Italdesign Columbus

You may forgotten or maybe you have never even heard of ItalDesign Columbus minivan. It was the1992 year when the Italians from ItalDesign showed the world their concept of a mid-engine super-minivan, called Columbus.

Despite the presence of a powerful production base and carbon fiber body, Maestro Giugiaro created Columbus in the old-fashioned way. He himself drew the vehicle and then manually cut it off from steel and aluminum sheets body panels in a scale of 1: 1 on wooden blanks. Based on the layout, the engineers built the real Columbus, on a steel tubular frame and body panels made from carbon fiber.

Italdesign ColumbusItalDesign Columbus was equipped with a transversely installed 5.0-liter BMW V12 engine with a power of 300 hp and 450 Nm torque. Colombus was a huge six-meter-long car with full comfort that could accommodate nine people and, at the same time, could accelerate to 230 km/h. The transmission delivered the power to all of the four wheels.

Italdesign ColumbusThe driver and front passenger were sitting around the engine, which was located transversely. Therefore, their compartment was located above the passenger compartment. This provided better visibility. The car had a unique steering system: by rotating the steering wheel and pushing the pedals, the driver, in fact, just gave the command to the wires or other mechanisms. The Columbus driver sits in the center, and right behind him on a small hill there are two passengers. Four more luxury places were located in the rear.

Italdesign ColumbusAnother noteworthy detail regards the rear wheels: in order to make the huge Columbus swivel, the rear wheels were manageable. They could rotate by an angle of up to 15 degrees, reducing the radius of the turn.

Italdesign ColumbusAlthough Columbus was a functioning prototype, it was never intended for mass production. It’s a pity that the car has remained just a concept.

Italdesign Columbus