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The world is changing and so are our automobiles. Sustainability drives the reconsideration of all aspects of lifestyle and “green cars” are now marvels of technology. Mass production technology is shaping personal transportation into a design which is forever more approachable – yet potentially less memorable.
“Passion and aerodynamics” drove the development of the ICONA Fuselage.
Taking to heart the need to create a sustainable car, ICONA has combined the efficiency of a reduced aerodynamic drag through its slick shape with controlled air flow and a reduced frontal area. Yet, the Fuselage is a roomy 4-seater electric vehicle with a sensuous and exciting design, bringing to tomorrow’s sedan the emotion of a true GT. Fuselage proves how a 4-seater sedan can evolve into an elegant and sporty profile, evoking at first sight the speed and swish of the wind blowing over an airplane’s fuselage.
The attention to aerodynamics is eye-catching: the low profile, the reduced front section and several specific devices allow an optimized efficiency, with a Cd of 0.26 as measured during its digital development in CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) and later in the wind tunnel.
A single large gull-wing door and the absence of a B pillar ensure convenient passenger access and offer a partial clearance of the roof. At a height of 1307 mm, the Fuselage could hardly be called a compromised sports car; instead it is a rational balance between optimized ergonomics and a reduction in the overall profile to maximize efficiency.
With a wheelbase of 2870 cm, the Fuselage’s four passengers enjoy generous leg room. Horizontal space gain does not affect the vehicle’s drag efficiency, and the car’s slightly stretched profile is reminiscent of a plane fuselage.
The inspiration derived from airplanes does not end there. In the interior, the floating dashboard and center console are inspired by fighter jets’ slick yet sophisticated design. In the lower part, the long horizontal stretch of white contains corrugated strokes reminiscent of Feng shui gardens. The upper part – in a contrasting dark brown espresso color – moves into more aeronautical language, enhancing the sophistication of functional shapes while keeping their simplicity. The design of the seats and door panels express the same balance as the exterior design, mixing stretched flowing shapes with dramatic dynamic graphics. The driver display provides driving direction in the center with other driving information (concerning mainly speed and autonomy) on either side. Guidance, radio, air control, and vehicle status check are all accessible from the touch screen on the center console which also contains a finger print recognition start button, avoiding the need to use keys. Rear view cameras combined with the radio and GPS antennas on each side of the car provide an image which is displayed in the center of the dashboard. This enables complete rear vision image without dead spots, while the drag created stays minimal.
The Icona Fuselage answers the question: “How can a car be both green and gorgeous?”
Offering a ZEV (Zero Emission Vehicle) full electric concept, Fuselage is powered by four sub-axle motors. An AKU (Actuation Traction unit) executes both motors driving and intelligent high voltage battery management. The energy supply of the motors, the high performance gearboxes, and all electronic systems are electronically controlled.
In full electric mode, with a total output of 100 kW, Fuselage can reach a speed of 200 Km/h, from 0 to 100 Km/h in 4.5 seconds and has a range of 220 Km with a fully charged battery. The 360 Kg battery pack provides 15 kW/h and has a 380 V nominal voltage. Located in the central tunnel under the front seats, the pack contains 105 cells and can be charged by a SAE J1772 connector, in addition to the regenerating brake power recuperation and two solar panels which provide enough energy for interior electric components. The EMU (Energy Management Unit) regulates and dispatches the appropriate amount of energy at the right place according to the different needs of the vehicle.
A serial hybrid powertrain is available as an option, as enough space has been kept aside to integrate a range extender. With the additional volume of a fuel tank and a small displacement engine running at stable low speed to charge batteries, this option provides an efficient way to extend the autonomy of the vehicle.