Hispano Suiza will be celebrating its 120th anniversary in 2024, so the company asked design students from IED Turin to show their vision for a modern reinterpretation of the Hispano Suiza Alfonso XIII.
The concepts were created by final-year students of the IED Turin Transportation Design course, with input from Francesc Arenas, Design Director of Hispano Suiza. Arenas described their collaboration with the students as a “stimulating and very rewarding experience”. Students were tasked to explore both the exterior and interior design, alongside the user experience factor of the vehicle.
The Hispano Suiza Tronada, with design cues inspired by jet engines
Among the concepts, we can see Grand Tourers with aggressive styling cues and enclosed bodies like the Mireia, Dinamica, Poly, and Ala which look fitting to the future of Hispano Suiza. Others took a different approach with sporty roadsters like the Cigueña, Lily, Hortensia, Duma, and Tronada, with the latter looking more in line with the design language of the current Hispano Suiza Carmen.
Finally, the Montserrat, Anvil, and Lucia proposals go down the retro-futuristic road, closer to the original in terms of bodystyle and proportions. Speaking of which, the source of inspiration was the two-seater Hispano Suiza Alfonso XIII, produced between 1911 and 1914. As suggested by its name, the vehicle was commissioned by the homonymous King of Spain, with Hispano Suiza referring to it as the first sports car in automotive history.
Hispano Suiza was founded in 1904 by Swiss engineer Marc Birkigt, and Spanish businessman and politician Damián Mateu, having built more than 12,000 high-performance luxury cars and 50,000 aircraft engines up until 1946.
In the 21st century, there have been two different companies trying to resurrect the historic brand. The first, which is the subject of this report, is based in Barcelona, Spain. It is owned by the Peralada Group, with Miguel Suqué Mateu, the great-grandson of the original founder, as chairman. After a series of concept cars in 2000, 2001, and 2002, Hispano Suiza unveiled the fully electric Carmen in 2019 as a limited production supercar, followed by the Carmen Boulogne special edition in 2020.
The second, and totally unrelated, company claiming the same name is the Hispano Suiza Automobilmanufaktur AG, founded in Baar, Switzerland in 2010 by ex-Audi designer Erwin Leo Himmel. This one was getting ready to put a V10-powered supercar, the Maguari HS1, into production, after unveiling concepts in 2010 and 2019, but seems to have fallen off the radar lately.