AZNOM PALLADIUM! It sounds like a bad spell that Harry Potter’s dreamt up after a hard all-nighter at Hogwarts, but in fact it’s the least appropriate car to be launched all year.
It’s due to be launched at the Milan open air motor show later this week and is the car that, in a Europe focusing hard on making its new vehicles smaller and kinder to the environment, is exactly the small crossover that you’ve all been saving up for.
Yep, it’s a 20-foot long limousine crossed with an off-roader.
One that just happens to have a 5.7-litre engine, serving up more than 700bhp, with a couple of turbochargers chucked in for good measure.
The small company in Italy that’s planning to make it says that its appearance is, erm ‘unconventional’ and while it’s only fair to reserve judgement until the finished article is actually unveiled, all of the teaser shots released so far make it look like someone’s described a Volvo 740 over the phone to a drunk graphic design student.
It’s also, despite being longer than a Ford Galaxy and taller than a Land Rover Discovery, only designed to carry four people.
The idea is that if you’re sufficiently minted enough to slap down an order, it’ll be tailor-made, like a sharp Italian suit on wheels, only the tailors in this instance are a team of young designers and engineers who in the past have helped Pagani, McLaren and other supercar makers with some of their projects.
There’s no word on price yet, either, but when Aznom put together a customised Dodge Ram pick-up truck a couple of years ago, complete with an in-built coffee maker, Xbox console system, a fridge and bespoke crystal bottles designed to carry fine spirits, it asked £203,000 for the privilege.
Just about the only purpose I can think of for a 20-foot long limo that’s too big to use off-road and too embarrassing to be seen on it is as a sort of posh mobile home you can lock yourself into should a second national lockdown be announced – it’ll be comfy enough to live in, and you’ll be able to drive it to your nearest testing centre, up in Aberdeen.
That’s a fairly limited market, which is why the planned production run is just about the only thing that Aznom has got right – it’s planning to make ten, charge a couple of gullible Instagrammers a small fortune for them, and then immediately crack on with whatever its next project is.
Save yourself £120,000 and buy a Range Rover instead…
David Simister is the editor of Classic Car Weekly