Vulcano is a hybrid supercar

Posted by Joel Arellano, EarthTechling

How does this sound to you? A V-12 hybrid powertrain which the gas engine pumps out 790 ponies while the electric motor blasts 160 for a total of 950 horsepower. Torque’s a near mind-numbing 627 lb.-ft. of low end acceleration. Zero to sixty?

A tenth over three seconds. Now encase this monstrous powerplant in sheet metal penned by an artiste whose work can still be seen in various Nissan vehicles and Jaguar-Land Rovers around you.

What you get is the Vulcano (Italian for “volcano”). Developed by the Italian—but Chinese-based—car boutique Icona, the Vulcano is a two-seater hybrid coupe concept which made its debut at this year’s Shanghai Motor Show.

Icona Vulcano

Image courtesy of Icona

The designer of Vulcano is Samuel Chuffart who, as mentioned above, previously worked at Nissan and Jaguar-Land Rover.

“The very first idea for the Vulcano was to use a front engine layout, and to use a strongly sculpted body side which would evacuate the hot air from the engine and reduce the air turbulence generated by the wheels,” says Chuffart who is director of design at Icona. “As different ideas came together, the most challenging design issue which we faced was how to create a balance between power and beauty. When you’re trying to create a feeling of aesthetic harmony, you risk creating too many sweet lines, which decreases the feeling o f 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 Vulcano

Image courtesy of Icona

Balance, indeed. While Chuffart drew up the designs, another legend of the auto world hammed out the powertrain details. Claudio Lombardi is well-known among racing enthusiasts, with his powertrains slotted into numerous world champion race cars as well as being a former powertrain director over at Ferrari.

For the Vulcano, he created two hybrid engines. The first, the H-Turismo V-12, is that 950 horsepower monstrosity described above. The second, the H-Competizione, is a twin-turbo-charged V-6 coupled to two electric motors. Combined output of this powertrain is a “milder” 870 in combined horsepower and 612 lb.-ft. of torque. Interestingly, while the H-Competizione is heavier than the Turismo due to its extra batteries and permanent all-wheel drive (the Turismo is rear-wheel drive), it’s faster at the starting line, bolting from zero to 60 mph in less than three seconds. Both use a six-speed transmissions. Icona says the H-Turismo is to reflecting the old “cruisers” of yore while the H-Competizione is aimed at the track.

Icona originally stated the Volcano was just a one-shot to show-off the company’s talents and designs. Now it’s considering a limited production run of the super car. How limited? How about five. And we know they’ll sell out in a flash.

The hybrid car wars just got molten.

* Joel Arellano, EarthTechling