Car News:  Oversteer

The Italdesign Columbus Is One of the Best Concept Cars

RELATED READING
See all BMW any articles
RESEARCH BY MAKE
Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs
Acura cars, trucks and SUVs Alfa Romeo cars, trucks and SUVs AMC cars, trucks and SUVs Aston Martin cars, trucks and SUVs Audi cars, trucks and SUVs Bentley cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Bugatti cars, trucks and SUVs Buick cars, trucks and SUVs Cadillac cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Chrysler cars, trucks and SUVs Daewoo cars, trucks and SUVs Datsun cars, trucks and SUVs DeLorean cars, trucks and SUVs Dodge cars, trucks and SUVs Eagle cars, trucks and SUVs Ferrari cars, trucks and SUVs FIAT cars, trucks and SUVs Fisker cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Freightliner cars, trucks and SUVs Genesis cars, trucks and SUVs Geo cars, trucks and SUVs GMC cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs HUMMER cars, trucks and SUVs Hyundai cars, trucks and SUVs INFINITI cars, trucks and SUVs Isuzu cars, trucks and SUVs Jaguar cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Karma cars, trucks and SUVs Kia cars, trucks and SUVs Lamborghini cars, trucks and SUVs Land Rover cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Lincoln cars, trucks and SUVs Lotus cars, trucks and SUVs Maserati cars, trucks and SUVs Maybach cars, trucks and SUVs MAZDA cars, trucks and SUVs McLaren cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Mercury cars, trucks and SUVs MINI cars, trucks and SUVs Mitsubishi cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Oldsmobile cars, trucks and SUVs Plymouth cars, trucks and SUVs Pontiac cars, trucks and SUVs Porsche cars, trucks and SUVs RAM cars, trucks and SUVs Rolls-Royce cars, trucks and SUVs Saab cars, trucks and SUVs Saturn cars, trucks and SUVs Scion cars, trucks and SUVs smart cars, trucks and SUVs SRT cars, trucks and SUVs Subaru cars, trucks and SUVs Suzuki cars, trucks and SUVs Tesla cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Volvo cars, trucks and SUVs Yugo cars, trucks and SUVs
RESEARCH BY STYLE
AWD/4WD
Commercial
Convertible
Coupe
Hatchback
Hybrid/Electric
Luxury
Sedan
SUV/Crossover
Truck
Van/Minivan
Wagon
ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Doug DeMuro January 2019

Although I'm not a huge fan of concept cars, every so often there's one that really gets me excited. Probably my all-time favorite concept car is the Italdesign Columbus, which was a massive minivan concept car that used a mid-mounted BMW V12. Yes, this actually existed. One example, anyway.

The Columbus was shown as a concept car in 1992, theoretically commemorating the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus's discovery of America in 1492. I can't find whether it was shown in an auto show, but there are enough photos floating around the internet to make me think this thing had some sort of wide debut with at least a little press interest around it.

And why shouldn't it? The Columbus wasn't just a minivan, but a minivan designed by the world famous Italdesign studio, home of Giorgetto Giugiaro, who designed many famous vehicles like the Maserati Ghibli, the original Volkswagen Golf, the DeTomaso Mangusta, the DeLorean, the Lotus Esprit and the Alfa Romeo Giulia. More importantly, the Columbus used a BMW V12: a 300-horsepower, 5.0-liter V12 with 332 lb-ft that was midmounted to free up space for a large passenger compartment.

And oh, boy, was there a large passenger compartment. The Columbus was 236 inches long, making it longer than the majority of full-size pickup trucks, and it had this bizarre front bubble design that was more than a little distinctive. The interior was absolutely huge, and the Columbus had windows everywhere, swiveling seats, four rows of chairs, televisions and a center-mounted steering wheel. It was also all-wheel drive, which was ahead of its time for a van.

Shockingly, or perhaps not at all, the V12-powered, Italian-designed, center-steer, 4-row Columbus never made it into production and my assumption is that the sole unit built was retailed by Italdesign. I can only imagine the quirks and features.

MORE FROM OVERSTEER:
Here's Why the Koenigsegg Agera RS Is Worth $10 Million
I Bought the Most Unreliable BMW Ever Made
Autotrader Find: 1990 Subaru Legacy With a Landau Roof

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
The Italdesign Columbus Is One of the Best Concept Cars - Autotrader