The Rare Italdesign Aztec Is a Cyberpunk Sports Car Made Real
Don’t confuse Italdesign's Aztec with Pontiac's Aztek.
The Pontiac Aztek may go down in the annals of history as one of the least attractive new cars to ever reach production, but the Italdesign Aztec certainly won't. Designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro for the 1988 Turin Motor Show, the Aztec is a low-slung dual-canopy sports car that looks ripped right out of the world of Blade Runner.
After its debut, a Japanese firm sought to turn Italdesign's concept into reality, because who would turn down the chance to own a vehicle as striking as the Aztec? Apparently quite a few folks, because only half of the 50 Aztecs slated for the Japanese and European markets were built, one of which is for sale as of this writing, on Bring a Trailer.
This specific Aztec made its way to the United States in 2015 and reportedly complies with the Environmental Protection Agency's and Department of Transportation's required standards. Before it made its way to the U.S., though, the car supposedly sat on display at the Shanghai Auto Museum in China beginning in 2011.
Despite its futuristic looks, the Aztec's powertrain is rather conventional. Power comes courtesy of an Audi-supplied mid-mounted turbocharged 2.2-liter five-cylinder engine that produces 247 horsepower (ignore what the side panels show because those are metric and not mechanical horses), which the car routes to all four wheels by way of a five-speed manual gearbox. Also, it has pop-up headlights, imbuing an extra couple dollops of retro cool.
While the Aztec's dual-canopy design gives the appearance of separate driver and passenger compartments, the car's cockpit actually sports an open center console accessible to all within. Therein rests some of the era's most technologically advanced in-car audio equipment: a JVC sound system replete with an in-dash CD player and cassette deck. Also note the entirely too awesome electronic rally timer mounted inside.
With approximately 250 miles on the odometer, this Aztec is truly a time capsule from a different era. Expect it to sell for good money, too, given the model's rarity, otherworldly styling, and seemingly mint condition.