Barcelona, September 26, 2022. Hispano Suiza has brought together for the first time two of its most iconic cars, the historic 1938 Xenia Dubonnet, and the all-electric Carmen. The stage was the “Chantilly Arts et Élégance” concours, held at the majestic Château de Chantilly, just North of Paris. Despite their 81-year age gap, both models share many similarities, since the Xenia Dubonnet was the inspiration for the design of the Carmen, a model with which Hispano Suiza made its return to the automotive world just over three years ago. The Xenia Dubonnet currently belongs to the Mullin Automotive Museum Collection.
The Xenia Dubonnet is considered one of the most elegant and innovative cars in the history of Hispano Suiza. It was created by André Dubonnet, an aviator, athlete, racing driver and inventor who knew the potential of Hispano Suiza engines, since he had used them on his airplanes and had competed with them in car races. Amazed by its capabilities, he decided to purchase a Hispano Suiza H6C, which he chose to personalise with a new, more aerodynamic bodywork and also with the independent suspension system that he himself had patented. He named it after his wife, Xenia, and unveiled it in 1938.
This model, of incomparable elegance and design, served as an inspiration for the current Hispano Suiza design team, led by Francesc Arenas, to shape the new era of Hispano Suiza with the Carmen, a modern representation of the brand evolution over time. “When we designed the Carmen, we were adamant that we should capture our DNA and connect with the roots of the brand. There is no doubt that we have achieved it. You just have to look at the wheel arch and the rear of the car, as well as the belt line”, explains Francesc Arenas, director of Design at Hispano Suiza.
The meeting between the two Hispano Suiza cars took place at the Château de Chantilly, a majestic 19th century building, located just North of Paris. Some of the most elegant automobiles in the world, both current and historical, gathered there in an event marked by luxury and exclusivity, with special attention to art, fashion, and elegance. The Hispano Suiza Carmen shared centre stage with other brand classics such as a 1911 Alfonso XIII or the H6 Torpedo Duvivier.
Sergio Martínez Campos, CEO of Hispano Suiza, took part in the award ceremony by handing over the ´Concours d’état´ trophy in the Hispano Suiza category, precisely to the Xenia Dubonnet.