Travel: This Is The Modern Italian Roadster Of Your Dreams

This Is The Modern Italian Roadster Of Your Dreams

By Jacopo Villa
October 14, 2015
17 comments

Photography by Rosario Liberti

I had an opportunity to visit the ATS factory and also to be invited for a test drive of the Stile50, a lightweight, sleek, and bright red speedster that will be the first road-going car under the ATS name in more than 50 years, and let me tell you: it’s a classic in every way.

It’s lightweight, with a small turbocharged engine from the Opel Corsa OPC, and enough attitude to make you smile. Daniele Maritan, the owner of the ATS brand, told me that the idea behind the Stile50 is, “to build something like a typical British sports car, but with more care and overall quality. I do not like to have my cars constantly under repairs”.

So what we have here is a modern vintage car: a hand-welded chrome molybdenum chassis, reinforced with aluminum plates, fiberglass bodywork, and a five-speed manual transmission. And it’s fast, too, at just 1,433 lbs (650 kg), with around 200 horsepower to control with its wooden Nardi steering wheel. A limited-slip differential and side pipe exhaust complete the throwback to 1964.

Driving the Stile50 on a fast, curvy road is a delight: the engine is wonderful and has enough torque to pull the car in any gear, at nearly any rpm. There aren’t any electronic aids onboard, and the car feels real: you feel everything through wheel, and the wind in your hair tends to create a more engaging experience.

It’s more of an ultimate Mazda MX-5 Miata than track day special, and was tuned to be a simple and practical sunny-day car. The only thing not a throwback is its price; at €58,000 (~$65,000 Usd.), you’re definitely paying for its handbuilt nature, a relatively rare quality these days. Still, it’s not out of reach, as Daniele puts it: “You do not have to win the lottery to have one”.

Thanks to Daniele Maritan, Matteo Marchiorato, and the staff at ATS Automobili and Roberto Cupia for allowing us to shoot the car in the “Villa Voli Biscaretti di Suno”. 

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Daimler Ben
Daimler Ben

What about the cars in the other room?

M Webb
M Webb

I love this. With a higher “touring ” type windshield and a top I could see it in my garage nest to my Miata 10th anniversary edition. Really the only question is Italian red or BRG.

Rob Jackson
Rob Jackson

Am I seeing modified Ginetta in this thing? The style is not very Italian. With such an amazing gene pool of “etceterini” to take influence from and make reference to, I’m suprised by the way this thing looks. Or maybe I’m not. Take a slightly obscure brand, design a car. Build it well and get a nice Young chap with a well trimmed beard to drive it to some revival meet or other where well heeled chaps with similar beards congregate.. who cares about history, this is heritage! I’ll stick to my Alfa..

Todd Cox
Todd Cox

NA Miata with an Italia body kit, right?

PieterA
PieterA

Far from convinced. I’ll stick to my Elise S1 thank you very much.

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson

It looks like someone has reused the moulds for the Ginetta G20.

This ATS 2500 GT 3.0 Coupe has been doing the rounds in the UK, it’s a fine looking thing.

JB21
JB21

And in the end, Miata is just better. Right? Right.

Wayne Mattson
Wayne Mattson

I like how the speedo and fuel gauge don’t work (last pic.).

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger

” Hold On Sloopy ” ! 1) In the last feature ATS was quoted as saying they had created the ultimate ‘ British ‘ roadster in Italy … and now its suddenly ‘ Italian ‘ ? 2) The design while not bad is in fact much more British than Italian with more than a hint of ‘ Kit Car ‘ to it and overall a bit of a mish mosh pastiche with nary a distinguishing feature to be found 3) Unfortunately this will most likely wind up being yet another failed attempt to revive the barely known and little appreciated… Read more »

Derelict
Derelict

Man, I find almost nothing of note within most of your numerous posts. 1. Many British roadsters were, in fact, penned by Italians. Whether it be the numerous Michelotti designs to Pininfarina. To say it reminds of an Italian and British car is a very easy, and acceptable, thing to do. 2. See number 1. To call it a kit car is not necessarily an insult as many of the marques of British and Italian origin begun that way. To say that it lacks distinguishing features is not exactly accurate. You can see many touches from Ferrari, Ginetta, Triumph, and… Read more »

Jay Stamatis
Jay Stamatis

it’s a handmade Italian car, would you expect the headlights to be aligned? 😉

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger

Hee hee ! The proverbial Italian Communist auto worker that hates you for the fact that you can afford one strikes again ! 😉

Frank Anigbo
Frank Anigbo

Is it a trick of light or is one headlight laying flatter than the other?