Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Trident launches "world's fastest diesel sports car"

By

May 5, 2014

The Iceni Magna fastback coupe

The Iceni Magna fastback coupe

Image Gallery (11 images)

British sports car marque Trident is sending its Iceni sports car speeding to market, calling it the "fastest and most fuel efficient diesel sports car" available. The car uses a patented torque multiplication technology to combine 190 mph (306 km/h) worth of speed potential with up to 2,000 miles (3,219 km) of driving per tank of fuel.

Trident is a classic British sports car badge that dates back to the 1960s. Its current incarnation was established in 2005 by Phil Bevan and Daniel Monaghan, and it didn't take too long before the Iceni started making appearances.

What took a lot longer was getting the car to market. Like other exotic sports cars from new and revived brands, the Iceni was trapped in a vanish-resurface cycle for the better part of a decade. The last we heard, the car was moving toward launch after repeated delays … back in 2011.

Trident popped up last week, seemingly out of the blue, announcing that the Iceni is now available for order. Not only that, but it's added the Magna fastback and Venturer estate body styles to the original convertible, all of which share an identical base price and hardware.

Underneath its curvy, svelte body, the Iceni is powered by a hulking, mid-front 6.6-liter V8 turbo diesel that puts out 395 hp. More interesting is the whopping 700 lb-ft (949 Nm) of torque available with the help of Trident's torque multiplication technology. Trident's goal in building the Iceni was to use the torque multiplication technology to combine the sports car performance of a big, large-displacement engine with fuel economy more similar to a one-liter car. It tells us that the Iceni represents the first road-car use of the torque technology and that it can improve fuel efficiency by up to 50 percent.

"It is widely believed that horsepower delivers power, speed and fuel efficiency, but it is in fact torque that matters," Trident explains. "Trident has patented a unique way of utilizing torque multiplication to improve performance and efficiency, which has been incorporated into all their sports cars."

The Iceni was originally conceived in convertible form, one of three body types now availa...

As estimated by Trident, that means the very same car can crank out speeds over 190 mph (306 mph) and travel up to 2,000 miles (3,219 km) without stopping for a fill-up, though likely not on the same trip. On its way to flirting with 200 mph, it can hit 60 mph (96.5 km/h) in 3.7 seconds. Drivers can fuel up with either mineral-based diesel or biodiesel.

Trident designed its own six-speed automatic transmission and differential for the Iceni. It planted the car on a special-grade stainless steel chassis, choosing the material for strength and torsional rigidity. Around the exterior and interior, you'll find 39 bespoke components, including the wheels, seats, instruments and grilles.

In addition to the standard tune, Trident offers several package upgrades, including the range-topping 660-hp/1,050 lb-ft (1,424 Nm), £31K (US$52K) Track Pack. That package also includes an altered differential for quickened acceleration and an upgraded suspension system to see that added muscle to the ground with grace.

The Iceni has a voluptuous design reminiscent of past British sports cars like the Jaguar E-Type – if you're going to be derivative, you may as well derive from the best. The convertible version features a T-top-like design with independently controlled roof panels for driver and passenger. The lower body flows seamlessly from the hood, past the cabin and into the plump hindquarters. Side-mounted exhaust tips and a double-bubble roof provide some clear distinguishing points on the solid-roof Magna.

Sketch of the Iceni Venturer estate

Based on the initial sketches, the extended cab of the Venturer estate looks even stranger than we would have expected. The juxtaposition of the sharply-angled rear windshield and extra-curvy lower body creates a rough profile. Perhaps they'll clean that up before they start banging out the sheet metal.

All three Iceni models start at £96,000 ($162K) and include ventilated disc brakes, Pro Flex fixed damper shocks with Eibach springs, air conditioning, heated leather seats, and a digital radio with Bluetooth as standard equipment. In addition to the aforementioned Track Pack, buyers can opt for three other packages – an £11,300 ($19,062) Performance Pack with 430-bhp engine upgrade, and a pair of luxury packages. Trident has started production and says that it already has a waiting list for the limited number of models it plans to build.

Source: Trident

About the Author
C.C. Weiss Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work.   All articles by C.C. Weiss
11 Comments

That "torque multiplier" technology- isn't that what the rest of us call a "transmission?"

Beaugrand_RTMC
5th May, 2014 @ 03:56 pm PDT

Like to know about this "torque multiplication technology." Just a fancy torque-converter if they're running an auto?

Chris D Hooley
5th May, 2014 @ 06:10 pm PDT

Looks reasonable, but from a couple of pictures at least, rear 'blind spots' would be shocking!

Also - for an UK-designed vehicle, how come the steering wheel is on the left??

Hoping to sell a couple to the Yanks (who have not embraced diesel at all)?

I would also hope that in any follow-up story, the conversion of mph to kmh is actually done and labelled! Not XX mph (XX mph)

The Skud
5th May, 2014 @ 06:41 pm PDT

P.S.

Why not a smaller and lighter 3-4 litre V6 motor for agiity? Should be ample with today's speed cameras lurking behind every tree!

The Skud
5th May, 2014 @ 06:44 pm PDT

Well they got the looks right now if the power plant is as good?

MadMaxx
5th May, 2014 @ 07:18 pm PDT

I agree, that's what a transmission does - it multiplies torque.

And if you have such a large displacement, torquey Diesel engine anyway, why would you need to add in any extra 'torque multiplication' over and above a regular gearbox ??? Sounds like baloney to me.......

And what the heck are 'fixed damper' shocks ? Generally you want adjustable damper shocks ...

Martin Hone
5th May, 2014 @ 07:53 pm PDT

The more you multiply the torque, the slower the rpm of the component providing it, so what exactly is this torque multiplier? As for: "It is widely believed that horsepower delivers power, speed and fuel efficiency, but it is in fact torque that matters," no matter how much torque available, if you haven't got the horse power to overcome the wind and road resistance etc. for any given speed, then you won't get the car to go that fast, period. If speed were only due to torque, we would have multi-axle trucks queuing up to have a go at the world land speed record.

It seems to me that the person who dreamed up the concept of a torque multiplier would be better employed selling real estate, especially in the time-share sector.

Mel Tisdale
6th May, 2014 @ 04:39 am PDT

I too wonder about the "how" of the torque-multiplication. Perhaps it is that with gobs of torque you don't need the rpms, and therefore a taller gearing (super overdrive perhaps?) can get you the speed you need withouth running the mill at redline. Some specifics about fuel tank size or MPG would be nice. The hope is that some of the technology can find its way down to lesser vehicles that lesser pocketbooks can afford.

Bruce H. Anderson
6th May, 2014 @ 08:47 am PDT

Hmmm, way too expensive. Considering I can purchase a used HUMMER H3 for about $15, which leaves me with enough money to purchase 40,500 gallons of gasoline at $4/gallon (not there yet, but averaging) That's 16 hundred tanks of gas, giving me 400,000 miles of driving...yeah...not worth it no matter *HOW* much you are saving the planet!

Ed
6th May, 2014 @ 12:37 pm PDT

Where's the 100 gallon fuel tank? Make that 83 imperial gallon fuel tank. That 0-60 time must also be in imperial seconds. Excuse the sarcasm. Is there any real test data on this car?

Bob
6th May, 2014 @ 06:42 pm PDT

Great Story, little short on facts and any proof beyond hearsay.

It MAY be able to get a very long range on a tank of diesel, it may also be able to travel at 300 km/hr.

As Mr Weiss stated, it is unlikely to be able to do both at the same time. the 3000 km range was most likely travelled at a rather sedate pace, I too can do this in my car, but arriving may take a long time, flying is quicker, and most likely more efficient.

It may also have a very large fuel tank to allow the Huge distances.

Whatever the efficiency increases by adding an additional stage (torque multiplier) to the transmission the thermodynamic efficiencies of a Diesel engine are a significant limiting factor to a near Zero- fuel use car. (Efficient Car diesel engine Efficiency (~30%)+ 20% = BS

Phil Bevan (Trident "founder") appears to know more about marketing and writing copy than he knows about physics.

He should know; Power (W) = Energy Rate (per second) (J/s = N*m /s (Dimensionally equivalent)) (ie. first time derivative of energy) and torque is a measure of "twisting force" (N*m)

Power is also = Torque (Nm) x Rotational speed (Radians per second, or Nm x 2 x pi x Revs/second = (Nm/s)

Torque is important BUT Power is more important in the driving experience, one can always trade rotational speed for torque but one cannot create power without burning more fuel.

A 2000Nm 50Hp truck will be able to shift a very heavy load, very slowly.

Also it is usual to Quote engine Torque at the flywheel, before any torque modifying transmission. If one were to quote Torque at the Differential Crown Wheel (for any car) and Power at the Flywheel, that car will appear to have a lot more torque than any other equivalent vehicle.

Please provide info of this mythical patent.

MD
6th May, 2014 @ 11:51 pm PDT
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