Aggressively Styled Pontiac Aztek Takes Off in a New Dimension of Driving Excitement

DETROIT - Bold, sporty, attention-getting designs are a Pontiac trademark. Who better than Pontiac to deliver a concept that defines a new direction for sports vehicles in the 21st century? The 1999 Aztek concept is true to what Pontiac is all about - sporty, provocative, exciting.

Innovative Crossover Solution

"Aztek is an innovative crossover solution that combines the best attributes of a midsize sedan, van and sport utility," said Future Concept Brand Manager Don Butler. "Aztek is designed to give young, active people an aggressively styled, technologically advanced vehicle with the versatility to manage their complex, engaging lifestyles. On-the-edge styling and unmatched flexibility separate this multifunctional vehicle from current offerings."

Pontiac's Wide Track stance gives Aztek car-like ride and handling, while its cargo and people-carrying flexibility set a new benchmark. Sport utility attributes like a commanding view of the road, towing capability and traction in rain and snow make Aztek perfect for work and recreation.

Aztek is a whole new form of vehicle, and its attention-getting bright yellow exterior is unequivocal evidence that Pontiac is still not shy about being noticed.

Lean, Athletic Styling

Aztek's front is clearly Pontiac - from its split grille to its Ram Air hood and cat's-eye headlamps. Ribs stand out at the side hinting at the solid, resilient strength of a lean, well-contoured athlete. Unibody design with ladder-frame underbody construction adds to Aztek's overall strength.

The integrated and highly stylized front-to-rear roof rack gives Aztek a unified sleek appearance. The rugged motorcycle-style fuel filler cover further enhances Aztek's unique exterior. "AZTEK" 3D graphic badging on the rear rocker panel cladding provides subtle identification. The rear liftgate incorporates a rear spoiler with CHMSL. The unique, easy-access rear liftgate and "pick-up" style tailgate combination make loading and unloading cargo easier than ever.

Audacious Sports Car Stance

Aztek's dimensions carry Pontiac's sporty styling forward with a daringly different flair. Overall length goes to 179 inches; width is an ample 77 inches and height reaches to 67 inches. This means that Aztek offers the driver and passengers more interior room - especially shoulder room - than most front-wheel-drive crossover vehicles. Aztek's turning circle is 36 feet; track width is 65.3 inches in front and 66.1 inches in the rear. And Aztek solidly rests on a 108-inch wheelbase for better handling than traditional SUVs.

Asymmetrical Wheels/Aggressive Tires

Aztek rolls on dramatically designed asymmetrical 18" x 8.5" cast aluminum wheels and Michelin 255/55R18 tires with an aggressive tread design.

Go-Anywhere Handling

Aztek's front-wheel drive with traction control and rack-and-pinion steering provides superb handling whether activities include a snow-covered trek to a favorite ski resort, seeking an out-of-the-way campsite or battling for a spot at the local shopping mall. Smoothing out the ride are MacPherson fully independent front struts and open-section twist axle with integral stabilizer bar and gas shocks with coil springs in the rear. Four wheel antilock disc brakes with 13.5" front and 13.25" rear rotors provide excellent stopping power.

Interior Versatility, Comfort and Style

Attention-getting gray leather seats with yellow accents on the side bolsters and top backs carry the Aztek's aggressive styling inward. The lean, sculptured design is supportive and durable. Seatbacks and bolster supports are titanium-colored, along with door handles and trim accents.

Aztek offers four-passenger seating. The driver's seat has six-way power adjust and lumbar control; the passenger seat is manual. Second row captain's chairs recline for added comfort and flip and fold to quickly expand cargo-carrying capability providing "space on demand" when needed. For even more space, these lightweight seats are easily removable.

Driver-Oriented Cockpit

Aztek's expressively styled titanium and textured leather instrument panel features a fully exposed floating instrument cluster pod with easily readable analog gauges.

The titanium and leather T-handle shifter is integrated into the I/P giving the cockpit a sleek, unobstructed high-tech appearance. Knobs are large and strategically located to provide easy access and actuation.

The dual trip meter can keep track of cumulative mileage for fuel economy and shorter individual trips simultaneously.

"Ultra-lite" Technology

Aztek's instrument cluster pod features Delphi Delco Electronic System's "Ultra-lite" technology which utilizes a thin sheet of acrylic to efficiently channel light to the yellow primary display graphics for a high-performance daytime appearance. Sun visors over gauges also enhance readability during daylight operation. The highlighted "photo-etched stainless" background recalls the look of past high-performance Pontiacs.

At night, the display takes on a 3D look. Numbers become the traditional Pontiac red against a dark background.

Look closely to see that the Pontiac logo functions as gauge pointers. And speeders beware! Aztek's instrumentation is so precise that claiming inability to read the gauges will be no defense.

Interactive RTT

An electronic instrument display behind the cluster pod contains an interactive, reconfigurable telltale (RTT) that gives the driver real-time information about vehicle systems. The RTT features a LCD screen and dot matrix digital display. Dot matrix is a highly flexible, and therefore, global format for display of information and can adapt to many different symbols, icons or languages. Another immediate advantage is that RTT allows more information to be displayed in a smaller space.

Motorcycle-Style Cluster

The appearance of key gauges in the pod such as speedometer, tachometer, voltage meter, engine temperature, fuel gauge and oil pressure further enhance Aztek's sleek, athletic design. The gauges are round and peer out of a titanium face plate, emulating the metal-encased retro treatment used in motorcycle instrumentation.

Circular Theme

The circular theme of the gauges carries through to the control knobs on the instrument panel, the sound system and the HVAC vents. Speaker covers and HVAC vents employ a wire honeycomb design that further reinforces the motorcycle-like styling.

Aztek's strikingly designed steering wheel is gray and yellow leather with titanium spokes which tie in visually with the exterior wheels. The Pontiac logo proudly dominates the center of the matching yellow horn cap. Redundant steering wheel radio controls provide easy access to radio functions, while the open-style upper half of the steering wheel allows an unobstructed view of the gauges.

Driver Information Center

The Driver Information Center (DIC) is enhanced by a head up display and a multifunctional liquid crystal display (LCD) monitor built into Aztek's instrument panel. The LCD screen is the window for delivering information and entertainment. Driver Information Center messages, time and radio station readouts and navigational information appear on this super-thin screen. In addition, Aztek's unique audio/visual system is controlled by the main monitor.

All-Belts-to-Seat Restraints

Front and rear all-belts-to-seat restraints provide occupant protection and facilitate easy rear seat removal to provide reconfigurable cargo space - essential to people with active lifestyles. In addition, all-belts-to-seat systems offer greater comfort to occupants regardless of their size.

Moveable Floor Console/Unique Overhead Console

A center console slides on a track between Aztek's instrument panel and rear seats. Handy for stowing and sharing snacks with rear-seat passengers, the console tucks up under the I/P for unobstructed floor space and front to rear pass-through when not in use. In addition to convenient storage and high-intensity map lights, the overhead console features a fold down LCD monitor attached to Pioneer's Premium Visual Audio System. Rear seat passengers can view their favorite digital movies from the fold down screen to pass the time on long trips. This monitor can be controlled by remote or by the front seat occupants.

Pioneer's Premium Visual Audio System

Pioneer's Premium Visual Audio System features a radio with CD changer control, two LCD displays, digital versatile disc (DVD) player, six-disc multi-CD changer, cordless remote control and 10 speakers with wire honeycomb stylized grilles. The DVD player and monitor are fully removable to prevent theft. Since the system is portable, it can also be used outside the vehicle; for example, while tailgating, sitting around a campfire or relaxing in a tent.

Picnic/Tailgating Mode

Aztek's sound system features both "standard mode" and "picnic/tailgating mode." In standard mode, the sound is optimized for in-vehicle listening. In picnic/tailgating mode, sound is projected from the rear liftgate/tailgate cargo area through Aztek's specially designed outward-angled rear speakers. Music can be selected by remote control or from special redundant rear cargo area controls.

Awesome Speakers

Aztek's 10-speaker system can only be described as "awesome." Two front speakers in the instrument panel give studio quality sound. Four low-profile, responsive speakers located in each front and rear door provide deep, powerful bass tones.

Four speakers are mounted in the rear cargo area. Two of these speakers are mounted rearward and programmed to project sound outward when in "picnic/tailgating mode."

200 Horsepower

An exhilarating, powerful 3.4-liter V6 200-horsepower engine with 225 lb-ft of torque is mated to a four-speed automatic transmission. This powertrain combination delivers superior performance when needed and the power to tow up to 3,500 pounds - enough power to trailer not one, but two SeaDoo personal watercrafts.

Dual Exhaust

Below each backup lamp are dual chromed exhaust tips representing Pontiac's storied performance and styling heritage.

Stow More Gear

Aztek's ample, reconfigurable interior space makes carrying all the "stuff" for today's on-the-go lifestyles easier than ever. With second row seats in place, cargo volume is 35 cubic feet. Remove the rear seats, and instantly there's 105 cubic feet of storage space which is wide enough for a four-by-eight sheet of plywood. Access to this cavernous space is easy. Either flip and fold to provide "space on demand" or simply maximize the space by removing the rear seats. The low, flat load floor accommodates loading of even the most unwieldy sports equipment or bulky cargo through the convenient rear liftgate/tailgate. A versatile cargo retention system includes a cargo net that nestles in a depression in the rear cargo area with tie-downs on the sides to keep smaller items secure.

Take-With Storage System

Aztek is loaded with amenities for active people. Grab-and-go saddle bags for storing items like maps, flashlight, compass and snacks stow in the integrated front door pockets when not being used. Fill these versatile storage units with trip essentials and remove for ready-to-use mini knapsacks.

Functional Tailgate, Versatile Lighting

Let down Aztek's tailgate to access molded seat depressions that provide comfortable seating to change shoes, suit up into athletic gear or just relax. Four built-in outdoor activity lamps are integrated into the upper liftgate design for tasks like loading and unloading or setting up camp. These lights are easily actuated by lifting Aztek's rear liftgate. The outdoor activity lamps direct more light behind and around the vehicle. Hooking and unhooking trailers after dark, for example, is much easier with this feature.

Aztek Toll-Free Number/Website

Consumers will be given access to information on the Pontiac Aztek at the start of the North American International Auto Show. A special toll-free number (1-877-GO-AZTEK) and website ( have been set up.

"Exploration into crossover vehicles led to the Pontiac Aztek concept - a Sport Recreation Vehicle unequaled in style, responsiveness and versatility," said Don Butler future concept brand manager. "It can be easily reconfigured to match the activity at hand. Today's active lifestyles demand a vehicle with flexible, adaptable capabilities."

SOURCE: Pontiac