Ford Maya, that Italdesign project with an experimental 250-hp engine

John Z. DeLorean and its sports car DeLorean DMC12 in the 1980s made the traditional auto industry wake up and look for new ways.

Ford was very focused on developing the events of DeLorean. And although by 1984 the DeLorean "threat" had passed, for Ford the interest in a supercar with "wedge" shapes remained. Italdesign of Giorgetto Giugiaro was therefore approached.

The design produced by ItalDesign, the Ford Maya, was a two-seat coupe with distinctly wedge-shaped lines, featuring a mid-engine. This was in 1984.

photo Italdesign
It's 1984
John Z. DeLorean and its sports car DeLorean DMC12 made the traditional auto industry wake up and look for new avenues. Ford was very alert and interested in exploring new avenues. And in 1984 he asked for the cooperation of Italdesign of Giorgetto Giugiaro to define the possibilities for a sports car with superior finish and performance, to be produced in at least 12,000 units per year.
photo Italdesign
The Ford Maya
Ford had approached Giorgetto Giugiaro not only for his great talent in design, but more importantly for his encyclopedic knowledge of manufacturing techniques. The design created by ItalDesign, the Ford Maya, was a two-seater coupe with distinctly wedge-shaped lines, which featured a mid-engine.
photo Italdesign
A creation in the Italdesign  DNA of the 1980s
It was very similar to other accomplishments of Giugiaro, such as the Mangusta, the Asso di Fiori or the Tapiro, to name a few, but again, it was not just design that was important, but ease of manufacture that would make the car a viable prospect.
photo Italdesign
The interior and the trunk
Within the "wedge profile" of the Ford Maya was a 3.0-liter V6 rear engine with an output of 140 hp. But it was an interim engine, as a more powerful 250-hp V6 was already in development. The front trunk, on the other hand, was surprisingly spacious for a sports car.
photo Italdesign
Very spacious interior
The interior was very spacious, with anatomical leather seats and a dashboard with recessed instrumentation. There was additional luggage space behind the seats instead of a back seat that would have been useless.
photo Italdesign
The project did not continue
The Ford Maya was introduced at the 1984 Turin Motor Show. It was well received by the public. But Ford did not want to continue its design.
photo Italdesign
A second attempt
In 1985, again with Italdesign, Ford took over the project again, creating two more prototypes, called Maya II ES. One was still a sports coupe, but with softer lines and painted red; the other was a three-box version with an even more powerful engine.
photo Italdesign
Nothing done
The design was approved, but Italdesign in those years had also designed the Lotus Etna, which seemed destined for production. Ford decided that it would not build a car that resembled one of its competitors. Or as much more likely, Ford feared that eventually the Maya would take the market away from the Mustang.
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