Icona handcrafts one-off titanium supercar
Supercar boutique Icona set the auto world ablaze back in 2013, revealing its Vulcano supercar at the Shanghai Auto Show and later showing it at Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. Two years later, it's finally doused the flames with the cooling effects of raw titanium. It calls the new Vulcano Titanium the world's first titanium car.
Given its blend of low weight, strength and corrosion resistance, one would expect to see titanium all over high-performance sports cars. While the material isn't entirely absent from the segment, its price keeps it relegated to a very limited number of applications.
We've seen titanium show up in the carbon-titanium monocoque of the Pagani Huayra, the titanium-graphene-carbon chassis of the GTA Spano, the exhaust system of the Bentley Continental GT3-R and a few other bits and bobs of expensive exotic cars. What we have not seen is an entire sports car body built from titanium, which is what Icona suggests sets the Vulcano Titanium apart from all other sports cars on Earth. The body, which also contains carbon fiber, was hand-built by Italian coach builder Cecomp over the course of 1,000 hours.
"Inspiration for the Vulcano came from the world's fastest plane, the Blackbird SR-71, whose sharp and dramatic silhouette complimenting its sensual surface transitions was key to the styling of the Vulcano," explains Icona design director Samuel Chuffart.
Icona fancies the titanium body a fine sculpture, so it didn't bother muddying it up with paint before revealing it at Pebble Beach. All attention was focused on that bare titanium, and the car stood out quite effectively amidst the glossy carbon fiber and deep hues surrounding it at the event.
Underneath its titanium suit of armor, the new Vulcano is powered by a supercharged LS9 V8 mounted in mid-front position, a much simpler choice than the dual electric-gas configurations detailed on the original Vulcano. Icona has tuned GM's mill to 670 hp (500 kW) and 620 lb-ft (840 Nm) and says that it can be dialed right up to over 1,000 hp (746 kW). The powertrain was put together by former Scuderia Ferrari engineer Claudio Lombardi and Mario Cavagnero of Lancia Racing fame, who chose to pair the V8 with an Automac Modena paddle-shift close ratio transmission.
The Vulcano Titanium weighs the same 3,516 lb (1,595 kg) as the original Vulcano, which featured a full carbon fiber body. Its estimated performance is quite comparable as well: 0-60 mph (96.5 km/h) in 2.8 seconds, 0-120 mph (193 km/h) in 8.8 seconds and a 220-mph (354 km/h) top speed. The car rides on Pirelli P Zero tires and stops with Brembo hardware.
Icona refers to the titanium Vulcano as a "one off," so it doesn't look like there are any plans to build a limited number for select clientele. A titanium body does seem like an awfully attractive bragging right for folks carrying an insatiable appetite for lavish hypercars, though. Maybe one or two of those tycoon types will convince Icona to churn out a titanium hypercar or two.
You can see more of the new Vulcano Titanium and compare it to the original deep-red carbon Vulcano in our photo gallery. The video below provides a behind-the-scenes look at the titanium craftsmen hard at work.