Italy's Greatest Cars

10 Italian cars for which you can give everything.

When you are asked to name the most important cars in Italy, the first thing that comes to mind is racing Ferraris in all their variety. However, not only the “Maranello stallions” are the strongest vehicles in this country. Let’s take a look at the 10 best of the best.

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Alfa Romeo Spider

If the Japanese iconic roadster is considered the Mazda MX-5, then the Italian one is certainly the Alfa Romeo Spider. The first, original Spider was being produced from 1966 to 1993, and this car was the last mass-produced Alfa Romeo with rear-wheel drive… Until the new Giulia, of course.

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The first-generation Spider had four editions, which had different exterior and interior designs, as well as different engines. At the end of its production, the Spider was equipped with 1.6-liter and 2.0-liter engines, which produced 109 hp and 126 hp, respectively. A total of 124,104 vehicles were released.

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Pagani Zonda

The history of Horatio Pagani's company is like a fairy tale with a happy ending: not every new company manages to become a reference point and a role model for much larger and more experienced manufactories. Nevertheless, Pagani Automobili is now considered one of the best in the world They have orders scheduled for months in advance. The quality and aesthetic superiority of their cars leave no questions for anyone. But it all started in 1999 with the Zonda...

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This car was tried to compare with the most advanced Lamborghini and Ferrari of that time, and Pagani’s first-born not only did not concede to them but sometimes surpassed them. All engines in the Zonda range, as well as the units of the newer Huayra, were produced by Mercedes-AMG: Horatio Pagani preferred the German brand’s engines on the advice of his idol Juan Manuel Fangio. Officially, the production of the Zonda is complete, but if the client is wealthy enough, Signor Horatio and his team will be happy to build another one.

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Ferrari F40

Ferrari has a good tradition to produce an iconic supercar every ten years. And this glorious tradition began with the F40. It was the company's last supercar, which received Enzo Ferrari’s approval. The first F40 was released in 1987 and became a real icon; many publications still call it the best supercar ever built.

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Although the F40 was technically similar to the 288 GTO in many ways, its more sophisticated aerodynamics and uncompromising character made it unique and desirable. In addition, the F40 was considered the fastest production car of its time.

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Alfa Romeo 8C

Long before Enzo Ferrari launched the first car of the same name on the roads (even before World War II), the beautiful Alfa Romeo 8C worked for the glory of Italy as a forge of winning cars. The Alfa Romeo 8C won the 24 Hours of Le Mans four times (from 1931 to 1934).

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The supercar was equipped with 2.3-liter and 2.9-liter I8 engines. The outstanding motorist Vittorio Yano was responsible for their development. A successful chassis allowed the company to create many modifications based on the model. The famous Bimotore (which was able to accelerate to 364 km/h in 1935) also originated from the 8C.

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Lancia Stratos

The Lancia Stratos began its life as a rebellious project of Marcello Gandini and Sandro Munari. Back then, few could have imagined that the car, originally sharpened only for rally, could be mass-produced. However, Lancia CEO Ubo Gobbato gave the project the green light (according to legend, when he saw the prototype drive into the parking lot under the lowered barrier).

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The passenger version of the Stratos (or rather, the Stratos HF) was introduced in 1972. The V6 from the Ferrari Dino was chosen as a power unit for the new car. It had outstanding output at that time (190 hp, 2.4 liters, and no turbo). Between 1974 and 1976, the Stratos was the main star of the world rally championship until its dominance was interrupted by the Fiat 131 Abarth.

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Lancia Delta Integrale

Lancia's big return to the rally took place with the Group B establishment. First, the rear-wheel drive 037 left no stone unturned, and then the Delta S4 equipped with a turbocharger and compressor made a big splash. The Delta S4 became the fastest and most dangerous car in the process of treating childhood illnesses that prevented it from reaching the top of the podium. Interestingly, the racing career of the Delta did not end in 1986, when Group B was abolished. On the contrary, the new front-engined Delta Integrale made Juha Kankkunen the champion and won the Formula One World Constructors' Championship (WCC) for the company in 1987.

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Since then, Lancia has held the championship for six consecutive years, and the team's drivers have become champions 4 times. The passenger version of the Integrale was also not a blunder. By the end of its serial production, the power of the 16-valve turbo I4 was boosted to 210 hp.

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LaFerrari doesn't have high-profile victories, or a rich and romantic history like the F40… All it has is a crazy sister, namely the FXX K that cannot be put in the garage even by the wealthiest and most loyal fans of the brand. Nevertheless, i the LaFerrari is now the peak of the Italian engineering and design genius. The supercar premiered in Geneva in 2013.

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In addition to the design developed by Ferrari's own studio (Pininfarina was previously involved for this purpose), the LaFerrari is interesting for its active aerodynamics and hybrid powertrain that combines a 6.2-liternaturally aspirated V12 and two electric motors. A total output of the three units is 963 hp. At the same time, the supercar is extremely light; the curb weight is only 1,270 kg.

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Lamborghini Miura

It is hard to imagine what modern supercars would look like if this car didn't appear. At the 1966 Geneva International Motor Show, everyone was talking about a new car of the young Lamborghini company, which stood out not only for its elegant design by Bertone but also for its layout that was unprecedented for production cars: the 12-cylinder engine was not only installed immediately behind the passengers' backs but was also located transversely.

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It is the Miura that is considered to be the first classic supercar. May the Mercedes 300SL fans forgive this loud definition. Although the 350-hp model (a top speed – 276 km/h; a 0-100 km/h time – 7 seconds) will fit only in the sports car segment by today's standards, this is one of the most outstanding Italian vehicles.

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Fiat 500

The history of the first truly popular Italian car goes back to the pre-war years (from 1936 to 1955). Fiat produced the 500 Topolino, which was so successful that even no one wanted to part with the charming «Mouse» after World War II. Therefore, the 500 received its logical continuation in the form of a new compact car, namely the Nuova 500.

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The new 500 appeared in 1957 was in demand even more than its predecessor. By the end of its production in 1975, 3.8 million of these cars had been produced, which is almost 8 times more than the Topolino edition. The Nuova 500 took part in races, was a source of inspiration for a number of other cars and, of course, got its well-deserved chance to revive in the face of a modern retro-hatchback.

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Ferrari 250 GTO

The greatness of the 250 GTO is not determined by its current value. It was the last front-engined car to dominate endurance racing. This model is part of the Ferrari family. And its number of victories is still growing thanks to the classic car races.

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As for the 250 GTO, only 39 were built between 1962 and 1964. Each had a 300-hp V12 under the hood. A top speed of the GTO reached 280 km/h. Because of its rarity and rich racing history, this model is the most expensive Ferrari and one of the most expensive cars in the world.