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."
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.
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.