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Italian firm turns Ram truck into luxury SUV

by Ronan Glon

Would you pay over a quarter of a million dollars for a Ram?

An Italian coachbuilder named Aznom Automotive has transformed a Ram pickup truck into a luxurious SUV. Called Atalux, it wears a three-box design vaguely reminiscent of the concept car Mercedes-Maybach introduced recently at the Beijing auto show.

Though not exactly a household name, Aznom has been around for several years. Its previous projects include a mid-engined Fiat 500 Abarth. The Atalux starts life as a Ram 1500 crew cab, a model not officially sold in Europe, and looks like one from the tip of the front bumper to the c-pillar. Beyond that, Aznom added about two feet of extra sheet metal to make the cabin bigger. The roof flows into a panel that covers what's left of the cargo bed, a configuration which turns the truck into a sedan-SUV cross.

Aznom made clever use of the extra space in the cabin. The two rear occupants sit on individual, power-adjustable chairs mounted over the rear axle for maximum leg room. On the road, they can entertain themselves by playing the in-car Xbox on a pair of 17-inch televisions, they can use the built-in Nespresso machine make a coffee, or they can drink up to four bottles of champagne stored in a cooled compartment.

Almost every surface the passengers look at or touch is covered with either wood, Alcantara, or leather upholstery. The company promises the Atalux delivers "every type of comfort." It's fully customizable, too; you can replace the champagne cooler with a whiskey bar, or ask for a Nintendo 64 instead of an Xbox.

Power comes from the Ram's stock 5.7-liter Hemi V8 engine. Aznom installed upgraded brakes all around to cope with the additional weight and fitted an air suspension system to both axles.

Pricing for the Atalux (All-Terrain Luxury Utility) starts in the vicinity of $263,000, though the final figure will vary depending on how it's configured.