Iconic Helios concept will run on Tesla tech

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.

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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.

Tesla features

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.

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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.

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  concept icon helios 1930s-style streamliner concept car that runs on a tesla drivetrain tesla

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  • Surturiel 6/15/15 8:45 pm # 0
    Helios is the Sun god, not the god of wind.