I have been interested in Trident Sports Cars for a while. Trident are a small specialist manufacturer based in the east of England and they make bespoke Grand Tourers. One of the things that make them so interesting is their concept of “Torque Manipulation”.
The heart of their cars is a 6.6 litre General Motors sourced diesel V8. What is so special about that you ask, after all the Dodge Viper (and Bristol Fighter) use a V10 from a truck too. For Trident, they have applied some magic to get amazing fuel economy.
They take the standard Duramax diesel motor with a common rail injection system using piezo injectors, 4 valves per cylinder and a variable vane turbo and use their own ECU to get over 50 mpg at an average 70 mph with the engine spinning at only 980 rpm! That’s quite something, although GM do not advertise the fuel efficiency of the base engine when fitted to a GMC Denali truck, so it is difficult to see how good the Trident is. One thing is for sure, the car is significantly lighter than the truck!
Piezo injectors themselves are interesting. They use electricity to move piezo material that ultimately opens the injector for just enough time to spray fuel into the cylinder. The more electricity, the longer (or wider) the injector will open thus delivering a precise amount based on requirement.
The ECU is able to adjust the injectors right down to a single revolution of the crankshaft which enables it to manage the fuel economy when cruising. What the company doesn’t say is what happens when you give it the beans and start to play – I wonder what the economy is like then!
Trident have two models. The Iceni is a convertible and has a base power output of 397hp which can be increased up to 660hp based on options selected when they build the car for you. To cope with the power, Trident have designed their own drivetrain – an interesting idea considering that many specialists produce drivetrains to cope with similar power and torque – Callaway is one that springs to mind.
The Iceni Magna is the coupe version and both cars are made from stainless steel, sharing all the mechanical components and performance upgrades. The company gives a big focus to being British and the design looks like it has a mix of Jaguar, TVR and Marcos in it.
I first heard about the Trident cars before the issues with diesel tests came to the fore and probably like many people thought this was a good evolution to the diesel engine, mixing a couple of different technologies in a way that allows power, torque and economy to be managed effectively. However, now that Governments have realised that manufacturers were giving them the test results they wanted, without actually providing the real world benefits, the world has changed. Several city and national Governments are planning to ban petrol and diesel cars from being used or sold and that means a finite amount of time for Trident to sell their hand-built cars.
Today the company states that they meet Euro 6 emissions standards, however, is that now good enough? Will there be enthusiasts with deep pockets to make it viable? I hope that they are able to build and sell enough such that they are visible on our roads. In addition I hope that their strategy changes to bypass the decisions of our politicians!