2010 Geneva Auto Show: Hispano Suiza V10 Supercharged
One of the automotive world's most iconic names has been resurrected with a thoroughly modern way. Displayed at Geneva in "road-ready prototype" form and based on a highly modified version of the Audi R8 platform, the new Hispano Suiza V10 Supercharged will be handcrafted in Lugano, Switzerland with design and marketing efforts to be handled out of offices in Barcelona, Spain. The first of the 20-25 units the company plans to build annually are due to be completed in the fall, some 70 years after the last original Hispano Suiza vehicles were produced. Beyond this striking all-wheel-drive GT, a convertible based on the upcoming R8 Spyder and a gas-electric hybrid variant are also part of the future product mix.
While the mid-engined Hispano Suiza V10 Supercharged retains a good deal of the R8's basic aluminum space frame, that's where the structural similarity ends. The front portion gets a calculated stretch, the suspension gets redesigned and its all-new bodywork is completely rendered in superlight carbon fiber. Setting off those sweeping lines are 22-inch center-locking forged-alloy wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport SP2 tires. Inside Hispano Suiza V10 Supercharged's luxuriously appointed cabin we're told that the R8's door pulls reportedly carry over, but every other element is bespoke for this car.
In its initial configuration, the Hispano Suiza V10 Supercharged will use a modified version of the Audi 5.2-liter V10. Fitted with two electric-powered superchargers that raise output figures from 520 to 750 horsepower and take peak torque from 391 to 516 lb.-ft., it will have sufficient force to blast this 3,505-pound GT from 0-62 mph in 3.4 seconds and give it a top speed in excess of 205 mph. Stopping power is equally plentiful, coming courtesy of its standard carbon-ceramic disc brakes.
In keeping with what's becoming an emerging trend in the world of exoticars, this new Hispano Suiza GT has also was engineered to accept a supplemental hybrid system. The next phase of its design calls for the fitment of a 150-horsepower electric motor/generator unit that will add its performance-enhancing power to the front wheels and also allow the car to operate in full EV mode. No word on what the price of entry for this cleaner, greener variant will be, but the conventional Hispano Suiza V10 Supercharged is set to open around $950,000, depending on exchange rates.