If there's one thing I love about auto shows, it's when something interesting comes out to play. Sometimes it's from an unheard of automaker, other times it's from a little-known Chinese manufacturer.

And this time it's from a Turin-based company that has a design house in Orange County among the likes of the big dogs.

Los Angeles Auto Show

That's where Icona comes into the picture. Apparently the little company has been designing products and taking them out for show and tell for a little while now. When I first saw pictures of the Nucleus concept, I had to stop and take a look.

It's just a bit weird and it caught my eye. Essentially, it appears the company designed an Italian cafe in an autonomous vehicle. Icona describes it as "the ultimate self-driving living room."

Having said that, I want to take the Spies' temperature: Does that sort of description of this type of concept get you EXCITED for the future or are you, perhaps, mourning what may come?

Los Angeles Auto Show

Icona's press release follows:

Icona Design Group to debut at Los Angeles Auto Show 2018

American premiere for the Icona Nucleus concept vehicle on display at the LA Convention Center.

Turin/Los Angeles – Double debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Italian design company Icona will participate for the first time at the car event in Los Angeles, California. Its latest creation, the autonomous driving concept vehicle Icona Nucleus will make its American premiere on the Icona stand on November 29.

On the same day, Icona will also be among the key players of the Car Design Forum dedicated to “Imagining the future of the car” where it will display a scale model of the Nucleus in quality of sponsor.

The appearance at the automobile event in Los Angels this year comes as a consistent step in Icona’s growth in the US market. Established in summer 2016, the Icona Design Los Angeles studio now counts 20 people between designers, modelers and engineers and already receives in excess of 40% of his revenues from locally gained clients, while the rest comes from international projects for clients in Europe and China.

“Our studio is located in Orange County amongst major OEM studios such as Toyota, Mazda, Hyundai, Kia and more” says Teresio Gigi Gaudio, President & CEO of Icona, “Our reason for choosing this location is not just to be located near the OEMs, but due to their earlier establishment strong supply chain exists featuring engineering, machining, prototype build, 3D printing etc. Orange County is definitely an innovative hub for design where the car culture plays a significant role in the designer’s vision and ideation Every weekend there are car shows and other events to influence Design. When you mix design with all the latest technology such as artificial intelligence, alternative power and autonomous driving, the magic needed to produce change happens.”

Samuel Chuffart, Global Design Director, adds: “Icona Design Los Angeles was founded in September 2016 to support our clients with engineering, clay modeling, and design. We are a family of designers who team up to give support on any given project from all three of our design studios located in Turin, Shanghai and Los Angeles. Our design team consist of skilled and talented designers from all over the world guaranteeing a diversified approach with the end result of international flavor. “


Nucleus represents the synthesis of futurism and a human-centered mindset. It takes the Icona Neo Concept one step further by reconsidering the very way that we use a vehicle. Neo introduced us to tomorrow, Nucleus will introduce us to after-tomorrow.

The Icona Nucleus embodies Icona’s vision for the future of mobility. First seen in 2015, the Icona Neo concept demonstrated a very tangible tomorrow for the electric vehicle.

With its fully autonomous driving level five, the Nucleus jumps two generations ahead. Inside the vehicle, the absence of a driver does not only mean the absence of a steering wheel and a dashboard, but the opportunity for a new understanding of mobile living spaces, where the focus is no longer the road but the destination.


Founded in 2010, Icona has its roots in the city of Turin, Italy, where know-how and many globally recognized automotive-related facilities are concentrated, including design studios, manufacturers, universities and research centers. The professional experience of Icona’s founders ensures a solid base for the development projects carried out for its clients, with know-how that covers the entire process, from management to styling, and from engineering to prototyping and production. The Icona Group works with more than 130 designers, modelers, engineers, and project managers from 21 different countries, with offices in Shanghai and Los Angeles in addition to the Turin headquarters.

#LAAutoShow: When You See A Design Concept That's Described As The

About the Author