Forgotten Supercars: 10 Facts About the Aixam Mega Track
It gave the word hybrid a completely new meaningby Dim Angelov, on
When we talk about French supercars, the first to come to mind are models from Bugatti’s lineup – the various versions of the Veyron, EB110, or the Type 57 Atlantique. And although many enthusiasts would quickly recite a long list of some of the most iconic supercars, there are those that remain in obscurity. The 1995-2000 Aixam Mega Track certainly is one of those forgotten supercars that may have been ahead of its time. Here are ten facts about this quirky French supercar.
It’s actually called the Mega Track
Aixam is a French car manufacturer that focuses on rather unremarkable sub-compact vehicles. The company had desires to engage in more ambitious projects, such as supercars, but they couldn’t do it under a name associated with budget cars.
Enter Mega – Aixam’s performance brand, which would focus solely on cars with considerably higher performance than their usual portfolio. That said, the cars of the Mega brand are still referred to as Aixam, as the supercar brand is even more obscure than the parent company.
It’s technically a one-of-a-kind supercar crossover
This representative of the weird supercars club may have a mid-engine layout, but at the same time, it has something no other supercar has – off-road capabilities. The Mega Track has a minimum ground clearance of 8 inches (203 mm). Because of the air suspension, it can go up to 13 inches (330 mm).
It’s not just for show either, as the French supercar is said to have enough capabilities to enter the “Peking to Paris Rally”. This should give you an idea of its off-road potential. Out of all 90s supercars, or any supercars for that matter, it’s the only one that can truly be experienced on all terrains.
It’s more practical than you think
The Aixam Mega Track has another surprising feature. Normally, when a supercar is designed, the sole focus is on driving dynamics and practicality is at the bottom of the list. But, out of all forgotten supercars, the Mega Track was actually conceived with some practicality in mind.
Despite its big V-12 in the back, the car has four normal seats.
This means that four adult people can easily fit in the car’s interior. Moreover, because the Mega Track is significantly larger than your average supercar, interior space is surprisingly good too.
It’s the largest and heaviest supercar ever made
The Mega Track is significantly larger than any other supercar ever made. To get things in perspective, a 1990s C140 Mercedes S-class Coupe is 199.4 inches (5,065 mm) long. The Aixam Mega Track has a length of 200 inches (5,080 mm). If you think that’s striking there’s more.
The French supercar is wider than a Hummer H1 – 87.4 inches (2,220 mm) vs 86.5 inches (2,197 mm). At 55.1 inches (1,400 mm) tall, it’s also the tallest supercar ever made.
Needless to say, it dwarfs the Jaguar XJ220 and even the Bugatti Chiron in terms of proportions. Moreover, despite the tubular frame, the Aixam Mega Track weighs as much as a modern-day EV at 5,027 pounds (2,280 kg). Although such numbers are not as unusual in today’s performance car world, back in the day, this was the most obese 90s supercar.
It’s powered by a familiar engine
Just like other 90s supercars, the Aixam Mega Track borrowed an engine from another manufacturer. One of the go-to engines of that period was the Mercedes M120 V-12 unit. It was used in many cars that don’t have the three-pointed star, well into the 2000s, most commonly in a normally-aspirated configuration. The Aixam used a 6.0-liter normally-aspirated version of the M120. The exact same version was used in the R129 Mercedes SL600 and produced 389 horsepower at 5,200 rpm and 420 pound-feet (570 Nm) of torque at 3,800 rpm.
This was enough for a 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) time of 5.8 seconds and a top speed of 155 mph (250 km/h).
|Engine||6.0-liter normally-aspirated V-12|
|Horsepower||389 HP @ 5,200 RPM|
|Torque||420 LB-FT @ 3,800 RPM|
|0 to 62 mph||5.8 seconds|
|Top Speed||155 mph|
It’s rear-wheel-drive only
This might be surprising to some, but the production version of the car did not feature all-wheel-drive. Neither Aixam nor Mega was a big company, so some compromises had to be made when developing the off-road supercar. To keep the cost down they decided to send the power from the torquey V-12 only to the rear wheels.
In addition, this allowed them to go around the complexity of figuring out how to send power to all wheels without breaking the gearbox, which was a four-speed automatic with a torque converter. As mentioned above, the car still had impressive off-road capabilities. After all, rally legends like the Lancia Stratos and 037 did spectacularly well, and they didn’t have all-wheel-drive either.
It uses taillights from an old German sedan
Since most boutique supercar manufacturers spend a lot of their resources on chassis and drivetrain development, some secondary components are often outsourced. Many supercars use wing mirrors, door handles, and even taillights from other much cheaper vehicles. The Aixam Mega Track is no exception, as it borrowed the taillights from the late 80s – early 90s Audi 80. The taillights are exactly the same as you would find on a B3 and B4 compact German saloon. The same taillights belong on the Audi S2 Avant, which has a Porsche-developed engine.
It was a sales flop
The car was introduced at the 1992 Paris Motor Show, and unsurprisingly became the star of the show. There simply wasn’t anything like it, and to this day there still isn’t.
The interest was great, but the car still needed a lot of testing. Eventually, it came out on sale in 1995, but by that time the interest had dropped.
It was ambitiously priced
Despite its premature unveiling at the 1992 Paris Motor Show, there were in fact orders for the Aixam Mega Track. Back in the 90s, the weird supercar cost $300,000. What you got in return was a very big, very heavy, supercar-looking crossover, which was slower than the average V-12 gran-tourer.
To put things in perspective, in 1990 a Lamborghini Diablo cost $239,000, and a Porsche 959 cost $230,000. Both cars are quicker but do not offer the same levels of practicality or off-road capabilities.
It was sold in very limited numbers
Very few people bought the Aixam Mega Track. The exact number is not certain, but according to different sources, it is between five and twelve. All sources indicate that there are no more than a dozen examples out there, while some suggest that only six or seven were built. In any case, the probability of seeing one is very slim, unless you travel to Monaco and get extremely lucky.