Icon Helios is a a gorgeous 1930s-style streamliner concept that will run gear from Tesla's electric sedan
8/17/14 3:14 am chumakdenis 1
Icon is best known for their outstanding, high-end restomods of classic trucks like the Toyota FJ and Ford Bronco. Now, Icon founder Jonathan Ward wants to bring back the art deco stylings of the 1930s with a custom build that runs on a Tesla drivetrain.
For design, the 1930s streamliner style is easy to understand. Many consider cars from this period - Bugattis, Duesenbergs, Talbot-Lagos - to be some of the most beautiful ever created.
It shares all their cues - the boat-tail, the central fin running down the length of the roof, the prominent wheel arches, and the Art Deco-inspired grille that wouldn't look out of place on a New York skyscraper.
Named after the Greek god of sun, the five-passenger Helios looks like it was grabbed straight out of one of Howard Hughes’ aircraft hangars. With a streamlined look that’s part car and part aircraft, it truly is a spectacular design. The car would be made from an aluminum body with exposed copper rivets, and leather strap details.
Where Tesla comes in is under the skin.
The Model S is rare for a modern car in that its entire drivetrain and running gear can be more or less operated independently from its body.
The batteries, drive motor and rolling components all form a sled that can be dropped under just about any body, like the floorpan of an old Volkswagen Bug. Only a great deal faster and more sophisticated.
In actuality, Icon is more interested in the all-wheel drive platform of the upcoming Tesla Model X crossover, and Ward says he's actively seeking a meeting with Elon Musk to try and move his concept forward.
Using the all-wheel drive system from Tesla’s upcoming Model X SUV could give the pure-electric vehicle up to 380 miles of range on a charge.
Ward's design throws in a little 1930s aircraft style. With hand-shaped bare aluminum and exposed rivets, it's an automotive interpretation of a Vought Corsair or a P-47 Thunderbolt.
One thing to note is that the Helios looks a whole lot like the groundbreaking Hispano-Suiza Dubonnet, an actual car made in the 1930s, and shown in the Jay Leno’s Garage (video below).
No plans for production
There aren't plans for a proper production run - the car will likely remain a one-off - and according to Jalopnik, Ward wants to sell it to design icon Ralph Lauren.
Even if just one model hits the road, we'd consider it a success. If not for the car itself, then to usher in a new era of coachbuilt cars, powered by electricity.