Icona Vulcano supercar concept wows at 2013 Shanghai Auto Show

Article by Anita Panait, on April 23, 2013

Icona Vulcano certainly is a vehicle that brings awesome performance and pedigree. Visitors at the Shanghai Auto Show were awed by this supercar concept. The Icona Vulcano is a two-door two-seater car powered by a V12 front engine that provides up to 900 hp through an excellent combination of combustion engine and electric motors.

This allows the supercar concept to accelerate from zero to 200 km/h in under ten seconds and reach a top speed of around 350 km/h. The powertrain of the Icona Volcano is a result of the masterful stroke of Claudio Lombardi, the former powertrain technical director of Ferrari and the man behind several world champion cars.

The design of the Icona Vulcano is a further evolution of the design language first introduced on the Icona Fuselage concept in 2011 by Samuel Chuffart, Icona's design director. This design approach aims to express the amazing capabilities of the Icona Vulcano, while maintaining its harmonious and generous shapes.

Chuffart, as design director of Icona, certainly boosted Icona’s philosophy with his international design experience. He played a vital role in the creation and realization of the current Nissan DNA during his eight-year stint at Nissan Design in Europe and the United States.  He also worked for Jaguar-Land Rover, before being hired as Chief Designer at a leading design house in Italy in 2008.

It was back in 2012 when the notion for the Vulcano first came about. During this time, Icona was asked to be part of the 27th Festival Automobile International, held in Paris, and put on display its highly-celebrated electric concept car dubbed as the Fuselage. After all, the Fuselage was a finalist of the World's Most Beautiful Concept Car contest. With this, Icona set a new objective.

According to the brand, if they could attract people with the four-seater Fuselage sedan, then the possibility was always there for offer a two-seater super sport. This set the stage for the birth of the Vulcano. Icona Design Director Samuel Chuffart shared that in the beginning, the Vulcano was envisioned to have a front engine configuration.

There was also the plan, he said, to have a body side that is strongly sculptured, allowing hot air to be removed from the engine and at the same time lower air turbulence being produced by the wheels. However, he continued, as the various ideas started coming together, it was clear that the biggest hurdle when it came to design was in finding the correct balance when it came to beauty and power.

Chuffart revealed that when coming up with a more aesthetic harmony, there is always the risk of having so many sweet lines and thus lower any feeling of power. He said further that given this is a super sports car, there had to be some powerful features like blades and cooling cutouts that help manage the vehicle’s air flow. The problem is that when such powerful features become too graphically dominant, it results in the car being less attractive.

However, Icona did manage to find the correct balance by focusing on the greatest simplicity, Chuffart concluded. Icona was established during the early part of 2010 and is considered unique among the many design studios in Europe. Icona is based mainly in the Lujiazui district of Shanghai. This is not simply a commercial office but the whole team is there since the goal was to make communication with its clients in China convenient and easy.

With a team composed of members coming from eight countries, Icona offers design services to all of China’s most respected auto manufacturers. By entering into a partnership with segment leaders Tecnocad Progetti and Torino, Italy-based Cecomp, the company is able to get the best when it comes to Europe design, modeling, engineering, and prototyping experience.

Press Release

Icona Vulcano

The Icona Vulcano embodies the best in Italian design and engineering. Reaching up to 950 horsepower through an ingenious combination of combustion engine and electric motors, all encased in a beautiful design featuring voluptuous and harmonious shapes, this is the car which brings together the Beauty and the Beast. The Icona Vulcano was designed by Icona Director of Design, Samuel Chuffart.

The Icona Vulcano is a front engine V12 two-door two-seater car; the top speed will be around 350 km/h, and 0-200 km/h will be well under ten seconds. The powertrain of the Icona Vulcano is the work of well-known Claudio Lombardi, former powertrain technical director of Ferrari and mastermind of numerous world champion cars. Claudio Lombardi has engineered two available configurations for the Icona Vulcano. The first is an impressive rear wheel drive V12 associated to an advanced technology gearbox that includes a hybrid system: its electric motor synchronises the single clutch for fast gear change and balances the torque for smooth and optimal acceleration while its additional power increases the total power of the car to 950 HP.

Based on further development of this advanced technology, the Icona Vulcano will also be available in a four wheel drive alternative: this time a twin turbo V6 engine coupled with two electric motors for front traction will deliver a total power of 870 HP, and in an overall set up made to be a record beating Nürburgring champion. This masterful combination was successfully tested only a few months ago at San Marino with the Lancia 037 (Ex World Champion Rally) transformed by Beppe Volta into a 4WD hybrid. Made by ACTUA together with Italtecnica, the Lancia 037 4WD-H beat its previous record in every way.

The wheels of the Icona Vulcano are forged aluminium, 20 x 10" in the front and 21 x 12.5" in the rear. These wheels started life as T6-6061 aerospace grade forged aluminum. To handle this power, Icona has selected Pirelli P Zero ultra high performance tyres. With a 355mm section in the rear and 285mm section in the front, these tyres have been developed using a new high-grip compound with nano-composites and an innovative racing tread. The Icona Vulcano braking system has been supplied by Brembo. The GT-R brakes are the finest high-performance aftermarket braking system ever engineered for production. Lighter and stiffer with excellent heat rejection, the 6 piston calipers are machined entirely from billet. Lightweight carbon ceramic discs of 380mm all round reduce inertia while dissipating heat exceptionally fast.

HOW IT ALL BEGAN

The idea for the Vulcano first emerged in 2012, when Icona was invited to exhibit its acclaimed electric concept car the Fuselage at the 27th Festival Automobile International in Paris as a finalist in the World's Most Beautiful Concept Car competition. A new goal was set: if Icona could win hearts with the Fuselage, a four seater sedan, how many more people could they win over with a glamorous two seater super sport? The idea for the Icona Vulcano was born.

"The very first idea for the Vulcano was to use a front engine layout, and to use a strongly sculpted body side which would evacuate the hot air from the engine and reduce the air turbulence generated by the wheels. As different ideas came together, the most challenging design issue which we faced was how to create a balance between power and beauty. When you're trying to create a feeling of aesthetic harmony, you risk creating too many sweet lines, which decreases the feeling of power. On the other hand, if you make too much of the powerful features which are necessary to a super sports car such as its cooling cutouts and blades which manage the air flow, they become graphically too dominant, and this makes the car less beautiful. The way we found the right balance was usually by looking for the greatest simplicity" said Samuel Chuffart, Design Director of Icona.

WHO IS INVOLVED

Founded in early 2010, Icona is unique among European design studios. For easy and convenient communication with its Chinese clients, the entire Icona team - and not just its commercial office - is based permanently in the heart of Shanghai's Lujiazui district. With a growing design team from eight different nationalities, Icona provides design services to the most respected automakers in China. Through its integrated partnership with sector leaders Tecnocad Progetti and Cecomp located in Torino (Italy), Icona brings together the best of European design, engineering, modeling and prototyping experience.

Talented young French designer Samuel Chuffart brings exceptional international experience to his role as design director of Icona. During his eight year tenure at Nissan Design in Europe and the US, Mr. Chuffart played an instrumental role in the creation and realization of the Nissan DNA which is known today. Mr. Chuffart then moved to Jaguar-Land Rover, before being selected for the position of Chief Designer at a leading design house in Italy in 2008, successfully developing numerous production cars soon to be seen on the road.

Claudio Lombardi is one of the most successful Italian motor engineers: racing director of Lancia who won seven World Rally Championships with 037 Rally and Delta S4 from 1982 to 1991, powertrain technical director of Ferrari for Formula One and GT cars from 1991 to 2000, and project leader of Aprilia to win the Superbike World Championship in 2010 with Max Biaggi, using one of the most powerful and light engines ever developed in its category.

The Icona Vulcano is coachbuilt by Cecomp, founding partner of Icona Shanghai and one of the global leaders in modeling and prototyping in the automotive industry. For over thirty years, Cecomp has been giving shape to ideas developed by designers, style centres and research and development institutes for vehicle manufacturers worldwide. Today, Cecomp is involved in all stages of the vehicle life cycle: style development, building prototypes, pre-industrialization and industrialization, from the latest BMW Z4 Coupe Zagato and the Ferrari 575M SuperAmerica to the production of the Bollore Electric car.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

Dimensions
Length: 4450mm
Width: 1940mm
Wheelbase: 2698mm
Mass: 1595kg (V12-RWD), 1635kg (V6-AWD)
Tires
Front: 285/30 20
Rear: 355/25 21
Braking System
Front: 380mm CCM-Rdisk, GT-R Calipers
Rear: 380mm CCM-Rdisk, GT-R Calipers
H-TURISMO V12
Total power: 950 HP
0-100 km/h: under 2.0s
0-400m: 9.7s
Top speed: 350 km/h (est)
INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINE
Type: 12 cylinder-V 65°
Displacement: 5998 cm3
Material: Full alloy
Lubrification: Dry Sump
Valvetrain: 48 valve, DOHC
Fuel system: Port Injection
Power: 790 HP @ 8300 rpm
Torque: 650 Nm @ 5500 rpm
ELECTRIC MOTOR
Type: Brushless
Nominal Voltage: 450 Vdc
Maximum Torque: 200 Nm @ 0-3000 rpm
Maximum Power: 160 HP @ 3000-10000 rpm
Max rpm: 18000
TRASMISSION
Type: AMT with torque infill
Configuration: 6-Speed
H-COMPETIZIONE
Total power: 870 HP
0-100 km/h: 2.9s
0-400m: 9.2s
Top speed: 350 km/h (est)
INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINE
Type: 6 cylinder-V 60°, Twin Turbo
Displacement: 3800 cm3
Material: Full Alloy
Lubrification: Dry Sump
Valvetrain: 24 valve, DOHC, VVT
Fuel system: Port injection
Power: 550 HP @ 6400 rpm
Torque: 630 Nm @ 3200-5800 rpm
Front and Rear Electric motors
Type: Brushless
Nominal Voltage: 450 Vdc
Maximum Torque: 200 Nm @ 0-3000 rpm
Maximum Power: 160 HP @ 3000-10000 rpm
Max rpm: 18000
Rear Transmission
Type: AMT with torque infill
Configuration: 6-Speed
Front Transmission
Type: Single stage cylindrical gear/bevel set
Differential: Self locking differential
Ratio: Fixed Ratio 9.57

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