Purple reigns for multi-millionaire car collector
Colourful US buyer splurges on electric supercar.
The United States might seem to be going to hell in a hand basket, racked by riots and the scourge of COVID-19, but that hasn’t prevented a multi-millionaire car collector from ordering one of the world’s rarest and most unusual hypercars.
Dubbed the Hispano Suiza Carmen Boulogne, the all-electric supercar is the latest addition to the sprawling 160-plus car collection of enthusiast and US businessman, Michael Fux.
With an estimated price of $A2.8 million, the electric hypercar is strictly for the top end of town. Like other ultra-rare vehicles in Mr Fux’s collection, the Carmen Boulogne is strictly a limited edition, with only 19 destined to be built at the Spanish company’s manufacturing facility in Barcelona, Spain.
Older motoring enthusiasts may recall the Hispano Suiza brand, which between 1904 and 1946 built more than 12,000 luxury performance cars and 50,000 aeroplane engines.
Back then, the Spanish company’s cars were considered to be some of the finest in the world, on a par with the likes of Rolls Royce and Bentley.
Despite continuing on in the aerospace industry, the storied brand was dormant in the automotive space for many years before displaying a concept car at the 2010 Geneva Automotive Show.
That model failed to make it into production, but was followed by the Carmen electric sports car concept at the same event in 2019.
Designed, developed and manufactured in Barcelona, the handcrafted Carmen Boulogne is based on a super-stiff, hand-laid carbon-fibre monocoque.
The company says this provides the foundation for the car’s “exceptional luxury, comfort, innovation and attention to detail, which are combined with technologically superior, fully electric performance”.
Under all that carbon fibre sits an 80kWh battery and pair of twin electric motors that send an astonishing 819kW and 1600Nm to the rear wheels. That’s enough to fire the Spanish supercar from 0-100km/h in 2.6 seconds, on to 160km/h in 5.2 seconds, and an eventual top speed of 290km/h.
Mr Fux’s car is built to his bespoke specification and his commission makes him the first US customer for the Spanish brand in the modern era. As such, the car’s eventual arrival stateside will mark the return of the Hispano Suiza brand to the US after an absence of many decades.
For anyone lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the rare exotic, it will be immediately distinguishable via its vibrant purple colour scheme and pimped-out white leather interior.
Mr Fux, a Cuban-American businessman who made his estimated $US400 million fortune in the mattress trade, has form when it comes to specifying outlandish liveries for his personal collection.
This includes a rare Rolls Royce Wraith finished in a shade of lime green that one website unkindly described as resembling “radioactive snot”.
Hispano Suiza’s own press release puts it somewhat more delicately, stating that Mr Fux’s Carmen Boulogne reflects “his love for vibrant colour and superlative luxury”. Ahem.
The release goes on to say the car will be “finished in an exquisite custom metallic purple, complemented by copper accents on the front grille, wing mirrors, window trim and wheels”.
Inside, the white leather seats feature purple piping, and a carbon-fibre steering wheel finished in purple and with a copper trim.
The Carmen Boulogne is the first all-electric car in Mr Fux's collection, and apparently appealed to him through its pioneering design, and its expertly engineered technology.
“I visited the Hispano Suiza facility in February and loved what I saw,” said Mr Fux.
“I am a detail-orientated guy and I love colours that lift you up and give you a feeling of elation. When you see it, the Carmen Boulogne is undoubtedly a 'wow' car. It is retro and romantic, and you can't avoid looking at it.
“I was impressed with the dedication of the Suqué Mateu family and their passion for the Hispano Suiza brand and its legacy. They are creating wonderful things, and you really become part of the customisation process when you work with them."