His shop ICON 4X4 is unique in the way it operates. Clients buy cars from the LA-based ICON and then have them built to whatever specs or desires they wish, and nothing is off the table when these guys are in control of designing and building your dream car.
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Their latest creation was one of the real attention-getters at this year' SEMA Show. When one of Jonathon’s clients wanted to build a Mercury but thought an LS was too boring, he raised a subject that really got Jonathan’s attention – electric power.
Ward's plan didn’t just want this to be another petrol guzzler converted to an EV, he wanted to push some barriers. The twin AMR electric motors reside where the transmission used to live and make around 500ft/lb of torque. The grunt is sent to the rear wheels through a beefy carbon and kevlar blended driveshaft with no transmission in between, meaning just one big torque curve hurdles you towards 120mph.
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The body is dropped on a one-off chassis from Art Morrison with a four wheel independent layout, allowing the big Merc to soak up all the bumps effortlessly. Six pot Brembo’s are used on all four corners to pull the big beast up, electric power steering and integrated AC keep the driving experience comfy.
It takes just an hour and a half to charge Tesla batteries, with the entire electric system being co-developed with electrical company Stealth EV - the same crew that worked with Chevrolet on the E-COPO Camaro. Range? Over 200 miles.
The interior is a highlight in itself and features ICON's usual attention to detail. A tablet-style readout has been incorporated into the dash and the 'gauges' used on the display use the fonts other styling cues of the '49 Merc. Even the air vents for the AC is been added in such a way that it looks like an OE addition, as Jonathon explains.
“My OCD gets completely aggravated when I see magnificent customs and you look inside and the interior look like any others you can buy off of Amazon. So we went to great lengths to avoid that.” He said.