Titanium is as strong as steel but 45 percent lighter, so it should be ideal for building sports cars. But the metal is notoriously difficult to work with. It is prohibitively hard to hammer and press into desired shapes—and this has prevented construction of an ideal all-titanium car. Until now.
Lockheed was able to hammer the stubborn metal into shape to build its SR-71 Blackbird spy plane, and according to design director Samuel Chuffart this inspired Icona to build the Vulcano sports car. Chuffart's challenge was to strike a balance between the car's power and beauty.
"When you’re trying to create a feeling of aesthetic harmony," said Chuffart, "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."
Icona has been teasing the Vulcano for a few years, but now we have confirmation the car actually exists because lucky writers for Automobile magazine were able to slip behind the wheel of this heavy metal beauty.
The company says the Vulcano's supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine—borrowed from the Corvette ZR1—is good for 670 horsepower and 620 lb.-ft. of torque. The muscular engine accelerates the car to 60 mph in a mere 2.8 seconds and can reach a top speed of 220 mph.
Reviewers Shelby Knick and Christian Johnston report that the Vulcano transmits minute road information to the driver through the steering wheel and seat, while the volcanic engine output easily melts the rear tires under acceleration.
Icona promises to build three Vulcanos priced at $2.8 million apiece. At that price, you'd think this sleek metal beast was made of gold.