It's like a bizarre cocktail of a Maybach, a Rolls-Royce, and a Land Rover.
In early October, we first set our eyes on the dramatic Aznom Palladium, which the Italian coachbuilder boldly describes as a hyper-limousine. It's a niche that is as bizarre now as the coupe-SUV popularized by the BMW X6 over a decade ago because it combines two vehicle types that nobody ever thought had much in common.
Well, the Palladium is the real deal, combining a colossal size (it measures 235 inches in length) with a 5.7-liter twin-turbo V8 engine that produces 710 horsepower and 700 lb-ft of torque. And, as these new official pictures show, the Palladium looks like nothing else. The closest thing we can think of to the Palladium is perhaps something like the Mercedes-Maybach S650, but it's so much more than that.
However, even that ultra-luxury limo is over 20 inches shorter and is around 90 hp short on power. The two cars couldn't look more different, though, as the Palladium comes with an imposing - if not especially attractive - design. There are hints of the Rolls-Royce Cullinan in its stance, yet the Palladium is over five inches taller than that SUV.
A tall front end with a large grille and a tall stance separates it from other luxury sedans. A sloping rear roofline seems to stretch on forever. Marcello Meregalli, Aznom's founder, says he has always been fascinated by large sedans and pointed towards Cadillac's presidential limousine for Barack Obama as inspiration for the Palladium.
The raised ride height is another unique characteristic, endowing this limo with the ability to conquer rougher terrain. Meregalli mentioned the many times he had seen luxury cars stuck on roads leading to ski towns in winter. It's no great surprise that the company has gone this route, having previously come up with the Ram 1500-based Aznom Atulux.
Like other luxury limos, though, the Palladium is about its lavish cabin. The base model is trimmed in Foglizzo leather which extends to the headliner while other touches include a handmade clock, an onboard refrigerator, and separate front/rear air conditioning systems. A 360-degree camera system and adaptive cruise control ensure that the modern driver-assist features make an appearance, too.
Despite a curb weight of 5,842 pounds, the big V8 will propel this hyper-limousine to 62 mph in just 4.5 seconds before reaching a limited top speed of 130 mph. If desired by the customer, an eTorque mild-hybrid system can be equipped. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard and the Palladium can switch between rear-wheel-drive and 4x4 modes.
An electronic automatic locking differential is standard and a Frequency Response Damping system forms part of a suspension that provides comfort on the road and capability over more challenging terrain. Bringing the beast to a stop is a Brembo braking system.
Just ten examples are set to be manufactured since the Palladium offers extensive customization and what has been described as "maniacal care of the details", with North America, European, and Middle East markets mentioned. Unsurprisingly, no price was mentioned, but don't expect a hyper-limo that can head off-road to come cheaply.
"It is a true extra-luxurious limousine that is also able to trek the desert!" said Meregalli. "This is why our Palladium is so unique."