Car news

05 August 2014

The new Icon Helios is incredible

The design mind behind the Bronco is taking it back with all-electric Tesla-based aluminium rocket

Vijay Pattni
Car image

Meet the Icon Helios, an Californian dream machine packing an all-electric platform, and bodywork surely dreamed up when Howard Hughes got drunk with Gordon Buehrig.

Actually, that's the analogy Icon's owner, Jonathan Ward, uses to explain his latest vision. "One way or another," he revealed on Twitter, "I will build this car. Looking for the right client to commission it."

A bit of history, first. Icon is famous for building one of TG's favouritest ever cars, the Bronco; a reworked 1972 monster with an entirely new chassis underneath, a box-fresh 5.0-litre V8 up front and a good, solid slug of 400bhp and 400lb ft of torque.

There's a purpose built Atlas II transfer case, custom Dynatrac Dana solid-axle assemblies and independent coilover suspension by Eiback and Fox Racing. So it's a serious, serious bit of kit.

The Icon Helios, then, was revealed to an audience in Oregon, where Ward was presenting his future. "I've finally networked my brains with Elon Musk," he says, indicating that he's hoping to use the Tesla Model X platform, with its selective all-wheel drive and 380-mile pure electric range, to sit underneath this stunning bit of design.

And you have to agree, the Helios is an astonishingly extravagant bit of work. "It's audacious, large, a five passenger car," Ward explains. There's burnished aluminium, exposed copper rivets, leather strapping and that bodyshape inspired by things like the DC-1 experimental plane from the ‘30s.

"I've got a meeting with Ralph Lauren," Ward said last week, "but he doesn't know that I'm going to make him buy this car. I think it's up his alley, because his car collection is the holy grail.

"Most of them suck to drive, though, maybe except for the McLarens..."

We'll have more on this as soon as we hear it, because frankly, we're quite giddishly excited by the prospect of an aero-inspired, art-deco all-electric car. Aren't you?

TG drives the awesome Icon Bronco


Tags: mclaren, bronco, icon, helios



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