Icon Helios Is Gorgeous Tesla-Powered Electric Streamliner Concept

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The Tesla Model S is a great car, but if there's one thing the luxury electric sedan is missing it's a bit of Art Deco style.

And maybe a hint of World War II fighter aircraft. And some steampunk cool mixed in for good measure.

All those aspects somehow come together in the Icon Helios--a 1930s-style streamliner using the batteries and running gear from Tesla's electric sedan.

It doesn't exist just yet, of course. At the moment, its just a series of beautiful-looking sketches (via Topline) on the drawing board of Jonathan Ward, the man behind Los Angeles-based Icon.

Day-to-day, Icon turns old Ford Broncos, Toyota FJs and Chevy Thriftmaster trucks into rolling works of engineering art.

All are built with obsessive attention to detail and a keen eye on design. Think of Icon in relation to old trucks as Singer is to classic Porsches--a company that takes what were once working vehicles and brings out their full potential.

ALSO READ: Tesla's Important Not Only For Electric Cars But For Silicon Valley: Opinion

The Icon Helios is very obviously not a breathed-upon Model S. Instead, Icon has used its engineering expertise and fabrication skills to conceptualize a vehicle that draws from classic design but uses up-to-date technology.

For design, the 1930s streamliner style is easy to understand. Many consider cars from this period--Bugattis, Duesenbergs, Talbot-Lagos--to be some of the most beautiful ever created.

It shares all their cues--the boat-tail, the central fin running down the length of the roof, the prominent wheel arches, and the Art Deco-inspired grille that wouldn't look out of place on a New York skyscraper.

Ward's design also throws in a little 1930s aircraft style. With hand-shaped bare aluminum and exposed rivets, it's an automotive interpretation of a Vought Corsair or a P-47 Thunderbolt.

Icon Helios - Tesla-powered streamliner

Icon Helios - Tesla-powered streamliner

Enlarge Photo

Where Tesla comes in is under the skin.

The Model S is rare for a modern car in that its entire drivetrain and running gear can be more or less operated independently from its body.

The batteries, drive motor and rolling components all form a sled that can be dropped under just about any body, like the floorpan of an old Volkswagen Bug. Only a great deal faster and more sophisticated.

In actuality, Icon is more interested in the all-wheel drive platform of the upcoming Tesla Model X crossover, and Ward says he's actively seeking a meeting with Elon Musk to try and move his concept forward.

There aren't plans for a proper production run--the car will likely remain a one-off--and according to Jalopnik, Ward wants to sell it to design icon Ralph Lauren.

Even if just one model hits the road, we'd consider it a success. If not for the car itself, then to usher in a new era of coachbuilt cars, powered by electricity.


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