As children, when we thought about titanium, we most commonly associated it with futuristic spaceships or superhero armour. And although today titanium is widely used in missiles and aircraft, the thought of it being used in cars always seemed a futuristic dream …until now.
Image courtesy of Icona (2016)
The Icona Vulcano is the world’s first titanium super-car, and it’s real…although with a price tag of £2 million it will remain a dream for most of us. After being teased as a concept back in 2013 at the Shanghai Motor Show, the car made its debut in September 2016 at the Salon Prive Concours event at Blenheim Palace.
So, what exactly is titanium, and why is it so special?
Remember the song lyrics ‘shoot me down but I won’t fall, I am titanium.’? This is certainly a testament to the fact that titanium is extremely tough and durable.
This silver coloured metal was first discovered in Cornwall back in 1791, and occurs within a number of mineral deposits which are widely distributed in the Earth’s crust. It is recognised for its high strength to weight ratio, a strong metal with a low density, which makes it pliable and flexible without breaking.
Add to this the fact that it is resistant to corrosion, titanium is the perfect choice for the production of strong but lightweight aerospace, military and industrial equipment. And it appears that it could now be the perfect choice for a car.
In recent years, some automotive companies have dabbled in the use of titanium for certain parts, namely Honda who has used it for connection rods in some sports models. But the Icona Vulcano is the first car with a fully titanium body.
Sleek and unique…
As the only one in the world, it truly is a unique masterpiece, taking 10,000 hours of hand crafted work to construct, and boasting a sleek and stylish body with luxurious leather interior.
Icona’s Head of Design, Samuel Chuffart, commented: “Inspiration for the Vulcano came from the most recent airplanes and architectural challenges where we find exquisitely sharp and dramatic silhouettes complimenting sensual surface transitions. This was key to the styling of the Vulcano.”
And with a 0-60 mph time of 2.8 seconds and a top speed of 220mph, the Icona Vulcano has speed as well as style. The traditional gear lever has been replaced with pads connected to the sensors on the steering column, which according to Icona, means you can drive ‘at considerable speed of change by only touching the blades with fingers, without ever taking hands off the steering wheel.’
It remains to be seen whether titanium cars are indeed the future of motoring, but if you have a spare £2 million to purchase the Icona Vulcano, at least you can be assured that, for now at least, no-one else in the world will have one!
Stephen Doble. (2016). The £2.1m Icona Vulcano is real, and it’ll top 220mph. Available: https://www.topgear.com/car-news/supercars/ps21m-icona-vulcano-real-and-itll-top-220mph. Last accessed 16/03/2017.
Niels Stolte. (2016). $2.7 Million Icona Vulcano Titanium – World’s First Titanium Supercar. Available: http://gtspirit.com/2016/08/09/2-7-million-icona-vulcano-titanium-worlds-first-titanium-supercar/. Last accessed 16/03/2017.
Kirstie McCrum. (2016). World’s only TITANIUM car could be yours for a cool £2MILLION (and no one else will have one). Available: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/worlds-only-titanium-car-could-8618010. Last accessed 16/03/2017.
Stephen Doble. (2016). Here comes the titanium supercar. Available: http://www.bbc.com/autos/story/20160809-here-comes-the-titanium-car. Last accessed 16/03/2017.
Icona – Carsnco Photography, (2016), Vulcano Titanium [ONLINE]. Available at: https://iconapassionedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2016/09/20160904_120906.jpg [Accessed 24 March 2017].
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