One of the standouts of last weekend’s 2013 Shanghai Auto Show
was a stunning supercar concept from Italian-owned but Shanghai-based design firm Icona.
The concept carried the Vulcano name
, which is Italian for “volcano,” and its lines were penned by French designer Samuel Chuffart, a former employee of illustrious design firm Bertone as well as automakers Jaguar Land Rover and Nissan.
Construction of the concept, meanwhile, was handled by Italian firm Cecomp and its powertrains (yes, there are two separate designs) developed by former Scuderia Ferrari engineer Claudio Lombardi.
Until now, Icona has stated only that the Vulcano was developed as a styling exercise to showcase the company’s talents. In fact, it was originally conceived as a one-off.
However, since its reveal in Shanghai a few days ago, Icona has confirmed that production of the Vulcano was being considered and that no more than five examples will ever be built.
The aim of the design was to combine supercar performance with everyday usability. Its sensual and yet dramatically sharp shape is consistent with its extreme performance capability, yet it is said to be docile and controllable around town.
In addition, a hybrid system developed for the car means zero-emission driving is possible for short distances, which is quickly becoming a necessity for some of the major cities in Europe.
As mentioned, there are two separate powertrain designs for the Vulcano. The more powerful, called the H-Turismo, couples a 790-horsepower V-12 with an electric motor integrated with the car’s automated manual gearbox. This boosts output to 950 horsepower, all of which is delivered to the rear wheels. Thanks to launch control technology, Icona promises that the Vulcano H-Turismo will sprint from 0-62 mph in 3.1 seconds, not the 2.0 seconds previously announced by the company.
The alternative powertrain is another hybrid, although with a more complex through-the-road setup. This setup is called the H-Competizione and uses a 550-horsepower twin-turbocharged V-6 engine to drive the rear wheels, and a pair of electric motors driving the front wheels and bringing peak output to a total 870 horsepower. The Vulcano H-Competizione will cover the 0-62 mph sprint in 2.9 seconds and has the added traction of all-wheel drive.
The H-Turismo version tips the scales at just over 3,500 pounds while the H-Competizione, due to its extra electric motor and heavier battery, weighs just over 3,600 pounds.
Top speed for both models is 217 mph.
Why the two powertrains? Icona says the H-Turismo setup is an ode to the grand tourers of yesteryear, albeit with some modern technology, while the H-Competizione, as its name suggests, is designed with motorsport in mind and features the latest in racing technology.
And for anyone thinking the powertrains are just vaporware, Icona’s technology partner, AIPA, led by Lombardi, has already successfully tested the technology in mules based on the World Rally-winning Lancia 037 from the 1980s (video of one of the mules can be viewed here
Underneath the Vulcano’s beautiful carbon fiber body is a custom aluminum extruded chassis, with the engine mounted up front and the gearbox at the rear. The suspension features a double-wishbone design with coil-springs all around.
The wheels are a custom set from California’s Modulare Forged and are shod with Pirelli P Zero tires. The brakes, meanwhile, come from Brembo and feature carbon ceramic discs and chunky six-piston calipers.
Icona says it went with a front-engine layout as this was determined to be more practical for everyday driving. Of course, the Vulcano is a custom-made car, so all options will be discussed individually with the client.
Inside the Vulcano, you’ll find plenty of carbon fiber and two adjustable bucket seats. Trim options include Alcantara and fine leathers.
There is a large touch-screen display that offers control of most of the vehicle functions and plenty of storage bins for both the driver and passenger.
With Icona promising to limit production of the Vulcano to just five units in total, we suggest to contact them quickly if you’d like to see one in your driveway.