Icona's magma-laden Vulcano hybrid sets Shanghai on fire
April 23, 2013
After weeks of teasing by boutique Chinese/Italian auto designer Icona, the high performance, hyper-red Vulcano hybrid has finally been unveiled (in front of a snack bar) at the Shanghai Auto Show. Based on initial images and performance specs, the one-off GT seems to live up to its magma-inspired moniker.
Sporting a hybrid configuration similar to Ferrari’s LaFerrari and Porsche's fantastical 918 Spyder hybrid, the rear-wheel drive Vulcano H-Turismo uses a front-mounted V12 as its primary motivational force, with electric motors as subsidiary add-ons. The electric motor synchronizes the single clutch for fast gear changes and helps balance out torque for smoother acceleration. Together the two deliver a total power to the rear wheels of 950 horsepower. This translates into a top speed of 350 km/h (217 mph), a 0-100 km/h (62 mph) time of 3.1 seconds and a 0-200 km/h (124 mph) time of 9.2 seconds.
Despite the car being described as a "one-off,' Icona has also outlined a an alternate powertrain option. The H-Competizione variant employs an electric all-wheel-drive configuration coupled to a twin turbo V6 creating 550 hp. The company says both options will deliver a top speed of 350 km/h (217 mph) but the H-Competizione, using electric motors up front, beats the H-Turismo to 100 km/h (2.9 seconds) and 200 km/h (8.9 seconds). When both systems are at full drivers get to enjoy 870 horses in all.
In full electric mode the Vulcano has a range of 20 kilometers (12 miles), depending on power consumption. The H-Competizione version can make 30 kilometers (18 miles) in full electric mode before needing a plug-in.
Designed by Samuel Chuffart, the Vulcano's appearance exhibits old-world Italian GT influences. Aggressive, sinuous lines flow from flank to flank and tip to tail. One of my favorite design tricks, dropping the body and cockpit between rising haunches has been played out nicely and the taper towards the rear spoiler gives it a LeMans endurance-racer feel. But one of the Vulcano’s coolest design tricks has to be its reversed, double rotation axis doors that open vertically towards the rear. Upon opening, the doors slide outward to clear the fenders, then pivot up and back from a point just behind the passenger’s heads.
To keep weight to a minimum Vulcano’s chassis uses an aluminum extrusion setup. Engine and gearbox, coupled to the rear axle are mounted in the traditional style to optimize forward/back balance weight split. Suspension is double triangle front and rear with coiled springs all around.
Aside from being stunning, the Vulcano design features some very functional elements. To get heat out of the V12 laden engine bay, rear facing vents atop the front fenders assist with cooling. The front grille features aerodynamic blades to encourage downforce while a rear wing mounted under the car also helps keep the wheels on the tarmac. Integrated wings in the lower area of the wheel arches also help control air flow and reduce turbulence. The body, made entirely from carbon fiber, works to keep Vulcano’s weight down to 1595 kg (3,516 lbs) for the H-Turismo and 1635 kg (3,604 lbs) for the H-Competizione.
The Vulcano interior also offers something exclusive. Carbon fiber plays a significant role in the cockpit, looking cool next to black alcantra inserts while keeping weight to a minimum. The fully adjustable leather race seats with 5-point seatbelts are aesthetically stunning and the entire cockpit screams of sumptuous Italian future-tech design. Oversized paddle shifters mounted on aluminum stalks nicely frame the 3D-like gauge cluster. and similar to a Viper or Jaguar e-type, there's room behind the seats for storing Italian breads and snowboards.
There's no analog here. The gauge cluster looks to be borrowed from Tron, but with red overtones. Speed, brake horsepower, rpms, gear selection and mileage information is displayed in a radial fashion around the center gauge in a very video game-like configuration. To the right, nestled into the angled console is another digital display providing critical battery charge status, radio, temp settings, GPS information and details on which system is in use and what power is available.
Vulcano’s rims are T6-6061 aerospace grade forged aluminum with dimensions of 20 x 10” up front and 21 x 12.5” in the rear. The Pirelli P Zero ultra high performance tires have a 355 mm (13.97 in.) footprint out back and 285mm (11.22 in) up the front and were developed using a new high-grip compound.
The Vulcano braking system is of course Brembo. The GT-R brakes use 6 piston calipers per wheel to squeeze the life out of 380mm (14.96 in) carbon ceramic discs.
The car was built by Cecomp, based in Torino, Italy.
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