So often the words Italian and style fit together like hand in soft leather glove. This is not one of those times. The Aznom Palladium is an all-terrain luxury car that makes the Bentley Bentayga look like a beauty, the Rolls-Royce Cullinan a rose in bloom. Man, this thing is ugly.
Given that underneath the hand-beaten (possibly not beaten hard enough) bodywork sits a Dodge RAM pickup it’s not surprising that the Palladium’s proportions are so ungainly. Instead of attempting to mask this awkwardness, the Palladium is a pick-n-mix of design. See that Bentley-esque rear haunch, that Lincoln-like grille?
Inside, the Palladium does its best to hide its blue-collar origins in acres of quilted two-tone leather, wood veneers, a built-in refrigerator, glass and decanter holders, Microsoft Surface tablets and a Harman/Kardon sound system. The dashboard, console and switchgear is all straight from the donor truck, though, so first-class travel is reserved for the two individual rear seats.
With its rugged underpinnings the Palladium is billed as “a vehicle capable of moving with elegance on any terrain.” We’ll skip over the elegance part of that claim, but with switchable all-wheel drive and a 5.7-liter, bi-turbo, 710-hp V-8 engine tuned by Monza Garage it should have the grunt to go pretty much anywhere. Frequency Response Damping shock absorbers are fitted and four different ground clearance settings can be applied to suit the situation. Stopping power comes from massive Brembo six-piston brakes and 22-inch alloy wheels wear road-focused Yokohama Advan Sport tires rather than all-terrain rubber.
The bodywork is a mix of steel, aluminum and carbon fiber and its most unusual quirk is a luggage drawer that slides out from the rear bumper in lieu of a conventional trunk.
The so-called “hyper-limousine” has been built by Monza-based Aznon, which has previously customized Land Rovers, Minis, and Fiat 500s. It also created a fore-runner to the Palladium, named Atalux, in 2018.
The name Palladium was inspired by architect Andrea Palladio, builder of Renaissance mansions in the 16th-century Venetian Republic. His creations weren’t exactly subtle, but they have at least stood the test of time. We rather suspect the Aznom will not.