Posted Dec 21st 2012 6:00PM
Where do concepts go when their auto show circuit life is over? For many, it's off to the scrap heap, while others manage to find their way into various automotive museums and private collections. Yet it is a select few that enjoy the honor of actually being driven on open roads. What you see here is the latter.
In 1988, design house Italdesign brought its wildly futuristic Aztec Barchetta concept to the Turin Motor Show. Visually, there were a lot of things going on here with the design, including spacecraft-styled rear quarter panels, see-through doors and a bold dual cockpit design. The body was constructed out of aluminum, Kevlar and carbon fibre. Additionally, the coupe features an intercom so the driver and passenger can hold conversations at high speed.
While the styling is fit for an auto show floor, the mechanicals are borrowed from some of Europe's rallying greats, including the 250-horsepower five-cylinder of the Audi Quattro and a transmission borrowed from the Lancia Integrale's parts bin.
Yet you'll deduce from the 1992 model year on our headline that this isn't the same car that premiered in Turin in 1988. That's right, this is a street-legal production car. As the story goes, Myakawa, a Japanese industrial corporation, bought the rights to the concept and had German-based Audi tuner, Motoren-Tecknik-Mayer (better known as MTM) produce the Aztec Barchetta in very limited numbers. The first one built performed exhibition laps at the 1992 Monaco Grand Prix, and the originals sold for hundreds of thousands when new.
Very few were made (estimates vary wildly, from 15 to 50), with this model being assembled in UK spec. The seller, Specialized Vehicle Solutions, Ltd. of Manchester, England, is offering this silver example with just 75 miles (120 km) on the odometer, though the listing doesn't disclose how much it's asking to digital tire-kickers.
Hit the jump for a closer look at this futuristic road ready concept.