The shape of an automobile is the child of many requirements: mechanical, aerodynamic but also purely aesthetic. Today, design is one of the aspects in which car manufacturers invest the most.
A car judged aesthetically unattractive, in fact, risks becoming a commercial flop despite the fact that it may have interesting technical features, and vice versa.
In the history of the automobile, there are numerous cars that, while reliable, economical, and sometimes even fast and performing, have failed to shine in the market because of a questionable exterior appearance.
Automobiles have become the symbol of the dreams and aspirations of every era. And in Italy their history has indelibly marked moments linked to a path of industrial and economic as well as technological and design growth.
There are certainly many cars in Italy that would be worth remembering, but we have chosen 10 that have left something special for historical placement and change.
Italian genius imposes itself in the most diverse fields, but few sectors like the automotive sector have photographed in such detail every era experienced by the Bel Paese.
The Vector W2 was one of the most futuristic concept cars of the 1980s. Designed by Jerry Wiegert, founder of the Vector Motors Corporation, this prototype promised to take automotive design, technology and performance to a new level.
The shape of the Vector W2 was inspired by the fighter jets and racing cars of the 1960s and 1970s.
The effect was impressive: a low, wide and aerodynamic body with a line that seemed to defy gravity. In addition, the car was equipped with gull-wing doors, which accentuated its aggressive look.
Mercedes C 111, equipped with a rotary engine wankel never went into production. But it soon rose as an icon, providing ideas for the subsequent proposals of the Stuttgart house.
The futuristic Mercedes C 111 was greeted with amazement by the world public. Its creators? Bruno Sacco and Joseph Gallitzendörfe.
His debut in society took place at the Frankfurt International Motor Show 1969, where it was able to excite the public and the insiders.
The Mercedes C 111 did not have a commercial outlet, retaining its nature as an experimental vehicle. A total of twelve units were built, in the two versions unveiled in 1969 and 1970.
It was 1983 when Mansour Oijeh, founder of the TAG Group (an acronym for Techniques d'Avant Garde, holding offering services related to motorsports, aviation and watchmaking) requested from Porsche Exclusive a rare special homologation of the Porsche 935.
It was the first car ever produced by that division, and was named Porsche 935 Street.
The base was the Porsche 935 Group 5, a motorsport icon that dominated German championships in the late 1970s and a dream for all car fans.
John Z. DeLorean and its sports car DeLorean DMC12 in the 1980s made the traditional auto industry wake up and look for new ways.
Ford was very focused on developing the events of DeLorean. And although by 1984 the DeLorean "threat" had passed, for Ford the interest in a supercar with "wedge" shapes remained. Italdesign of Giorgetto Giugiaro was therefore approached.
The design produced by ItalDesign, the Ford Maya, was a two-seat coupe with distinctly wedge-shaped lines, featuring a mid-engine. This was in 1984.
It's called Plectrum the latest luxury yacht designed by the Italian design studio Lazzarini. 74 meters long, it is designed to be the fastest in its category thanks to a system equal to that of a hydrofoil.
The inspiration comes from the catamarans of the America's Cup but instead of being pushed by the wind, "Plectrum" moves and rises above the surface of the water before leaving.
Plectrum is very powerful with three hydrogen-powered engines of 5000 hp each that allow it to reach a maximum speed of 75 knots (140 km / h). The construction is entirely made of carbon fiber composite materials.
The Icona Vulcano embodies the best of Italian design and engineering. Reaching up to 950 hp of power through an ingenious combination of internal combustion engine and electric motors, all encased in a beautiful design with voluptuous and harmonious shapes.
The 2013 Icona Vulcano had a V12 engine and two front seats. The claimed top speed is about 350 km/h and the 0-200 km/h sprint well under ten seconds.
The engine of the Icona Vulcano is the work of the well-known Claudio Lombardi, a former technical director of Ferrari starring in the participation of numerous world champion cars.
It was the summer of 2009 when the SV 9 Competizione, a car based on the Chevrolet Corvette, was unveiled at Pebble Beach, California.
Back in the late 1990s, the San Francisco-based manufacturer SV Motor Company, envisioned a car that would take the "raw" performance of a Corvette and refine it with a touch of Italian style.
Their vision was to infuse many of the design elements found in the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione (from which the SV 9 clearly drew inspiration, as well as its name) with a 2009 Chevy Corvette.
When speaking of the Lamborghini Diablo, one cannot fail to remember that 1995 version, the one with the initials 'SV'. A symbol that stood for 'Super Veloce'. Limited and extreme, the Diablo SV (Super Veloce) was produced from 1995 to 1999 (until 2001 with restyling) and was designed for the track.
The Lamborghini Diablo SV again introduced rear wheel drive only (like the first Diablo) and added a technical package including mechanical suspension and adjustable rear wing.
It is distinguished by "SV" lettering on the side, specially designed 18-inch wheels and a new spoiler for the modified air intakes.
It was 2007 when at the Detroit Auto Show the Mazda automaker unveiled Furai that in Japanese means the "sound of the wind" . Mazda was thus celebrating the 40th anniversary of its first model with a rotary engine.
With this prototype Mazda was showing the future of the Japanese automaker's new design, the so-called "Nagare" style later appropriately adapted to mass production in the following years.
But Mazda Furai went beyond a pure stylistic study to become a kind of 300 km/h mobile laboratory in which every detail had a specific functional role.
Equipped with a Wankel R20B engine with three rotors powered by bioethanol, it was capable of delivering a power output of 450 hp.
The faster the criminals flee, the faster the police have to be in pursuit. And in order to be more and more efficient, the military is equipped with powerful supercars to be able to intervene in full-throttle pursuits.
A few examples? The Italian police have the now famous Lamborghini Huracan LP610-4 with 610 horsepower, while the municipal police of Milan (Italy) can fight lawbreakers at the wheel of a special Ferrari 458 Spider capable of up to 570 hp.
We can then admire the brand new Alpine A110 of the French Gendarmerie, the Porsche 911 (model 991) of the Austrian Police, or the latest arrival among the paladins of justice from the United Arab Emirates, which answers to the name of Audi R8.
They shared the same important stage with different fortunes, fueling the dreams of many car enthusiasts. These are the cars that in the 1990s were at the pinnacle of their categories with truly incredible powers albeit with technologies not up to the standards of the most modern cars of today.
Engines that 30 years ago pioneered a new generation of powertrain, delivering pure adrenaline in the early 1990s.
Today they have become collector's cars and are very difficult to find. Real amarcords. Let's look at the most iconic ones with the main features.