BBC Autos

The Roundabout Blog

One diesel sports car to rule them all

About the author

Editor of BBC Autos, Matthew is a former editor at Automobile Magazine and the creator of the digital-only Roadtrip Magazine. His automotive and travel writing has appeared in such magazines as Wired, Popular Science, The Robb Report and Caribbean Travel + Life. He lives in Los Angeles with his wonderful wife and four-year-old daughter.

 

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Back in 2006, boutique British carmaker Trident announced a plan to build a 200mph diesel-powered supercar. It was an audacious promise, to be sure, but the company followed through, building a running prototype in 2008 – right around the time Audi unwrapped a version of its R8 supercar with a clattering 5.9-litre diesel V12 engine producing 500 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque. Six years later, the one-off Audi is a museum piece, but the Trident Iceni is headed for the production line and global availability.

On 29 April, Trident announced final specifications and pricing for its two-seat supercar which in its standard form promises a top speed in excess of 190mph and a cruising range of 2,000 – yes, 2,000 – miles. The company plans to offer three models: the Iceni roadster, the Iceni Magna fastback coupe (pictured here), and the Iceni Venturer shooting brake – all of which, the company promises, will offer at least enough cargo space for two suitcases and two duffle bags. Pricing starts at £96,000 (about $162,000).

The cars utilise a 6.6-litre Duramax diesel V8 from General Motors, the same engine that powers the US automaker’s heavy-duty pickup trucks. In the Iceni, the big V8, matched only to a six-speed automatic transmission, produces 395hp and 700lb-ft of torque – sufficient to launch the sports car from zero to 60mph in a brisk 3.7sec (a time that matches that of the mighty Aston Martin V12 Vantage S). And the Iceni’s engine can run on standard diesel, bio-diesel, linseed oil or palm oil.

A, £11,300 performance upgrade pack bumps output to 430hp and 950lb-ft, and a £30,875 track pack, which includes carbon-ceramic brakes and an adjustable suspension, delivers 660hp and 1,050lb-ft of torque.

Trident is presently taking orders for the Iceni, although actual delivery dates are sketchy at this point. The cars are set to come to North America; US pricing has yet to be announced.