Famous luxury automotive brand returns – Hispano Suiza to present Maguari HS1 GTC
Zug, February 21st, 2019 – Hispano Suiza Automobilmanufaktur AG will bring back the glory of the early 20th century. The brand, best known for its pre-World War II luxury cars and aviation engines, will present a new hypercar that will enthuse car collectors and aficionados alike. The Maguari HS1 GTC is proposed only for the most eligible clients. They can own a unique and limited edition vehicle from an automotive brand that aims to cater to the desire and needs of an elite clientele around the globe.
Born in the early years of the last century from genius Swiss engineer, Marc Birkigt, and Spanish finance partners, Hispano Suiza is one of the top and most desirable motoring brands in the world. The automotive brand went asleep for almost 8 decades until internationally renowned Austrian car designer Erwin Leo Himmel decided to revive the brand that went into the public domain.
In 2010 Mr Himmel opened a new chapter, presenting the first design prototype of the revived Hispano Suiza brand at the Geneva Motor Show. With the concept car ‘Grand Turismo Coupé’ a new era begun, closely connected to the history of the brand and Marc Birkigt. The gifted Swiss engineer was responsible for some of the most innovative and exclusive cars. Today, Mr Himmel, teaming up with Prof. Olivier Boulay, also an internationally acclaimed automobile designer and architect from Paris, seek to perpetuate traditional handcrafting skills combined with state-of-the-art technology.
Being an admirer of Birkigt’s craftsman skills and his epic masterpieces, Mr Himmel was driven to revive the character of the extraordinary brand. He started from scratch to design the new company and its products – focusing on the philosophical standards ‘Luxury, Comfort, Speed and Endurance’ set by Birkigt and his team back in the days.
Speaking of the new Maguari HS1 GTC Himmel says: “We want to build the most exclusive and comfortable luxury sports cars – jaw-dropping master pieces. The legacy of Marc Birkigt continues. But we do not only build cars, we want to bring together like-minded individuals to actually live the brand.”
The Hispano Suiza Maguari HS1 GTC is in the last testing phase. Following the ideology of the brand, exterior, interior and technical key features from the classic Hispano Suiza cars have been translated into a modern car. The 5.2-liter twin-turbo V10 engine with electric compressors producing 1,085 hp accelerates the car from 0 to 100 km/h in 2.8 seconds to a top speed of 380 km/h (electronically limited). The engine of the Maguari HS1 GTC is closely linked to the engines that Mr Birkigt created. Today, 100 years after the Swiss engineer developed the aviation engine 12Y51, it springs to life again. The new engine has some of the engineering features of the historic one like special cylinder liners, natrium filled valve stems and the supercharger of the 100-year-old ancestor.
The 7-speed automatic sequential paddle shift transmission is a perfect match for the rear wheel drive system, which guarantees optimal traction and superb handling at all times. As in the 2010 concept car the Maguari HS1 GTC is a superb combination of uncompromising design, supreme driving performance and utmost exclusivity together with technical perfection. Each car is a unique masterpiece: lightweight chassis with carbon-fiber bodywork, paintwork to highest specification and bespoke interior appointments in the finest materials that money can buy, exquisitely executed by masters of their craft.
The official launch of this new Hispano Suiza sports car will take place in Spring 2019. Further information will be revealed in due course. “Selected enthusiasts will have an exclusive review of the car with Mr Boulay and myself. We have allied our company with major partners and suppliers in the automotive industry to deliver the best product. And to personally cater to our customers around the globe, we have set up representative offices in New York, Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong and a design studio in Paris”, says Mr Himmel.
The name of Hispano Suiza’s automobile line Maguari relates to the South American stork – the historic brands mascot.
First deliveries of the cars with a starting price of 2.2 million Euros are scheduled for late 2019.
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Background discussion with Erwin Himmel
“Everything is possible”
Erwin Himmel is an internationally renowned Austrian automotive designer. He led the transformation of Audi becoming a premium and sporty automobile manufacturer and set the pace for Lamborghini, Bentley and Bugatti. Two of his most notable creations are the 1991 Audi Quattro Spyder concept and the 2004 Jaguar BlackJag. The latter – a design study that Mr Himmel created as the CEO of Fuore Design – combined a racy sports car with style and elegance. Reviving the historic Hispano Suiza brand he teamed up with another famous and renowned automotive designer – Prof. Olivier Boulay from France. Mr Boulay was former Chief Designer at Mercedes – among others he was the creator of the famed Maybach – and also designed some strategically important models for Porsche. In our background discussion he comments on the recent news of a new Hispano Suiza supercar that will be shown at this years Geneva Motor Show.
In a few weeks Hispano Suiza Automobilmanufaktur AG will present the new Maguari HS1 GTC. It follows the 2010 concept car Gran Turismo Coupé presented in Geneva. Tell us more about the new hypercar.
Erwin Himmel: “To launch this fantastic new model is like a dream come true. To transport a historic brand like this into the future was a real challenge. But after the success with our concept car at the Geneva Motor Show in 2010 it was an amazing project to work on. Especially as I made it my mission to continue the values that Marc Birkigt established with the brand in the past. My mentor Ferdinand Piëch, former chairman and CEO of Volkswagen Group and Birkigt have a lot in common. With their visions both have been geniuses of their time and both of them, especially Piëch, influenced my career a lot. Their maxim was ‘everything is possible’, a trait that I admire and that inspired me to create the Maguari HS1 GTC and bring Hispano Suiza back to life.”
Will you be present at this year’s Geneva Motor Show? It is said that Hispano Suiza together with QEV Technologies is showcasing a fully electric supercar named Carmen. Are you associated with this product?
Erwin Himmel: “Not at all. And I’m quite surprised that they are advertising the car under our brand name. I got the European rights for Hispano Suiza back in 2010. Meanwhile I also own the rights in our global key markets. The historic brand was asleep for almost eight decades and the domain was about to go public. As I was a huge admirer of Marc Birkigt, the Swiss engineer who co-founded the brand, I brought the brand back to life with the Gran Turismo Coupé in 2010. Ever since I’m developing and designing the new hypercar, which will be shown in a few weeks. My company, the Hispano Suiza Automobile Manufaktur AG was also founded in 2010 with the sole intention of bringing back the glory of the brand. The last Hispano Suiza car left the Paris factory in 1938, which closed soon thereafter. In 1968, Snecma took control over Hispano Suiza, the Hispano Suiza Bois-Colombes plant became a division of the company. Snecma Group is part of the Safran Group and is considered the world's oldest manufacturer of aircraft engines – not associated with the Mateu family. Miguel Suqué Mateu, the great-grandson of Birkigt’s finance partner Damian Mateu, promotes the car displayed in Geneva. But until date they had no or little interest in the automotive industry at all and even let the domain for the brand – the branding rights – go public Their current company Hispano Suiza Cars was only founded on November 26th, 2018. In a personal talk with Miguel Suqué Mateu a few years back he even told me that he has no interest and no knowledge in the automotive industry and that his Grup Paralada business (owner of casinos and party halls in Catalonia) is what drives him. The only activity related to the history over the years was a Hispano Suiza owners club in Spain which one of his employees looked after."
The Spanish company claims to have continued the legacy of the Hispano Suiza brand over four generations and that they’ve even manufactured other Hispano Suiza models in the past.
Erwin Himmel: “This is not true. The brands last car left the Paris factory in 1938, and by then Hispano Suiza was also not operating out of Spain anymore. The Spanish car market – the initial home of Hispano Suiza – revealed itself to be too small for the brand. Therefore factories in France, first at Levallois-Perret in 1911 and later at the Paris suburb Bois-Colombes, were established. Paris was the place to be for automobile manufacturers back then. And it was Mazel Engineering that manufactured the few design studies sporting the Hispano Suiza name in the past. One was the luxury 2-seater HS21 in 2000 and in 2001 and 2002 the models K8 and HS21-GTS were presented – none of the projects succeeded. And I’m also surprised that they claim to revive their first electric car with the retro car they are going to show. It is true that Marc Birkigt together with the Spanish company La Cuadra created an electric autobus in 1899, with no success. But that was long before Birkigt associated himself with the Mateu family. On another note, the real success for Hispano Suiza in the past came only after the company was established in France. In Geneva they will now show what looks like a retro version of the 1938 Dubonnet Xenia – a car that was created by Jaques Saoutchik and André Dubonnet. The futuristic looking automobile was supposed to be a showcase for Dubonnet’s state-of-the-art suspension system development, which he later sold to General Motors and Alfa Romeo among others. Dubonnet used a Hispano Suiza H6C chassis and adapted it to fit his implanted coil spring suspension.”
About Hispano Suiza Automobilmanufaktur AG:
Hispano Suiza Automobilmanufaktur AG was founded in Baar / Canton Zug, Switzerland in 2010 by Erwin Leo Himmel. It continues the legacy of the La Hispano-Suiza, Fábrica de Automóviles S.A., founded in 1904, which has been one of the legendary automobile brands of the early 20th century and had its glory days in France. In 1911 the first factories in France were established. The Spanish car market – the initial home of Hispano Suiza – revealed itself to be too small for the brand, and Paris was the place to be for the automobile industry at this time.
Together with Rolls Royce, Bugatti, Bentley and Maybach Hispano Suiza was among the top manufacturers of exclusive high-performance automobiles. Most of the Hispano Suiza cars were developed and engineered in Paris. The last Hispano Suiza car left the Paris factory in 1938. It took 72 years until the rebirth of the legend. In 2010 Erwin Himmel opened this new chapter, presenting the first prototype and show car of the Hispano Suiza brand at the Geneva Motor Show. With the concept car ‘Grand Turismo Coupé’ a new era begun, closely connected to the history of the brand and one special person – Marc Birkigt. The gifted Swiss engineer was responsible for some of the most innovative and exclusive cars of its time. Cars that are more than just a mode of transport, but a piece of art – breathing the Parisian air of its day.
Being an admirer of Birkigt’s craftsman skills and his epic masterpieces, Himmel was driven to revive the character of the extraordinary brand. He started from scratch to design the new company and its products – focusing on the philosophical standards set by Birkigt and his team back in the days. Himmel wanted to tie in with the ‘perfection at all costs’ credo Birkigt’s.
Today the core business of Hispano Suiza and especially its automobile line Maguari is to build the most exclusive luxury cars – jaw-dropping master pieces. Himmel, teaming up with Frenchman Olivier Boulay, another famous automobile designer, seek to perpetuate traditional handcrafting skills combined with state of the art technology for today’s market. The legacy of Marc Birkigt continues.
Hispano Suiza Automobilmanufaktur AG has its headquarters in Zug/Switzerland, its engineering hub in Villach/Austria, its design atelier in Paris/France and representative offices in New York/USA, Abu Dhabi/UAE and Hong Kong.
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