In the Headlights – Best of Italy {{favouriteCount}} Quantity of Likes

6 Nov 2017

Eyyyy what’s goin’ on over heeeere? Well it’s Best of Italian for this week’s In the Headlights so it’s non-stop pizzas, gesticulating and pasta for the BOTB staff. The four cars this week were chosen by Chris Rees, Editor of Auto Italia so as usual I’m going to take a look at what he’s gone for…

Well the first two cars couldn’t really be any more different if they tried. We have a stripped out two seat crazy hot hatch and a big, heavy SUV – but they’re both Italian! The Abarth Biposto is a brilliant example of Italian craziness – take an already fun little hatchback and strip out the rear seats, remove the A/C and radio, stick a very fruity exhaust on, lightweight wheels and stiffer, adjustable suspension (all those things are also what Porsche do with the 911 GT3 by the way). The Biposto, even in standard form (you can optionally add a racing dogleg gearbox and plexiglass windows) is about as hardcore as you want a road car to be, but it’s just so focused, so raw that every journey becomes an event. Get it on track and you’ll surprise a lot of owners of certain German rear-engined sports cars too. As for the SUV we have the brand-new Alfa Romeo Stelvio, which holds the prestigious title of being the only SUV that doesn’t look like a van on stilts. It really is a very pretty looking car and though that sleek styling may lose you a bit of practicality, it more than makes up for it in the way it drives – like a proper Alfa. Playful, with a fruity exhaust note from the 277bhp turbo petrol engine. As with any Alfa you look back at it when you walk away – surely the test of any great looking car!

Now we have a couple of bonafide Italian supercars from Ferrari and Lamborghini. They share the single minded purpose of being Rear-Wheel Drive with over 550bhp and a dual clutch gearbox which is always a winner, but they go about their business somewhat differently. The Lamborghini Huracan LP580-2 is the purists Huracan, weight is down thanks to the loss of those front driveshafts and the steering is sweeter – okay you don’t get that all-weather security but it’s a precision driving machine and you have to respect it. Then you can understand just how sweetly it handles and you can relax and enjoy your favourite twisty roads echoing to the sound of that glorious V10. The Ferrari Portofino on the other hand is marketed as a sporting GT car, though it’ll probably show quite a few more ‘focused’ supercars it’s rear on the way down a twisty road. It has the ability to play two cars in one – snug coupe and sun-soaked convertible thanks to the folding hard top roof and Ferrari has managed to somehow work the styling so that it looks stunning both ways – a rare feat. The fact that the entry level model in Ferrari’s range has 592bhp is utterly absurd and the subject of a much lengthier blog, but I can’t deny that for the money there’s not a lot that can touch the Portofino for price, power, usability and style.

These four Italian beauties are only in the competition for one week – so get your tickets now while you still can!

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