateu, the third-generation matriarch and late mother of Hispano Suiza’s current president, Miguel Suqué Mateu. Boulogne comes from the Bois de Boulogne race in Paris, which Hispano Suiza won a century ago.
The Boulogne’s battery cells, arranged in a T-shaped pattern starting behind the cabin and running between the seats, provide enough power for the car to accelerate from 0–60 in 2.8 seconds in launch mode. Ferreira says the speed had to be capped at 190 mph “to maintain the design without having to add a wing.” There are three driving modes, ranging from Eco to Sport. The aerodynamic beauty weighs about 3750 pounds.
Among the Carmen and Boulogne’s coolest features are power-operated butterfly doors that slowly rise with the push of a button. Inside features include digital instruments and a touchscreen display, as you would expect.
Ferreira seems as excited to work for Hispano Suiza as Fux is to own Boulogne No. 1. “I’ve worked almost 15 years in the automotive field, and I’ve never been involved with such a car,” he says. “To see the brand come back and to be involved in that …” Ferreira hesitates for a moment. “The enthusiasm has been amazing; I never expected anything like this,” he says, shaking his head.
After ogling the Carmen Boulogne from all angles, we’re shaking our heads too.