The Italdesign Aztec, originally unveiled at the 1988 Turin Motor Show, is an open-top sports car with a radical design and cutting-edge features. Only 20 examples were made, and one will be auctioned this weekend at Bonhams 'On the Grid' Abu Dhabi sale.

Designed by the legendary Giorgetto Giugiaro, the Aztec was not just a car but a work of art on wheels. It was made as one of the three show cars to celebrate Italdesign's 20th anniversary. It represents and elevates every automotive design detail its era is known for - the pop-up headlights, wedge shape, covered rear wheels, and unconventional doors. It also has a carbon fiber rear wing, double glass canopies, and period-correct Canonica modular wheels.

As with the other Aztecs built, the unit on sale comes with the space-age silver paint job, working in contrast with the striking red cabin.

Speaking of the cabin, you can open the Aztec's doors in a typical way, though entry requires you to lift specific sections of the cockpit upward. The cabin is split into two symmetrical sections, with the passenger side equipped with an odd-shaped tiller that functions as a control console rather than for steering. Occupants on both sides can communicate via intercom.

A hydraulic jack and an original Halda rally computer are on the right side. In contrast, the left side accommodates a removable electric screwdriver, an electric torch, a tire-inflating compressor, and a fire extinguisher.

Accessing control panels on both sides involves entering designated codes and offering information on engine oil level, coolant, brake fluid, and a detachable temperature gauge. As a bonus, this unit, with 4,785 miles on the clock, wears Giorgetto Giugiaro's signature on the right flank. Apart from the slight flaw in the glass, the listing claims that the show car is well-preserved.

The Italdesign Aztec is powered by a five-cylinder, 20-valve, turbocharged engine from the grandfather of the A5 Coupe, the Audi Quattro, producing up to 250 horsepower. The manual transmission components were obtained from another legendary vehicle, the Lancia Delta Integrale. The vehicle features an aluminum, carbon fiber, and Kevlar body on a steel ladder-frame chassis.

The Aztec isn't just a concept car; it's road-legal, engineered by Audi tuner Motoren-Technik-Mayer (MTM), and one of the few homologated production vehicles made by Japanese industrialist Mario Myakawa after it purchased the rights to the car.

"When the Aztec prototype was exhibited at the Turin Motor Show in 1988, I found it difficult to imagine that it would become a real car. It is therefore of immense satisfaction that the Aztec is now actually roadworthy and not just a static styling exercise," said Giugiaro.

Bonhams estimates that this Aztec will fetch up to $220,000 at auction. It will hit the block in Abu Dhabi on November 25, 2023, without reserve.

This article originally appeared on CarBuzz: Italdesign Aztec Is A Road-Legal Oddball With Two Steering Wheels

2023-11-20T14:38:18Z dg43tfdfdgfd