The late 90s and the early noughties was a time when, short on money, Matteo Miglia turned the attentions of his firm to making sporty on a really tight budget. Most of the time this meant cutting costs and using less material in the panels, which lead to a few build quality issues which one might be tempted to refer to as “character”. Because they were Italian. For Matteo this was a big step from his previous determination to have the ingenuity of engineering be reflected by reliability as well as performance, but when one did the numbers and refused to compromise on the drivetrain or the handling, the deficit had to be made up somewhere, right? And if really flimsy panels meant less weight, maybe that would be killing two birds with one stone. With this in mind, such models as the Excelsior Rosso Corsa were born: cars that were far faster than they had any business to be for the price point. Add to this that Matteo’s (correct) projection that they would need to increase volume and market exposure if they were to survive the next ten years, and the MM car range started showing signs of significant lateral thinking to challenge specific international markets, like the Kei car, the Espresso.
The Scatola (literally: crate, box) was no exception, but for the fact the trim shown here is not the main trim. The main trims were peppy but otherwise not insensible city cars, which by far had the greatest impact in two seat, courier form. Both nimble and frugal, they became popular among small business that did delivery, thus becoming a recognised fast-food delivery mascot. But in that form they hardly lit the enthusiast stage.
MM would not be denied. Enter the Scatenato (literally: unhinged, insane). This was all the corners that could possibly be cut, were cut. The engine had a turbo slapped on it and was tuned to the maximum. Instead of the plate mount a vent for the turbo housing was specifically created. The bodywork was lightened, the suspension lowered to a ride height somewhere around racing car level. The seat configuration was altered so the driver was placed front and center, and if one must one could bring friends in the back. At just 670kg and packing 125hp, rocking special semi-slick wheels to pull 1.22g on the skidpan, it was a go-kart on steroids and as a batshit crazy enthusiast car it made good on its promise of being unbelievably fast. Think under 6s to 100km/h, a quarter mile in 14s fast, and faster still in the corners.
I don’t think for a moment that this is the right car for our client. But the idea is just so nuts and this car is just so visceral chew-you-up-and-spit-you-out that our client will feel compelled to at least give it a spin. Nothing will ever feel quite the same afterward.