Jonathan Ward wants to teleport steampunk into the twenty-first century, with some help from Tesla Motors.
Wards’s company Icon is best known for heavily modifying older Toyota Land Cruiser models. In a similar fashion to Norbert Singer’s scrumptious Porsche projects, the exterior is kept near-enough true to original spec while the inwards are revamped to modern standards.
His latest project – dubbed ‘Helios’ – is a step further than old off-roaders, however, blending influences from the era of the Bugatti Atlantic and aircraft during the inter-war years.
Perhaps most interesting is that Ward has set his sights on the platform of Tesla’s upcoming Model X SUV, complete with all-wheel drive, huge power, and no emissions whatsoever, of course.
“In keeping with the found premise at Icon, of fusing vintage design with the best modern drive experience and technology, I can think of no better platform to build this on than the Tesla,” Ward recently said at a design talk in Portland.
“I have such respect for the company and the creative spirit of Mr. Musk, plus the S is a blast to drive.”
Elaborating on the project to Jalopnik, Ward added: “Although almost all of our project thus far have been recreations inspired by vintage vehicles, I am fascinated about the concept of revisiting history in our own way.
The most interesting way to do this is by celebrating a particular era of design, or design language.
More interesting still, is when we start to think about what could have happened had history gone a different way. This ‘revisionist’ approach to transportation design has filled my little brain with tons of ideas and theoreticals.”
With that in mind, Helios will unsurprisingly make use of superior natural materials: copper, leather, and aluminium. It will also seat five, with Ralph Lauren – although he doesn’t yet know it – earmarked as the first customer.
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