Icona Designs isn't the first name that comes to mind in a mental game of top trumps, the little known Italian-Chinese design studio attempted to break into the exotic supercar market with first the Vulcano followed by an even more ambitious Titanium car.

It's all a bit confusing, more so after taking a peak at the brand's website, they don't just design and build cars, there are also boats, buildings, and even factory machinery sporting Icona branding. The Vulcano then, by-product of an engineering conglomerate or just a change of direction, either way it's a stunning, if slightly bonkers, piece of automotive design, the kind of thing you'd expect from classic Lamborghinis.

Here's the problem, who aside from serious gearheads has ever heard of Icona? Let alone be able to tell you what engine it has, or how fast it goes? It's a common issue with smaller manufacturers, the cars might be stunning, but few people have actually heard of them

10 World Debut

Icano Vulcano - Frotn
Via NetCarShow

Fast sleek and aggressively styled, the Vulcano has all the traits of a modern hypercar, born out by a passing similarity to the current crop of supercars, deep front vents, grilles and heavily sculpted rear could easily be mistaken for Ferrari's latest offerings.

Icano Vulcano - Top
Via NetCarShow

In reality, the Vulcano is older than you might think, first shown at the Shanghai Motor Show in 2013, designed in-house by Icona's design director Samuel Chaffart. Still very much an upcoming talent, Chaffart's other creation include the SUB D90 and Icona Nucleus.

9 Unlikely Design Inspiration

Vulcano
Via Icona Design

Quoting Icona Design, the Vulcano owes its striking appearance to the SR-71 Blackbird, the world's fastest jet aircraft, maybe Samuel Chaffart needs to be a little more specific, either that, or the Vulcano has some hidden stealth abilities?

SR-71 Blackbird
Via Wikipedia

We've tried, and still cannot see the connection, aside from two seats, the reference is lost on us, if only the show car had some wings and was finished in a sinister matte black paint job, then maybe, just maybe, it would make more sense.

8 Made In Italy With Chinese Funding

Icona Vulcano - Front
Via Facebook

The Vulcano is a truly global project, designed, and manufactured in Icona Design's Turin-based facility, where heavy duty 50-ton presses form the bulk of the chassis and bodywork.

Icona Vulcano - Rear
Via Facebook

However, with offices in Shanghai, Los Angeles, Dubai, and more recently, Tokyo, Icona Design is well-placed to promote the Vulcano to the wealthiest of gearheads at $2.1 million a throw.

RELATED: 10 Coolest Chinese Sports CarsYou Never Knew Existed

7 Lancia And Ferrari Input

Ferrari F1 car - 1995
Via Ferrari

Lancia and Ferrari, both hugely successful Motorsports teams, indirectly played a role in the Vulcano's development. Heading up Ferrari's powertrain division, Claudio Lombardi joined Icona Design tasked with optimizing cold and hot air-flow in, around, and over the Vulcano, crucial to its high performance.

Lancia 037 - Front
Via BH Auctions

Powertrain development fell to Mario Cavagnero, the genius behind both Lancia's 037 racing program and later Peugeot's insane 205 TI6 WRC contender.

6 Choice Of Engines

Icona-Vulcano---Front-1
Via Facebook

Based on a mid-front engine platform, the Vulcano is more GT than outright supercar, despite a claimed top speed of 220 mph. At its debut, Icona gave owners a difficult choice of two engine options, turbocharged or normally aspirated with differing cylinder configurations.

Icon-Vulcano-Engine-Bay-1
Via Icano Designs

First up, a naturally aspirated V12 pumping out in the region of 790 hp boosted by a mild-hybrid system to 950 hp driving the rear wheels via a bespoke MODENA transmission unique to Icona. Gearheads preferring forced induction could opt for a smaller V6 twin-turbo unit with a mere 870 hp on tap.

RELATED: Here's How The V12 Engine Evolved To Become The Beast It Is Today

5 Space Age Instruments

Icona cockpit
Via Icona Design

The otherworldly, futuristic bodywork has nothing on the Vulcano's interior, sure it has two-seats and a steering wheel and LCD screen like pretty much every modern production car, but take a look at the instruments themselves.

Icona Console
Via Icona Design

Taking modern and quirky to another level, rpm, mph, boost, and fluid levels are all there, just laid out in a Starship Enterprise-themed display of arcs, curves and bright orange hues. At least if you're stopped for speeding you'd have a good excuse, sorry officer I don't know how fast I was going, the instruments are too confusing to understand.

4 The World's Only Titanium Car

Icano Vulcano Titanium - Front
Via Icona Design

No need to adjust your screen settings, this quirky brushed silver metal finish is how Icona Designs intended this example to appear. Not due to a bespoke customer specific paint scheme, but rather through a choice of materials.

Icona Vulcano Titanium - Side
Via Icona Design

Gearheads familiar with the legendary SR-71 Blackbird and its heat-resistant light-weight titanium skin will be aware of the weight savings, the same strength as steel with a 45% saving in mass. Icona Design more for the challenge produced one limited edition Vulcano made of the aviation grade material, a process deemed too complex to repeat. In case you feel the need to ask, back in 2017 the Titanium went up for sale with an asking price of €2.3 million.

RELATED: Here's What You Need To Know About The SR-71 Blackbird Spy Plane

3 A Labor Intensive Build

Vulcano Titanium-1
Via Icona Design

Low volume bespoke supercars are a game of patience; from the moment factories receive the customer's order, months can easily pass. Lesser cars thankfully are a quicker process, on average, Ford rolls out 639 new Mustangs a day.

Vulcano Construction
Via Icona Design

Allowing for the use of exotic materials and low production numbers, you’d expect a longer order to delivery time, however, forget weeks, the Titanium from start to finish requiring 10,000 man-hours.

2 Less Weight, Less Power

Vulcano Titanium - Front
Via Icona Design

Less weight is a welcome bonus, how much lighter the Titanium is at 3,516 lbs over the regular car is hard to judge, figures for the Vulcano are hard to come across at best. However, less in this case surely adds to performance, Icona maintaining a maximum speed of 220 mph despite another big change.

Vulcano Titanium - side
Via Icona Design

Dropping V12 power units in favor of cheaper ZR-1 Corvette sourced supercharged V8s pumping out 661 hp, although Icona claim the engine will with some tuning produce a reliable 986 hp. One thing is for sure, in standard trim nearly 300 hp down on previous V12 versions, the Titanium is a featherweight in comparison.

1 Just How Fast Is It?

Vulcano - Front
Via YouTube

We've seen the figures, read all the testing data that broadly falls in line with Icona Design's claims of sixty in 2.8-seconds, double that speed in 8.8 seconds, and with top speed quoted as 220+ mph.

Vulcano - side
Via Icona Design

The real world test is one every carmaker uses to benchmark their fastest models, Germany's fearsome Nürburgring. Disappointingly, we only have Icona's best guess at 7-mins 20 seconds, a long way short of the current batch of supercars, and on par with the C6 ZR-1 which donates its engine.

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