Aztec sac­ri­ficed

NOT JUST UGLY, AHEAD OF ITS TIME

Wheels (Australia) - - Profile / Mark Reuss -

Ask Mark Reuss about the Pon­tiac Aztek and the re­ac­tion is a com­bi­na­tion of a laugh and a groan. He ac­cepts that it is ugly, and best known as a sales fail­ure in the car world, al­though it has surged back to pop­u­lar­ity as Wal­ter White’s car in the

Break­ing­bad se­ries. Reuss was the project leader on the Aztek and says it was sim­ply a car ahead of its time. “Look what Subaru has done, that is what we were do­ing with the Aztek. It was a small, prac­ti­cal, SUV,” he says.

“The Aztek was a tough as­sign­ment, to make a crossover off a mini­van plat­form, to make it com­pet­i­tive, to cre­ate it quickly for a com­pany that was des­per­ate for change.

“Those were the cir­cum­stances un­der which it was done. Live and learn. And I had noth­ing to do with the styling.”

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