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During the 2000 Geneva Motor Show it appeared that yet another great motoring name would make a comeback; Hispano Suiza. Rivals of old like Bugatti and Maybach had already been revived and now it seemed the turn for the great Spanish manufacturer. The reason for this idea was the Hispano Suiza badged mid-engined concept car displayed by Spanish design and engineering company Mazel. Anticipation was further increased by two subsequent Hispano Suiza badged concept cars shown in 2001 and 2002, but nothing has come from the project.
The first of the three show cars was aptly dubbed the HS 21; the Hispano Suiza for the 21st century. The thoroughly modern design was penned Spaniard Francisco Villafanez. The only cue reminiscent of the Hispano Suizas of old was the prominent grille. At the time of the launch Mazel suggested the HS 21 would be powered by a twin-Turbo V10 engine and equipped with a six-speed sequential gearbox. The show car was not fitted with a drivetrain and it is doubtful it was fitted at a later point. Now painted in a lighter shade, the HS 21 made a second appearance on the Mazel's Geneva stand some four years after the launch, but has not been seen since.
A year after the HS 21 launch, Mazel showed the distinctly different K8. Painted in a rather appalling matt-grey colour, the K8 is a four-door luxury sedan. Maybe it was the colour hiding all the delicate lines, but the K8 was not nearly as well received as the HS 21. With the third and final Hispano Suiza show car Mazel returned to the original HS 21 design. Dubbed the HS 21 GTS, the bright orange car was a study for a potential Hispano Suiza racing car. Whether this was a fully operational machine is again doubtful as all pictures published show the cars stationary.
Mazel failed to secure final support for reviving the Hispano Suiza brand and has since made various other show cars under their own name and for third parties. Featured is the first of the three Hispano Suiza show cars. It is shown here in its second guise during the 2004 Geneva Motorshow, which was the last the world has seen for now from the Hispano Suiza rebirth.
Article by Wouter Melissen, last updated on April 16, 2008
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