2003 Pontiac Ultimate Aztek - The Full Story

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, Sep 26, 2003.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    132,737
    Likes Received:
    1,604
    Location:
    PRESIDENTIAL TOWER, GREAT AGAIN, NY
    No Laughing Matter: 665-horsepower monster Aztek

    [​IMG]

    By JOHN D. STOLL
    (08:30 Sep. 29, 2003)

    By the time Mark Reuss reached the age of 36, people were criticizing his work with gusto. Why not? He, a GM vehicle line executive, was given the task of shepherding into production one of the ugliest, most misconceived vehicles to ever see an assembly line: the Pontiac Aztek. The rest is history. Literally. Expect to see Aztek buried for good next fall or soon after.

    First, though, Reuss—now holding the enviable reigns of GM’s Performance Division—gets a Bob Lutz-mandated shot at redemption using the ill-fated SUV as inspiration. We can think of plenty of better ways for the General to spend dollars, but none more ironic.

    A spec sheet sent to us lists Reuss and Co.’s project as the “Ultimate Aztek,” so that’s what we’ll call it. Essentially, it’s a race car Aztek on steroids. Above the beltline, the truck is true to Aztek heritage, although the origami rear end has been angled downward, rounded out a bit and fitted with a new spoiler. Door handles, mirrors and front fascia also get fittingly refashioned. Flared fenders swoop over the wheel wells —complete with gill-slit vents—and positively dominate the design. Twenty-two-inch rims and 295/25 Z-rated treads fill the wells and two pairs of four-inch exhaust tips emerge ahead of the rear wells. Below the grille, a pair of fog lights bookend a lemon-wedge screen behind which sits a C5 racing radiator and other modifications. All this bodywork does a lot to address the tippy-tall disproportion of the original design, but it is those other modifications that are really what’s worth getting giddy over.

    The Ultimate’s firewall has been moved and Reuss ripped out all underhood nonessentials in order to fit the same Corvette 7.0-liter aluminum V8 that powers the C5-R in the cradle. In this case, output is 665 hp with torque at 625 lb-ft.

    [​IMG]

    Torque pushes at or near its peak through an intoxicating if straight curve starting at about 4000 rpm through 6800. Air is funneled to the engine through dual tapered conical filters lending the engine bay the same comic, come-get-me invitation as those Dolce & Gabbana bras gave Madonna during her infamous Girlie Show Tour.

    Acceleration inspires an eruption of sound and plenty of cabin vibration, as well it should. A modified instrument cluster includes “pro series” gauges for oil pressure, water temperature, volts, speed and engine rpm. Virtually everything else inside you would operate or touch is custom, including front racing seats, abbreviated rear bench, carpet, racing-grade shifter and wheel, and the necessary plethora of “don’t touch without asking” switches. Sorry, no radio, a/c or cupholders. If a six-point roll cage and racing belts don’t convince occupants that this Aztek is for real, nothing will.

    A modified six-speed manual with a heavy-duty clutch is mated to the engine, sending power solely to the rear wheels. You really have to thread your way through clutch engagement and be attentive or stalling is inevitable. A bit of jerking is to be expected; we didn’t stall, but we stunk up the cabin once with burning clutch odors. Once was enough. Another smell you’ll encounter is that of 100 octane fuel, required and distributed via a high-pressure fuel pump and racing-type fuel cell.

    To further the Le Mans-wolf-in-Aztek-clothing argument, consider the remaining spec sheet. The 36-inch power rack-and-pinion, again heavy-duty, is fitted with steering arm adapters to allow the use of spherical rod ends in place of standard tie rods. Front suspension is a C5 double-wishbone setup with polyurethane bushings, while rear is five-link with adjustable coil-over triple adjustable shocks. Modular antiroll bar assemblies dress the front and rear, as do a pair of 2.5-inch diameter coil springs. There is no official word on how much this thing is lowered, but even the gravel road to your summer cabin is out of the question.

    Of course we asked about the potential of ever seeing anything remotely close to this put in production, and Reuss calmed our fears by saying, “None.” Still, we wouldn’t mind seeing this little model pace a lap or two, just for the giggle factor. After that, we’d be content to see the word “ultimate” applied in its other sense: last of a series.

    [​IMG]

    2003 PONTIAC ULTIMATE AZTEK
    ON SALE: Never
    BASE PRICE: Enormous
    POWERTRAIN: 7.0-liter, 665-hp, 625-lb-ft V8; rwd, six-speed manual
    0-60 MPH: It's real, real fast

    [​IMG]
     
  2. BLoG

    BLoG Scented Meat

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2001
    Messages:
    294,055
    Likes Received:
    3,039
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    I would drive it!


    But only with tinted windows, and a racing helmet on so nobody knew it was me :o
     
  3. laimbeer

    laimbeer Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2001
    Messages:
    21,577
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Detroit, MI Suburbs
    It's still a trainwreck
     
  4. BLoG

    BLoG Scented Meat

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2001
    Messages:
    294,055
    Likes Received:
    3,039
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    ibchrisbanglemakesthenewbmwsuvlooklikethat
     
  5. mrautoxer

    mrautoxer Guest

    :gives: its still an aztek
     
  6. monkeybutt

    monkeybutt NOT full of shit...

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2001
    Messages:
    15,097
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Tampa
    best conversion of shit to badass ever. i'd pimp the fuck outta that thing. :bigthumb:
     
  7. Sina

    Sina New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2003
    Messages:
    4,531
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Houston/Galveston
    looks tite as hell
     
  8. Early Apex

    Early Apex Guest

    Wow, GM really has their finger on the pulse of the American auto enthusiast.

    :rolleyes:
     
  9. DaMang

    DaMang Guest

    ugly as shittttttttttttttt
     
  10. tommylightning

    tommylightning Least known OG on OT and I wanna keep it that way.

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2001
    Messages:
    13,865
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Why-Zeta MN
    Tiger says "Can you do that to my Rendevous?"
     
  11. Kevin

    Kevin New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2002
    Messages:
    87,634
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Michigan
    BAD AS FUCK!!!!!!!!!
    :hs:
     
  12. GTO2050

    GTO2050 OT's Ol Man™

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2003
    Messages:
    11,251
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    New Joisey
    :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :bowdown:
     
  13. tun

    tun Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Messages:
    54,960
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    New York City
    what the fuck is the point of making a monstrosity(sp?) like that? it's still a gay ass aztek.
     
  14. Platinum_Thunder

    Platinum_Thunder Reliability for life and liberty

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2001
    Messages:
    108,870
    Likes Received:
    197
    That's fucking awesome
     
  15. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    132,737
    Likes Received:
    1,604
    Location:
    PRESIDENTIAL TOWER, GREAT AGAIN, NY
    Fun.

    Do you know what it is?
     
  16. Byromaniac

    Byromaniac GO JETS GO OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2003
    Messages:
    18,684
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    20403
    burn it! QUICK
     
  17. tun

    tun Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Messages:
    54,960
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    New York City
    Well maybe if fire came out of the sides, i might pimp it. :hs:
     
  18. Mega-JC: Da Return

    Mega-JC: Da Return Tiger Knee!

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2001
    Messages:
    15,107
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Tacoma, Wa
    wow thats a huge improvement :eek:
     
  19. RenaultFreak

    RenaultFreak OMG

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2002
    Messages:
    88,686
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    CCS, VE
    I'd drive it :o rfwh
     
  20. BLoG

    BLoG Scented Meat

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2001
    Messages:
    294,055
    Likes Received:
    3,039
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    Is the Aztek officially dead yet?

    At the very least pontiac should incorporate a few of those design cues if it isn't.
     
  21. vudoodoodoo

    vudoodoodoo Guest

    Still looks like shit.
     
  22. Evil_Jeanyus

    Evil_Jeanyus That's it Ellen, cup the balls.

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Messages:
    47,821
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Toronto, Canadaville
    i love that thing
     
  23. DeleriuM

    DeleriuM New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Messages:
    27,916
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Toronto
    they should called it the Inca or Maya. to go along with the theme
     
  24. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    132,737
    Likes Received:
    1,604
    Location:
    PRESIDENTIAL TOWER, GREAT AGAIN, NY
    Officially dead, this is the last year for it.

    Get one while they last. :hs:
     

Share This Page