Tony Borroz 11 years ago 0

The Return of Hispano-Suiza

Remind me later
Sadly, this is not a full blown return for Hispano-Suiza, the vaunted Spanish car builder that had a penchant for using airplane engines in street cars (think about that for a while). No, this time around Hispano-Suiza has come back as a coach builder, and they've decided to do up some custom coachwork for Audi's R8 The debut model, just rolled out at the Geneva Show, for the reconstituted Hispano-Suiza is not just any R8, but an R8 5.2 FSI V10. Seems like they can't shake the "let's put a BIG engine in the car" vibe that pervaded their offerings for so many years. And just like the Hispano-Suizas of yore, this one ain't cheap. €700,000 or US$950,000 is what they're asking. Yes, it does come with what can only be termed uniquely styled bodywork, and yes, the 10-cylinder plant has been worked over by MTM, twin-supercharged as a matter of fact, and now puts out 750 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque, but that's still a lot of coin. It's not just a tuner special though. The new Hispano-Suiza was "
design ... of Erwin Leo Himmel (Audi 1982-'94, VW Group Design Centre Europe '95-'99, Fuore 2000-2007)", according to Automobile Magazine. The stock R8 is torn down, the chassis stretched, the suspension replaced, the center-locking wheels, 22 inches, are added and the interior is largely bespoke custom, although a few options, including the sound system and transmissions, carry over from the original Audi. By the time they're done Hispano-Suiza claims their "R8" can do 0-100 km/h in 3.4 seconds and top out at 340 km/h (211 mph). No, those numbers aren't that big of jump from the standard R8 V10's 3.9-second run to 60 and a terminal velocity of 316 km/h (196 mph). Ergo, most of that cash is headed towards extensive chassis/body work, and a hand-crafted interior. Hispano-Suiza says there's a convertible version on the way and also a hybrid model. They say the hybrid will add another 150-horsepower into the mix for a total of 900 horsepower. Deliveries are set to begin in six months with hopes of 25-50 copies per year. Source: CarScoop