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World’s First Titanium-Bodied Car

Icona Vulcano titanium car

Icona, a design firm with Italian roots but headquartered in Shanghai, has introduced a world’s first supercar concept with a unique titanium and carbon fiber body, called Vulcano Titanium. “Inspiration for the Vulcano came from the world’s fastest plane, the Blackbird SR-71, whose sharp and dramatic silhouette complimenting its sensual surface transitions was key to the styling of the Vulcano.” said Samuel Chuffart, Icona design director.

Making its world premiere at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance 2015, the Vulcano features a strongly sculpted body designed evacuate hot air from the engine and reduce the air turbulence generated by the wheels. The naked titanium body is a sculpture, revealing its 10,000 hours of hand-crafted work in the most pure form. The vehicle also had a mid-front engine calibrated for homologated road and race use capable of achieving speeds of 220 miles/hr.

Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance 2015.
The Vulcano Titanium on display at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance 2015.

“As different ideas came together, the most challenging design issue which we faced was how to create a balance between power and beauty,” said Chuffart. “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.”

The Vulcano Titanium was created to showcase the talent and capabilities of Icona’s design team through a one-off concept and was built by Cecomp, an Italian coachbuilder. Although strong and lightweight, titanium is not particularly elastic and can be difficult to work with when making the kinds of complex shapes revealed in the Vulcano design. Recently, the company presented a new video discussing these challenges and how they were faced by the builders.

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