The electric car segment is growing thick and fast with new models being added all the time. In fact, with this rapid rate of expansion, there are more options than eve...
Italy: the home of the world’s most famous sports car manufacturer, Ferrari. Not content with producing one jaw-dropping luxurious brand of sports car, however, Italy spoils car buyers with further gorgeous brands for us to picture in our dreams. Lamborghini and Maserati are two more big-name Italian car brands in which we’d happily rock up to a first date or a business meeting in.
Then we have Italian brands such as Fiat and Alfa Romeo. These practical cars are as reliable as they are elegant. Whether you’re just picking up the kids from school or have somewhere else to be, they help you get from A to B with zero fuss and zero damage to street cred.
It’s all about the passion of the manufacturers for design. Whether you’re just nipping out to buy a loaf of bread or planning to put the vehicle through its paces on the motorway, Italian car manufacturers design their cars to be beautiful. The bodywork reflects an unbridled sense of design freedom you don’t get with other cars and is exceptionally easy on the eye.
Then there’s the majestic way they put them together. Whereas in some cars, you’d roar up to your final destination, in an Italian car you smoothly roll up to it instead. To do so any other way is just not stylish. The finely constructed engines purr contentedly while the vehicle is in motion and you just enjoy the ride.
Sporty and elegant — that’s what Italian cars are about. Below are some of the best new Italian cars out there, sporty and otherwise. You might find yourself hankering for one:
This two-seater roadster is fun personified. The engine is a 1.4 L four-cylinder affair, with 177 lb ft (240 Nm) of torque pulling power and 140 horsepower (141 PS), leading to a top speed of 134 mph and 0 to 62 mph in a reasonably spritely 7.5 seconds
Some have compared the car to the Mazda MX5 and the Abarth Spider, but driving the Fiat 124 Spider is much more pleasant. The steering is light and quick. Combine this with the comfort of the elegant, well-shaped seats and you have an enjoyable drive ahead of you, whether you’re on the open road or just driving around the town.
Apart from the joy-inducing handling, the other likable feature is the manual soft-top roof: you can just flick it and go, rather than endure the frustrations of an electric one that rolls back too slowly or doesn’t work properly. Perfect for those summer days.
USED PRICES FROM £11,800
The four-door hybrid is a nice little number with sleek lines, a turbo-charged 3.0 litre V6 engine and boasts a formidable 330 hp (334 PS). It can shift, too, but without overwhelming you and charges from 0 to 62 mph in 5.7 seconds. The Trofeo model does all the hair raising antics with its tremendous 545 hp (552 PS), acceleration of 0 to 62 mph in 4.3 seconds and a blistering top speed of 203 mph.
The car is naturally athletic and an 8-speed automatic gearbox accompanies you throughout the drive for gear changes as smooth as Lionel Richie. Meanwhile, the steering is accurate and straightforward and nothing on the road seems to cause the vehicle too much hassle. It all makes for a drive that’s plain sailing and enjoyable.
USED PRICES FROM £15,000
The Lamborghini Aventador S is bold and beautiful. It’s dynamic and boasts a V12 engine with a gargantuan 740 hp (750 PS) and 507 lb ft (690 Nm) of torque. This mighty pulling power translates into a top speed of 217 mph and 0 to 62 mph in 2.9 seconds.
The car understands just how powerful it is. The dashboard layout will change in line with the driving mode you select and the car will pamper you with personalised settings for the suspension, steering and powertrain. Ultimately, you’re always in control of the car, rather than the other way around, and the drive is never dull.
The Aventador has an old-school feel to it compared to the supercars of today, which are more modern. It’s a sleek two-seater and there’s not a massive amount of space inside, of course, but you can customise the interior, which is all part of the magic of owning a supercar.
USED PRICES FROM £149,000
The Ferrari website describes the F8 Tributo as a celebration of excellence. Rightly so. This beautiful car’s rear engine is a 3.9 L twin-turbo V8 and Ferrari have hailed it the most powerful V8 engine in the company’s history. This engine harnesses 720 hp (730 PS) and 568 lb ft (770 Nm) of torque pulling power. It will catapult you from 0 to 62 mph in 2.9 seconds and hurtle towards a top speed of 211 mph. For all its power, however, you can happily hover around in fifth at 40 mph, so gentle is the engine itself and the shift between gears, thanks to the automated dual clutch transmission (DCT).
The interior of the car really triumphs. The driving position is glorious – as is driving the Tributo — and, once you get used to what feels like disharmony, initially, you’ll get on board with the dashboard layout. Ferrari have worked on the steering and made overall handling much easier. You’re also less likely to trigger the window wipers by accident. Bonus.
Apparently, the car would cost more than education at an Ivy League university. If ever you were going to face a conflict between priorities, this might be it.
USED PRICES FROM £230,000
The Lamborghini Huracán EVO boasts more aero dynamicity, thanks to features such as its front spoiler and a repositioned exhaust. Although some models take Lamborghini back to its roots with rear-wheel drive (RWD), the all-wheel drive (AWD) is still one of the more popular versions of the car.
Like the Aventador, the Huracan EVO removes the graft from driving, with different driving modes so that you’ll always handle the vehicle’s raw power like a pro. The raw power in question comes from a V-10 engine with 640 hp (649 PS) and 440 lb ft (600 Nm) of torque. That’s major pulling power and, with a name that translates into ‘Hurricane’ in English, this car doesn’t force you to hang around. It will blow you away with 0 to 62 mph in 2.9 seconds and a top speed of 202 mph if you ask it to. It never says no.
USED PRICES FROM £90,000
If you want the style of an Italian sports car but without the fuel inefficiency, the Pininfarina Battista is for you and looks every inch the supercar. This electric vehicle offers 280 miles per charge and the power comes from a T-shaped Rimac powerplant. From an automobile perspective, it’s a pocket-rocket, soaring from 0 to 60 mph in under two seconds and 9 to 186 mph in less than 12.
The design is futuristic, with those sweeping lines we know and love about Italian sports cars. An attractive lightbar links the two main headlights and, inside the car, the layout is driver-centric, with a screen either side of the steering wheel.
For all its power, this car is highly drivable, with the focus of the weight being between the wheelbase to make handling much easier. The different driving modes add to the easy handling.
Ferrari have targeted a new kind of buyer with the Roma. Like some other vehicles in the Ferrari line-up, the Roma features a powerful turbo V8 engine and is for people who have always wanted to drive a sports car but feel slightly frightened of them. Despite the 3.8 L engine housing a 620 hp (629 PS) and 561 lb ft (760 Nm) of torque pulling power, this is a less aggressive car, hitting 0 to 62 mph in 3.4 seconds and stretching past 198 mph top speed. That’s still fast, but without being the greased lightning of a Pininfarina Battista, for instance.
Whether you’re putting your foot down or just moseying along, the Roma is a pleasure to drive. The steering is beautifully linear and the steering wheel itself is completely new. Then there’s the overall fab feel of the vehicle. The driver and passenger spaces feel more individual-oriented, with a central divider between them in the front and room behind the chairs for items. Now combine this with the fact the design is also a tad retro… the classic front-engined Ferraris providing the inspiration. That’s a mood right there.
USED PRICES FROM £45,000
With the MC20, Maserati have come out of their corner swinging at supercar heavyweights such as Ferrari as the former revives its reputation for producing high-quality supercars. Driving this sleek sports car is a 3.0 litre V6 engine that has 630 hp (638 PS) and the pulling power oomph of 538 lb ft (730 Nm) of torque. The car hits a top speed of 202 mph and shoots from 0 to 62 in 2.9 seconds, one-upping the Ferrari Roma.
In terms of design, Maserati have taken a strong technical approach, applying the aerodynamic wizardry more beneath the bodywork than at surface level, and generally being more functional. One example of the focus on functionality is the set of butterfly doors, which Maserati have chosen to make the car accessible, not just because they look nice. Then open the doors, sit inside and you’ll see it’s as clean and as functional as the outside, with Maserati going for the perfect driving position.
USED PRICES FROM £9,000
The Alfa Romeo Giulia is good-looking and a fresh breath of air if you’re sick of browsing BMWs and Audis. It’s light, steers well and is nimble so you can change direction quickly and easily. Alfa Romeo ruin you with a choice of two petrol engines — 2.2 litres with a 200 or 280 hp (201 or 283 PS) – and two diesel ones: 2.2 L turbo with 160 or 190 hp (162 or 193 PS), depending on the trim. The basic model hits 0 to 62 mph in 6.6 seconds and a top speed of 146 mph.
Changing gear is a dream and the steering is quick and comfortable – partly to due to the comfort the gearstick and steering wheel offer while driving the vehicle — making for enjoyable handling overall. In terms of the general dashboard and driver space, Alfa Romeo have gone for the simplistic approach, rather than incorporate switches for everything but the kitchen sink, unlike some cars. That being said… it makes sense for the car to have switches for its driving modes, of course.
USED PRICES FROM £14,000
If you’re looking for a spacious Italian vehicle and the Fiat 500L has caught your eye, it’s not without reason. This five seater is as roomy inside as it looks in pictures, so if you’re buying it for a family, it’s not going to let you down. The interior is highly flexible, with seats moving forward or back to provide either lots of legroom or for you to lay large objects across the front and back seats.
The Fiat 500 L offers a choice of engines, with 1.4 and 1.6 L diesel engines or a 1.3 L petrol engine, with horsepower of 95 hp and torque of 94 lb ft (125 Nm), depending on the trim. The car is practical and handles calmly, coming into its own in urban environments. It’s also relatively cheap to run, due to its lighter engine and low pulling power, which contribute to a greater fuel efficiency. With a top speed of around 101 mph, you won’t be tearing up any motorways, but you’d have already guessed that, right?
USED PRICES FROM £3,500
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