Italy has a rich history of building some of the world’s most iconic and beloved luxury and sports cars, leading the way for innovative and stylish designs. Though they might not have the affordability of the French brands or the robust engineering of the Germans the Italians know how to craft a beautiful car, and we’ve got five brands that showcase just how well they do this.
If you think of iconic Italian sports cars there’s one brand that jumps to the front of most people’s minds – Ferrari. This brand is the embodiment of everything we want a sports car to be, they produce vehicles that are beautifully designed, have a premium finished interior and can achieve high speeds with great power.
The brand was founded in 1939 by Enzo Ferrari and their racing team soon became the one to beat, setting itself apart from the crowd for its racing prowess. Since then, Ferrari has continued to achieve racing success and maintains a racing team to this day.
As they produce luxury sports cars Ferrari’s sales aren’t as high as some of the other brands on this list as they’re not the most in-demand vehicles with their high price tag and lack of family-friendly models but they remain an icon and continue to sell cars around the world.
Another one of the most notable sports car manufacturers that just happens to be an export from Italy as well is Lamborghini. And in fact it started life in 1963 with Ferruccio Lamborghini’s desire to rival the sports cars of Ferrari that were dominating the market, and the races, at the time.
The brand has a long-standing relationship with the sport of bullfighting after the owner Ferruccio made a visit to a fighting bull ranch in Spain. This relationship is reflected in the fighting bull in their logo as well as nearly all of their models being named after famous fighting bulls, bullfighting breeds or families within that world. This relationship and Lamborghini’s adaptation of the fighting bull reflects the focus on power and performance which the bull and car manufacturer share.
Lamborghini is credited for bringing the concept of the Hypercar into reality and today it exclusively designs these superior high-performance powerful vehicles.
In 1914 Maserati was founded by the Maserati brothers, Bindo, Alfiero, Ettore and Ernesto. These four found their love of motor vehicles thanks to their oldest brother Carlo’s development of a combustion engine for motorised bicycles that he then raced with. Unfortunately, Carlo died of tuberculosis in 1910 before the Maserati brothers went into business together and saw the success of their family name being associated with some of the most powerful and successful racing and sports cars.
Another brother, Mario was the only one who did not follow in Carlo’s footsteps and into the motoring industry, however he did you his skills as an artist to design the company’s iconic trident logo that remains in use to this day.
Since the company’s inception, they have been associated with motorsports, as Alfieri was a prominent member of the racing driver community at the time and continued to be so for several years after the business was established.
Maserati is part of the Stellantis conglomerate today but maintains its own brand identity producing a number of high quality, powerful and fast vehicles.
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Italy doesn’t just produce sports cars, in fact one of their best-known brands is Fiat.
Founded in Turin in 1899 Fiat is the oldest brand on this list, and one of Italy’s earliest car manufacturers. The company was founded by a group of industrialists led by Giovanni Agnelli and until the 1980s they were Europe’s largest car manufacturer and the third-largest in the world.
This success comes from their dominance of the small city hatchback with the Fiat 500 that has been in production for over sixty years since it first hit the roads in 1957, as well as their other iconic models including the Punto, Panda and the Spider.
Fiat remains the largest industrial organisation in Italy and partnered with American car giant Chrysler in 2014 to create the Fiat Chrysler group and just under a year ago this company merged with PSA group to form a new company Stellantis which owns fourteen major brands including Fiat, Peugeot, Dodge, Jeep and more. Though the company owns these brands they remain separate brands and continue to maintain their distinct identities.
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Alfa Romeo is a brand beloved by driving enthusiasts, families and professionals alike.
The company was founded in 1910 by Alexandre Darracq but was originally just named ALFA which was an acronym for Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili. When Nicola Romeo became the shareholder in 1915 he added his own surname to the business and Alfa Romeo was born.
Alfa Romeo has become synonymous with motor racing, and the brand has won more races than any other in the world. This racing heritage is not only reflected in the styling and power of the vehicles that are available for you to own and lease, but also in the incorporation of the quadrifoglio name which is assigned to all their racing vehicles on their top spec high-performance variants of their cars.
Alfa Romeo is part of the Stellantis company mentioned above but like Fiat maintains its individual brand, and continues to thrill drivers with powerful, fast-paced vehicles.
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