Weird Car of the Week: This Pontiac SUV Concept Was the Better Aztek
More often than not, the Pontiac Aztek is looked upon with a vitriol reserved for only the worst things in life. We won’t go as far however— it was edgy, it simply just wasn’t a great car. But despite the eventual failure of a car GM billed as the “most versatile vehicle on the planet,” Pontiac designers did get another crack at an all-terrain, all-purpose vehicle. That's the better looking vehicle you see before you. RELATED: See Photos of the Not-So-Lovable Pontiac Aztek
What Is It?
It's called the REV. It launched as a concept back in 2001, and accompanied a burgeoning new class of crossover vehicles, such as the BMW X Coupe, Toyota RSC, and the stunning Mitsubishi RPM 700.
At its heart, the Pontiac REV was designed to be a potent mix of rally car and SUV, with the intention of transporting you, your friends and your cargo to all the extreme activities your adrenaline-junkie heart so desired. As such, it fitted all-wheel-drive, a height-adjustable independent suspension (low and high modes), scratch resistant paint, and a rather capacious boot in which to store, tie-down, and transport many extreme things.
The concept quirkiness begins to set in with the engine, a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 which delivered 245 horsepower to an electronic sequential five-speed gearbox. Out back, the Pontiac came fitted with a first-aid kit, clever slide-out toolbox, as well as two-way walkie-talkies. Inside, passengers sat on sporty gel-filled lycra seats and had access to a rather novel center console, which revealed a detachable GPS-cellphone-walkie-talkie with internet connectivity from Motorola. Impressive tech from pre-iPhone 2001.
RELATED: See More of the 2001 Pontiac REV SUV Concept
What Happened To It?
Neither the REV nor its other brush-bashing concept contemporaries made it to production, though you could say they won the war. These days, you can’t go a block without seeing a crossover vehicle whizzing by, and some automakers are indeed planning to build super-sporty versions – the next-gen Mitsubishi Evo for instance.
Don’t bemoan their passing, we’ll likely see more and more of these shapes in the years to come, perhaps at a dealership near you.
RELATED: Check Out Jeep's Tough Little 2008 Renegade Concept
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