Car of the Year 2009: No. 13: Iconic GTR Roadster

Broken Dreams
In this era of cookie-cutter prefabrication, designer-dreamer Claudio Ballard deserves plaudits for creating a car that is hand- and purpose-built right down to its gauge needles and start button. The Iconic’s silhouette resembles that of the Shelby Cobra (a truly iconic car), revealing Ballard’s respect for the past, not his proclivity for plagiarism. Cause for applause, however, stops at the Iconic’s exterior. The car is crude, raucous, and harsh on the rear end. Who needs a coarse Nascar engine, iffy brakes, and a crash gearbox on a modern road car? Our judges, including the one who burned his hand on the side exhaust pipe, condemned the $600,000 two-seater as the worst of the lot. The Iconic further hurt its cause by breaking down before the week was out. —Paul Dean

 

Snake Pit
The Iconic does not know what it wants to be. It looks like a Cobra, sounds like an airplane, and costs as much as two Ferrari 599 Fioranos. The car on hand was a prototype, and, as such, it was available to sample largely from a passenger’s point of view. From what many riders said, that experience typically bordered on the unpleasant, thanks to the unforgiving ride and the ear-damaging noise emanating from the 6.9-liter V-8. Driving the Iconic proved no more enjoyable. The manual shifter had trouble clicking into most gears, and the steering required constant correction. Driving this car is like playing with a snake: mildly fun but mostly scary and, considering that the Iconic costs $600,000, just plain silly. —Marco R. della Cava

SPECIFICATIONS:

Configuration Front-engine, rear-wheel-drive roadster
Engine 6.9-liter V-8
Transmission 6-speed manual
Power 800 hp at 7,600 rpm
Torque 660 ft lbs at 5,800 rpm
Zero to 60 2.8 seconds
Top Speed 200 mph
Base Price $600,000
Price as Tested $600,000
Robb Report Rating 59.1
Iconic, www.iconicmotors.com

Read Next Article >>
g5scanner
A Ferrari fanatic can purchase a copy of the Diamante edition of The Official Ferrari Opus...
Photo by 2014 Mercedes-Benz USA
After halting production in 2012, Daimler has folded the historic brand under its Mercedes wing.
Photo by Christian Martin
Among the lots are 60 historic barn-find cars from the Baillon Collection…
Photo by Snarski
The GT is a more powerful version of the original Panoz Esperante Spyder…
C-Types, D-Types, and E-Types from the 1940s, ’50s, and ’60s are among the program’s cars…
The new coupe takes many styling cues from the 1954 A6 GCS-53…
These five two-wheel wonders feature aggressive designs and heart-palpitating performance…
The new Mustang features Ford’s most powerful naturally aspirated engine ever…
Photo by Cordero Studios, corderostudios.com
Although the complete results of Robb Report’s annual Car of the Year competition will not be...
This year’s L.A. Auto Show saw more models introduced than at any other time in its 107-year...