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2010 Geneva Show: Hispano Suiza Granturismo

posted by on 2 March 2010 in 2010 Geneva Auto Show Automotive News

Hispano Suiza could be thought of as something like Bugatti when that brand launched the EB110 back in the nineties. It’s a historic, memorable nameplate that hasn’t really been put to use in the lifetimes of most living and breathing car enthusiasts. But if Bugatti is any indicator, there is certainly some potential for greatness.

Also like the Bugatti Veyron, this Hispano Suiza relies heavily on components borrowed from the Volkswagen Group. That’s because it isn’t so much a totally new car, but a coachbuilt creation based on the relatively mass-produced Audi R8 V10. Unfortunately, for 700,000 Euros, we don’t exactly think it looks much better than its chassis donor. But hey, at least it will be rare.

To make a handful of potential customers feel like they’ve spent that huge sum of money wisely, Hispano Suiza has tweaked the base V10 engine to produce 750 hp, thanks to two electrically-powered superchargers. That might sound like an odd setup, but the changes are good for a 0-62 mph time of 3.4 seconds and a top speed of 205 mph. Weight is reduced over the Audi, too, thanks to a full carbon fiber body.

From the department of “We’ll see about that,” Hispano Suiza also hopes to be the first super-premium sports car builder to offer a hybrid powertrain. This will be done by cutting off the front wheels from the gas engine and instead using a 150-hp electric motor to drive those wheels, for a total of 900 hp and the ability to operate on just electric power. Where are the batteries? Who knows. The non-electric versions of the car are supposedly ready to be shipped from the company’s new headquarters in Ingolstadt within six months.

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