Rarely do radical styling exercises shown at the worlds most prestigious car shows become real cars which can actually be driven. More often than not the concept of original prototypes are either forgotten and gather dust in the designers workshop or the original design will be watered down so much that by the time the car reaches production they only show a distant resemblance to the prototype. Not so with this fantastic machine which was first shown at the 1988 Turin Motor show , the Italdesign Aztec not only still looks radical 24 years on but was actually built as a working car and can be legally driven on the road ! Conceived by the legendary designer Giorgetto Giugiaro who’s career after art college went from Fiats Centro Stile to Bertone, and then as Ghia,s chief designer before founding Italdesign in 1968 who are responsible for such masterpieces as the Maserati Ghibli , De Tomaso Mangusta , Lancia Delta as well as the Volkswagon Scirroco and the Golf MKI , unquestionably the most important car in Europes largest car producers history since the Beetle.
The Aztec was a stunning and futuristic styling exercise more resembling a vehicle from a science fiction adventure than an actual road going proposition. However the cars mechanics were sourced from trusted and reliable donors, while the transmission is borrowed from the 4X4 Lancia Intergale , the engine was taken from the Audi Quattro , another landmark car producing some 250 bhp from its unusual 5 cylinder 20 valve turbo charged power source. The steel ladder-frame chassis was clad in aluminium, carbon fibre and kevlar making sure that the components used for the body were no less futuristic than its design. Not suprisingly the Aztec is home to a myriad of unusual features as well as an intercom so that the driver and the passenger could communicate despite being separated by the cockpit design which also features removable plexiglass bubbles for closed or open topped motoring.
Unsurpisingly no main stream manufacturer was found to adopt the Aztec for mass production , so Japanese industrialist Myakawa purchased the rights for the car and commissioned Audi tuner Motoren-Tecknik-Mayer in Wettstetten , near Ingolstadit to finish the car for homologation and eventully limited production. To much acclaim , the first road going Aztec was presented at the 1992 Monaco Grand Prix , finishing a few demonstration laps before the start of the race. It also featured in an industrial design exhibtion at the Musse Georges Pompidou in Paris. MTM succesfully received german type approval for the Aztec , but with a price tag of of some DM 500,000 it was destined for a very limited production , especially bearing in mind the periods recession , so only very few of these most exclusive cars were finished. Finished in silver with matching grey leather with delivery mileage of 165km LHD and is in near new condition , currently UK MOT tested and can be UK registered.