Woah, Icon’s new restomod is a 1,000bhp Chevy Suburban worth $1.1m | Top Gear
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Monday 11th December

Woah, Icon’s new restomod is a 1,000bhp Chevy Suburban worth $1.1m

One-off US estate gets an entirely new lease of life and entirely terrifying power output

Published: 08 Nov 2023

Of all the details LA-based builder Icon lists for its astonishing new build, the fact it’ll idle “with the AC on in the summer in traffic at 900rpm” is surely the funniest. Not least because that line’s been deployed solely to explain the level of civility on show from its thousand-horsepower drivetrain.

Welcome then, to the Californian company’s “million-dollar masterpiece”; a sixth-generation Chevrolet Suburban restored, refitted, machined and polished to a state its wooden forebears would scarcely recognise.

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Of course, the shape – as per all of Icon’s builds – is recognisable. We’re told this particular commission began life as a completely original three-door Chevy wearing the same paint it had out when it rolled out of the factory back in 1970. At the client's request, Icon designed, manufactured and added a fourth door for convenience.

In fact, the family of the client who commissioned this build actually worked on the original Chevrolet production line, and so Icon machined their initials into the driver door handle’s button as a nice little homage.

There’s a not-so-little button up front, specifically a 7.0-litre ‘NRE Alien’ LS 427 twin-turbo V8, able to push out 1,000bhp and 900lb ft of torque, which is a frankly incredible amount of horsepower on offer from a car originally built in 1970. Which makes its ‘idle-at-900rpm-in-the-summer’ schtick suitably impressive.

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There’s an automatic gearbox doing its utmost to send as many horsepowers to the tarmac as possible, Brembo brakes and custom tyres attempting to stop them, and a one-off “Art Morrison four-wheel independent chassis” and powder-coated frame trying to control it all. Naturally Icon has outfitted the Chevy with a modern heating and ventilation system, electric windows and locks and a two-tone paintjob.

Indeed the overall design was crafted to reflect architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Bauhaus, minimalist philosophy. “Mies famously obsessed over good design living in the details and Icon took everything from the typography and font used in the vehicle to each knob, handle, armrest, and seat design with Mies thoughtfully in mind,” said Icon.

Icon’s first ever Suburban clocks in at $1.1m, and falls under the company’s ‘Reformer’ series. “The Suburban allows our designers such a great canvas with tonnes of room to get creative with how we integrate our Icon engineering and parts. The sky is really the limit with our vintage Suburban template,” said Icon boss Jonathan Ward.

And when you're sat underneath that sky with the AC on in the summer, that 1,000bhp V8 will hilariously only be idling at 900rpm.

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