After France worked their way past the Netherlands in the quarter final and the Italians saw off the challenge from Spain, the two giants meet in the Motors Euro Car semi-finals. In the quarter finals, France got through on the sheer might and size of their car industry against the Dutch, with the giants of Renault, Peugeot and Citroen outdoing the likes of Spyker. However, size and strength can only get you so far. Does that strength stack up against the Italians?
Let’s do battle! Well, one thing that we can say for the Italian’s is that they certainly do produce some exciting, evocative cars. Names such as Maserati, Ferrari and Lamborghini have always, for decades, stirred up emotions amongst car enthusiasts, although the Italian’s have also been pretty good at cars for people who aren’t millionaires as well. Take, for example, the original Fiat 500 – the very epitome of cheap, simple and stylish motoring (something that they’ve carried through to the new Fiat 500). Alfa Romeo has also come up with some superb cars that look much more expensive than they actually are whilst Lancia, back in the day, were famed for their rally pedigree.
So how do these two stack up? Well, it’s a tough one. French cars have a lot going for them. They’re renowned for being very comfortable, you expect them to be full of gadgets and they’re very good value. The French are also getting their styling edge back after a few “dull” years – take a look at the Citroen DS3 or the Renault Megane Coupe. But does a French car move you in the same way that an Italian car does? Let’s ignore gags about Italian reliability for a second (the same jokes apply to French models), nothing quite feels the same as a car designed and crafted in Turin, Maranello or Bologna. Yes, both teams have their flaws but, like in football, these tussles are usually decided by that certain “je ne sais quoi” – and that’s the final clich? I’ll use in declaring the Italian’s the winner.