Ward named the prototype the Petersen Special because it was made for a display at the newly renovated Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. The project gave his crew a chance to pack the vehicle with new parts and innovations. A supercharged version of General Motors' E-rod V8 crate engine with about 540 horsepower is among the biggest improvements. Even without optimized transmission tuning, the mill gets the FJ44 to 60 miles per hour in an impressive 5.7 seconds. Icon now works with Brembo on custom brakes that cut stopping distances by 20 percent. A new suspension layout improves the ride on the road, but doesn't give up off-road capability.
Beyond the mechanical updates, Ward has a bevy of other improvements on the Petersen Special, including some sci-fi looking LED headlights and support for Apple CarPlay. Sit down with him in his office for this video and get a tour of this amazing prototype.