The idea of a supercar with supermini efficiency sounds too good to be true, and if the Trident Iceni is anything to go by, it is. It burst onto the scene in 2014, claiming to be capable of a 190mph top speed and hitting 60mph in 3.7 seconds, largely thanks to the fact it utilised ‘torque multiplication.’
Intriguingly, it used the 6.6-litre diesel V8 from a Chevrolet Silverado, and the special gearbox meant it could cruise at 70mph at just 980rpm while always offering 700lb ft of torque. Unfortunately, despite a handful of motor show appearances and a couple of journalists getting a drive of prototypes - we actually had a drive penciled in before our phone calls and emails started being ignored - the Iceni never went anywhere.
It’s arguably the most famous - or rather infamous - example of automotive vapourware in recent years, thanks to its 5000bhp claims. Incredibly, its mid-mounted, quad-turbo, 12.3-litre V16 does appear to exist, but the same can’t really be said about the rest of the car.
It’ll be interesting to see if the Dubai-based company can produce a car that doesn’t fall apart on motor show stands (skip to the one minute mark in the video above), and can actually put that power onto the road in any usable way. Our money’s on this car never making it past the prototype phase…
Al Melling looks like the eccentric automotive descendant of Albert Einstein, and his history in the world of engines is impressive without being earth shattering. He’s worked in Formula One, and some of his engine design work ultimately ended up being used in Aston Martin V12s. He was also involved in a failed bid to purchase Rolls-Royce and Bentley (his consortium was beaten by BMW and VW). He had more success building engines for Jaguar’s Le Mans effort, as well as the TVR Speed Six engine.
He’d always dreamed of having his own car compete at Le Mans, though, and so the Hellcat project was born. It claimed to have a 0-62mph time of 2.6 seconds and a top speed of 270mph, courtesy of a Melling-built quad-turbo V10 making 1175bhp - this was around 2006, remember, when that sort of figure was even more ludicrous than it is today.
Melling claimed that within about three years of development, the Hellcat would be competing at Le Mans, with it being capable of winning by its second year of competition. It never made it to the track. Brilliantly, the file name of the image above, which is on Melling’s website, includes a typo that calls it the ‘wastest’ car in the world. Apt.
Vector just about hovered between complete and utter fakery and legitimate car manufacturer its whole life. It had numerous models and prototypes, and some cars even made it to customers, though Road&Track reported that fit and finish of the W8 model (of which 17 were delivered to customers) varied massively between each car.
This all culminated in the WX8. According to the utterly fantastic official website, its 10.0-litre V8 makes 2000bhp, and it would be “the only car in the world to incorporate Marine, Aviation, and Aerospace technology into its design and construction.” When a company makes wild, unsubstantiated claims like that, you know it’s probably talking rubbish.
Like Vector, Arash has been around making cars for years now, but it seems pretty hard to nail down a lot of proof that a decent number ever actually make it out on to the road. Sure, there are working prototypes and models that go on display at motor shows, but does anyone actually have an AF8 in their garage? In fact, we were told by the owner that the company only sold one of its AF8s last year.
So when it announced it was building a new 2080bhp hypercar with a 6.2-litre supercharged V8 and four electric motors, we were a little skeptical. The Arash cars website describes the car as ‘naughty’, while the drivetrain is referred to as a ‘warp drive.’ We’d love to get behind the wheel of the ludicrous AF10, but having seen the fit and finish of the Geneva motor show example, we have our doubts that this will make it to production - at least not in its claimed form.