Italy is famed not just for its sights, its history, or its rich culinary delights. This Mediterranean country is also famed for its supercars. The country is where many of the finest car-makers in the world call home. In this short article, we will show you 10 of the most legendary Italian sports car brands for your viewing pleasure.
Though Italian cars are far from affordable, their raw power and refined style are second-to-none. Definitely will be worth the investment.
Top 10 Best Italian Sports Car Brands to Feast Your Eyes On
1. Ferrari (1939)
For many enthusiasts, if they could only pick one brand to represent the Italian automotive industry, Ferrari would be it. They produce some of the finest sports cars to ever take to the racing tracks and public roads alike.
Founded by Enzo Ferrari in 1939, the company first opened its doors as Auto Avio Costruzioni. It wasn’t until 1947 that the first car carrying the Ferrari badge – the Ferrari 125 S – drove off the production line.
Ferrari, now based in Maranello, northern Italy, manufactures exclusively racing cars. They also don’t come cheap. For both of these reasons, the company’s sales aren’t as high as competitors. Nevertheless, it doesn’t stop their famous “Prancing Horse” emblem to be a coveted symbol around the world.
2. Lamborghini (1963)
The rivalry between Lamborghini and Ferrari is almost legendary. There are good reasons for that. The cars produced by both companies are neck-to-neck with one another when it comes to design and performance.
Lamborghini was founded in 1963 by Ferruccio Lamborghini with the express purpose of competing with Ferrari. The company’s first product, the Lamborghini 350 GT, was launched in 1964 to resounding success.
The success of the 350 GT turned Lamborghini into a serious player in the Italian auto industry. It also solidified the company’s position as a formidable competitor to Ferrari.
Lamborghini’s cars all have excellent aerodynamics and some of the highest performance engines on the market. This combination makes for cars that aren’t just blistering fast, but also sleek and stylish.
3. Pagani (1992)
Pagani is as much a darling of the race track as Ferrari and Lamborghini. Though it is much lesser known than either brand, it doesn’t mean Pagani’s cars are inferior.
The radical, super-aerodynamic body design of Pagani-branded cars makes them instantly recognizable. Each car’s engine is also meticulously engineered so that every horsepower is extracted and converted into raw speed. This formula has helped Pagani to break multiple speed records on the tracks.
Its founder, Horacio Pagani, founded Pagani Composite Research in 1988. The company did business with Lamborghini. It delivered components and performed design and engineering services for the firm.
In the 80s, Pagani branched out to design his own car as part of the “C8 Project”. It eventually culminated in the Pagani Zonda C12 – the car that officially put Pagani onto the radar of car enthusiasts.
Today, Pagani’s business still focuses on producing sports cars. The most recent addition to their limited portfolio being the Pagani Huayra. A very scant number of Pagani cars are produced every year, so it’s a very exclusive product.
Daresay, a Pagani is even harder to find than a Lamborghini or a Ferrari.
4. Alfa Romeo (1910)
Alfa Romeo’s roots can be traced back to 1910. It was founded by Alexandre Darracq as A.L.F.A (Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili). In 1915, when Nicola Romeo took control of the company, he added his last name to the company’s. The result is the name Alfa Romeo as it’s known today.
Similar to Ferrari and Lamborghini, Alfa Romeo is a name that’s commonly associated with racing cars. Nevertheless, with the introduction of family-friendly, 4 door vehicles like the Alfa Romeo Giulia, the brand has become more known to the wider public.
Alfa Romeo is also a lot more accessible thanks to their more modest price tags compared to Ferrari or Lamborghini.
In 2021, Alfa Romeo is a subsidiary of Stellantis, a multinational automotive conglomerate.
5. Maserati (1914)
In 1914, the five Maserati brothers, Alfieri, Bindo, Carlo, Ettore, and Ernesto came together to create a car brand. They took the family’s name, Maserati, to be the name of their nascent empire.
The brand’s famous logo, a trident, was designed by Mario Maserati. The brothers deemed it an apt logo for a racing car as it inspires strength and vigor. Both of which are desirable traits in a top-of-the-line racing car.
Maserati’s productions can still be regularly sighted on the racing tracks today. Though much like Alfa Romeo, the company has started to market many high-performing luxury road cars, too.
Maserati is currently a subsidiary of Stellantis.
6. Abarth (1949)
Founded in 1949 by Carlo Abarth, the company has been producing cars for more than half a century. The company’s logo, a scorpion, was once a prevalent sight on racing cars in the 20th century. Even after it was acquired by Fiat in 1971, Abarth cars still participated on race tracks across Italy and Europe.
Unfortunately, Abarth no longer holds the same amount of prestige today. The company still produces a few models, but only one of which is a sports variant: the Abarth 124 Spider. The car is a testament that Abarth hasn’t lost its touch after all.
7. Bertone (1912)
Stile Bertone (or simply “Bertone”) is the design arm of Gruppo Bertone – an automobile company known for its car styling services.
Although Bertone isn’t a car manufacturer proper like other brands on this list, the stylized cars that it offers like the Bertone Mantide are extremely impressive. Based on the 2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1, it offers a beautiful, sporty design and awe-inspiring performance, as well.
For the Mantide alone, we already deem Bertone a good fit on this list.
8. Spada Vetture Sport (2008)
Spada Vetture Sport (SVS) isn’t a name that’s well-known outside of the car enthusiast circles. The person behind this brand is Ercole Spada, a famous automobile designer who had worked on car designs for Ferrari, Maserati, Alfa Romeo, and a host of other notable names.
Similar to Bertone, SVS is a styler. The company introduced the Spada Codatronca series in 2008. It’s based on a refurbished chassis and engine of Chevrolet Corvette C6. The unique shape of the Codatronca has lent SVS legitimacy as an automaker in the industry.
9. Italdesign (1968)
Italdesign – or simply “ID” – is an automobile design consultancy firm founded in 1968 by Giorgietto Giugiaro. The brand is currently being held by Audi.
ID specializes in designing and manufacturing prototype cars, the most recent and notable of which is the Italdesign Zerouno. It is based on the Lamborghini Huracán and has a highly distinctive bodywork. Its performance is nothing to sneeze at, either.
A race car through and through, Zerouno has ultimately landed ID on this list.
10. ATS Automobili (1962)
Lastly, there’s Automobili Turismo e Sport (ATS). It was founded in 1962 by two disgruntled ex-Ferrari employees, Carlo Chiti and Giotto Bizzarrini. Just like Lamborghini, ATS was built from the ground with the sole purpose of beating Ferrari.
The original ATS shut down in 1967, but it’s recently been given a new lease on life. In 2014, Emanuele Bomboi and Daniele Maritan resurrected the brand as ATS Automobili. The company’s first product – the ATS GT, based on a McLaren design – was a resounding success.
Check more: Best German Sports Car Brands: List Of Top 8
With this exhaustive list of the best Italian sports car brands, you probably now have a complete image of the Italian supercar industry. Though famous with instantly-recognizable names like Ferrari and Lamborghini, it’s not a big market and there are only a few players around.
Which is your favorite brand and your favorite product from them? We’d love to hear your view in the comment section below!