The indomitable spirit of pioneering British automotive excellence is alive and well and living in East Anglia. But all those who nod sagely and say ‘ah yes, Lotus’ haven’t quite got it right, for perhaps the name of Trident may yet be automatically added to that short sentence.
The new Trident company, formed in 1999, revived an earlier name from the region, for Trident Cars operated in Suffolk during the 1960s and 1970s.
The new outfit based itself in Norfolk and set about developing an unusual supercar – the Trident Iceni, named for the warlike tribe led by Boudicca that gave the occupying Romans a bloody nose (no symbolism there, then). This two-seater sports car may have had a conventional front mid-engined, rear-wheel drive set-up, but in other respects was quite unlike your average super-sporter.
The Iceni’s stainless steel chassis lasts for ever and provides a rigid safety cell. The 6.6 litre Duramax V8 turbodiesel was sourced from General Motors and, like the chassis, could last more or less indefinitely – at least 250,000 miles. The tremendous torque generated by this engine is fully utilized with the help of an innovative eight-speed automatic gearbox located at the rear of the car, controlled by a paddle shift. The Iceni can make one boast that will surely never be topped by another supercar – thanks to Trident technology fuel consumption is a meagre 69 mpg (25 km/l) at a constant 70 mph (113 km/h).
The Iceni looks striking, with the long bonnet, low cabin and short back end typical of modem high-performance coupes. But there are unmistakable hints of traditional British sports-car styling and a quite extraordinary – and attractive – oculight cabin roof. It’s a word the Iceni puts in the automotive dictionary with those two transparent blister pods that give the car a unique appearance.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
6,559 cc V8 Turbodiesel
Top speed of 200+ mph (322+ km/h); 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 3.9 secs
YOU SHOULD KNOW:
A racing version of the Trident Iceni has been campaigned, often painted green and bearing a BIO-DIESEL slogan to underline its eco-friendly credentials (by normal supercar standards, that is!).