HomeCar CultureHispano Suiza gathers ideas for ‘sports car of the future’

Hispano Suiza gathers ideas for ‘sports car of the future’

Spanish automaker planning for its 120th anniversary celebration


Spanish automaker Hispano Suiza celebrates its 120th anniversary in 2024 and apparently is considering a modern reinterpretation of its 1911-1914 T45 — Hispano claims it to be the first sports car, and it also bore the name Spanish King Alfonso XIII.

To that end, the automaker turned to third-year students at the Istituto Europeo di Design in Torino, Italy, for their ideas for “the sports car of the future.”

The original T45 was designed by Marc Birkigt after the company was commissioned by the Spanish king to create a “sporty and agile” vehicle. The result was a 2-seater powered by an inline 4-cylinder engine with 60 horsepower and a top speed of around 75 mph. 

Spanish King Alfonso XIII drives his T45

More than a century later, and with direction from Hispano design director Francesc Arenas, “students were asked to explore and design the exterior, interior and describe the user experience of the Alfonso XIII of the future, using the technology currently available, as well as their unstoppable imagination,” according to Hispano Suiza’s news release.

“Once again,” the automaker noted, “Hispano Suiza demonstrated its commitment to the talent of young people, who delivered disruptive ideas, projects and shaped new concept cars. Just as Marc Birkigt — the Swiss engineer who founded the brand together with with Damián Mateu in 1904 — did in the past.

“The collaboration with Hispano Suiza has allowed the students to face the demands of a legendary automotive brand, pioneer of excellence in the automotive sector, and the needs of an international market, bringing out their personality and passion,” IED design coordinator Michele Albera is quoted.

A few of the student proposals

Between 1904 and 1946, Hispano Suiza produced more than 12,000 high-performance luxury vehicles and more than 50,000 aircraft engines. It has been regenerated by members of the Suqué Mateu family. In 2000, it produced a supercar concept, the HS21 and in 2019 launched the Carmen, an electric “hypercar.”

Hispano Suiza is part of the Peralada Group, which represents the pinnacle of luxury dining and entertainment thanks to its global portfolio of casinos, restaurants, hotels, golf courses, vineyards, music festivals and marinas.

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


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