Here’s a sentence you may not have expected to read: a revived British sports car manufacturer is manufacturing a diesel powered supercar that it claims can reach 200mph (320km/h) and return 70mpg. Not convinced? Nor were we, but here it is – the Trident Iceni GT, a brand new car from the newly reformed Trident marque, and it made its debut at the prestigious Salon Prive event in September. Now, we have to clarify a few things before we move on: first is that the fuel consumption claim is achieved – they say – when the car is doing 70mph (112km/h) rather than flat out at top speed. The second is that the Iceni will be built to order. It’s always worth having a closer look at claims such as these, so let’s do exactly that.
Trident Iceni GT – Ingenious Green Supercar
A few technical details for you: the Trident Iceni GT is powered by a 6.6 litre turbo-diesel engine that is helped along by some trick technology from Trident. This is called ‘Torque Multiplication’ and, to put it simply, it allows the engine to develop colossal amounts of torque at low revs. For instance, the standard, 430bhp model claims a 950lbs ft of torque at just 3250rpm; believe us when we say that this is a pretty impressive achievement. At 70mph, then, the car revs at only 980rpm. This, combined with the torque output, allows for a little less than 70mpg. Given that what we are talking about is a 200mph supercar, these are quite astonishing claims. What’s more, the engine is designed and tuned to run on a variety of fuels including bio-diesel, mineral diesel, palm oil and linseed oil. There is nothing quite like being so green while safe in the knowledge a foot to the floor could propel you to nigh on three times the UK speed limit.
Trident Iceni GT – Is it The Real Deal?
Before we go on, let’s take a brief trip back in time. In the late 1960’s there was a motor manufacturer by the name of Trident. It came about as a by-product of TVR, who built a prototype that they later decided was not for them. The model was picked up by a TVR dealer, who formed Trident Cars to build the model named the Clipper. Later models were known as the Tycoon and the Venturer. They were all very expensive, and few were built of each. The current incarnation of Trident shares the name only. The Iceni GT is, however, a genuine proposition, and met with a mixture of praise and reserved judgement at Salon Prive. The technical specification is impressive enough – did we tell you it can reach 62mp (100km/h) from a standstill in 3.7 seconds? – but like many modern takes on the supercar ideal, how you view its looks will be a matter of personal choice.
Trident Iceni GT – Beauty or the Beast?
It’s a bit of both, whichever way you look at it. The mighty engine – an upgraded version will produce a colossal 660bhp – could be perceived as a throwback to the Dark Ages in an era when the electric car is being pushed relentlessly onto the public – but the technology involved here makes it something of a curiosity as well as being acceptable. The car looks, to this writer’s eye, quite beautiful and very special. In profile the high rear haunches and dropping snout, complete with short overhangs, have something of the TVR Tuscan about them, while the frontal treatment has hints of current Maserati philosophy and a touch of Jaguar E-Type, and there is nothing wrong with drawing on such an iconic design for inspiration. The detailing is impressive and could have come from a more mainstream manufacturer, and there is no attempt to do anything particularly ‘wacky’ despite the split cockpit roof treatment, with a permanent central bar remaining when the roof panels are removed. It is an assured design from a talented pen.
Trident Iceni GT – Why Do I Want One?
There is much to recommend here: the exclusive built to order production method, the quite stunning performance, and the ability to boast to all around you that your 200mph supercar can deliver 70 miles to the gallon. Then there’s the looks, a combination of aggression and sleek beauty that works from all angles. That the car is being touted as a ‘Grand Tourer’ tells you something about Trident’s ambitions for this innovative and interesting car. In an age where the quest for green motoring is ongoing it is refreshing to see a small maker taking a different route. The truly green lobby may be aghast at the idea of a 6.6litre engine in a 2012 car, but when it is on that can run on linseed oil and return such impressive figures they may need to think again. It may not change the way we drive, but it is an interesting model that creates a lot of questions about the future of high speed motoring while appearing to answer quite a few at the same time. The Trident Iceni GT is yours for £75,000 ($120,000 approx) which, when compared to cars of similar performance, is quite a reasonable price.