• Dec 7, 2006
Much like TVR, Morgan, AC and the like, Trident Performance Vehicles has been building eccentric British sports cars in near obscurity for many, many years. Although many of these tiny automakers stick to a "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality, innovation is what can keep them alive. Trident's new Iceni R is a good example. This new model has been raced in non-R form for a couple of years, testing the limits of GM's 6.6-liter diesel powerplant in the process. The company even ran it on biodiesel.

The Iceni R offers a few tweaks to the styling of the regular Iceni, and a big change under the hood. It's a unique front engine, rear wheel drive two-seater that uses a fully folded stainless steel chassis that not only provides great safety and stiffness, but promises to be rust-free for a very long time. That's a big bonus in the UK. The total package should tip the scales at around 2,700 lbs. That's not a lot for the powerplant to push around, but this mill would be capable of pushing something twice as hefty with ease.

The engine is a 375-hp GM turbo diesel V8 mounted up front but behind the front axle like in the Ferrari 599 GTB. Being a diesel, torque is abundant with 520 ft-lbs. available at a barely-over-idle 1800 rpm. Add in the fuel economy and durability of a diesel motor and this is an attractive package for low-end lovers in the States, although that destination doesn't appear to be in the cards for the Iceni R. The power is routed through a rear-mounted 8-speed AUTOMATIC gearbox with paddle shifters, so just about anyone can hop in and make the most of that motor.

0-60 in less than 4 seconds, the quarter-mile in 12 seconds flat and a top end of nearly 230 mph, all the while returning somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 mpg! What's not to like? Well, there is the matter of pricing. The 2007 Trident Iceni R should start around £60,000, so it will remain out of reach for many of us.

[Source: Trident via New Car Net]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 6 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      Goofy model photo aside, it is nice to see my validation of the "drop a Diesel in a sports car" banner that I've been waving for a looooong time. The key is the lightweight chassis. I've been driving Diesels as my "daily driver" cars since 1980. I also love sports cars and nothing makes a sports car fun as much as torque. leave the high-revvy lawnmower engines for the boys, I want a stump-puller that gives that kick in the butt when I push the go pedal. As we'll never see a Trident in the US, I really want to see a mainstream car maker put an oil-burner into a small, lightweight roadster. A VW TDI in a Lotus Elise was my first Idea, but I'll gladly take an Audi TT TDI as well (though to be honest, Audi needs to shave half a ton off the porky TT Roadster!)

      The reputation of Diesels as "slow" is JUST. PLAIN. WRONG.

      I drive my Jetta TDI around at unlawful speeds pretty much... all the time. I know that if I do that in a non-stealth machine such as a TT or an Elise, I'd be attracting Highway Patrolmen like a Krispy Kreme shop, but I'm happy to take that risk. I WANT Diesel-powered, top-down motoring - here in the United States of America.

      That said, I doubt the GM 8-banger can get 50 MPG unless driven VERY gingerly.

      --chuck

      • 8 Years Ago
      Please tell me that 1/18th scale model has not been constructed by a car company. I know a few 8th grade boys who could do better.
      • 8 Years Ago
      YEAH for diesel!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Please tell me that the lumpy, melted looking car is a 1/18th scale model.
      • 8 Years Ago
      hmmm. Those are interesting output numbers. What would it take to fit such a drivetrain into a C6 'vette?
      • 8 Years Ago
      Can I get one that has a wheelbase larger than 1"?