Designing a car isn’t just a matter of drawing up some body lines and calling it a day. With countless challenges to work around, a production car is usually sensible and based on reality first, and a creative expression second. Of course, there are exceptions to this, like low-volume hypercars, but when it comes to true creativity that explores whatever a manufacturer chooses, concept cars are the ultimate. Unhinged from the world of sensible design, road regulations, and cost-cutting compromises, concept cars need to do just one thing: show off a manufacturer’s capabilities and vision to the world.
When it comes to Italian sports cars too, vision is everything, with artistic beauties from the country being well respected as the ultimate in style, passion, and performance, though maybe not reliability. While the road-going Italian sports cars can be absolutely incredible examples of style that compromise little to achieve their goals, their concepts get even crazier. Sometimes straightforward in their beauty, and sometimes mind-bogglingly weird, these 8 Italian sports car concepts fall squarely into the latter category.
8 Alfa Romeo Scighera
A wildly weird and futuristic supercar concept from the ’90s, the Alfa Romeo Scighera was a far-out, seriously advanced, and fast concept that’s as weird as it is cool.
Using the fairly normal Alfa Romeo 164 sedan as its basis, the Scighera was unveiled in 1997 at the Geneva Motor Show. Beyond its normal origins, the Scighera was a monster, built out of carbon fiber and aluminum, and with a 400 hp twin-turbo V6 in the middle, the Scighera would have been brutally fast for the time. Even crazier, the Italdesign styled body looked, and looks like no other car to this day, in a very weird, but very cool way.
7 Alfa Romeo Navajo
Another ridiculous-looking concept for an Alfa Romeo supercar, the Navajo was arguably even weirder. Immediately obvious from the looks, this ultra-exotic was a product of the wedge-obsessed ’70s and took that style to a whole new level.
Based on the absolutely jaw-dropping Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 Stradale, several wild and gorgeous concepts were made using these stunning supercars, and the Navajo was the final one. Built-in 1976, the Navajo was styled by none other than Bertone and looked forward to the future with its gloriously angular high-tech look. Using a 230 hp V8 in the middle, the Navajo is one of the coolest yet weird-looking bits of automotive retro-futurism ever created.
6 Bertone Stratos HF Zero
Speaking of dramatic but weird, wedge-shaped Bertone-designed concepts, few if any can compete with the original Stratos concept when it comes to absolutely insane looks.
Contrasting a similarly wild and futuristic Ferrari concept that also debuted in 1970 – the Pininfarina-designed 512S Modulo, the Stratos Zero was unveiled at the Turin Auto Show and was a masterpiece by Bertone that didn’t actually have the production Stratos in mind at all. But, when Lancia executives saw the low slung wedge, they immediately entered talks with the design house, and 3 years later, in 1973, the iconic “Rally Queen” was born under the same Stratos name, and with a similarly pure wedge shape to it.
5 Ferrari 512S Modulo
The 1970 counterpart to the Stratos Zero as mentioned, the Pininfarina-designed Ferrari Modulo helped set the insane wedge theme of the time with some thoroughly weird, but incredibly spectacular low slung style.
Unveiled at the 1970 Geneva Auto Show, the Modulo wasn’t just some sleek piece of art, instead of being based on a genuine Ferrari racecar, with some brutal performance to boot. Using the chassis and 550 hp V12 from the 512S racecar, the Modulo was a Pininfarina design that was beyond sci-fi in its looks. Just 36 inches tall, this pure wedge, like the Stratos Zero, had no room for doors and instead used an opening windshield to allow a driver inside. By far the most iconic weird Italian concept car, the Modulo to this day looks like no other car in existence.
4 OSI Silver Fox
It’s incredibly difficult to compete with the Ferrari Modulo when it comes to weird looks, but this strange machine comes very close. Looking like some vision of a future spaceship, the OSI Silver Fox is an incredibly obscure and weird racecar concept.
A rather obscure name, OSI was an Italian design and coachbuilding house established by the former president of Ghia. Focusing on unique limited production models for brands like Alfa Romeo, OSI created the Silver Fox in 1967 as their own racecar. Aiming to enter it into the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Silver Fox used two pods for cabins, with one for the driver, and another for a 1.0 L Renault 4-cylinder. Hitting a top speed of 155 mph, the Silver Fox certainly was fast for its day, but OSI shut down the following year, leaving the spectacularly strange racer to gather dust.
3 Lamborghini Egoista
Jumping to modern times, Lamborghini is well known as a brand for creating some eye-catching cars with a focus on wild style, and the Egoista may just be the ultimate example in terms of unapologetic design and purpose.
Created in 2013 to celebrate the brand’s 50th anniversary, “Egoista” means selfish in Italian, as well as several other languages, and the single-seat design reflects that. Mimicking a fighter jet, the Egoista continues that theme all around, with a design that looks more at home on a toy car making it absolutely jaw-dropping. Powered by a 500 hp V10, the Egoista’s interior and exterior are certainly unique, and with a price tag of $117 million for the single example produced, the Egoista is a ridiculously weird and cool piece of automotive art.
2 Lamborghini Sogna
Another crazy-looking one-off Lamborghini concept, the Sogna unlike the Egoista wasn’t actually a creation of Lamborghini themselves, but rather a production car turned into a design showcase by a designer unaffiliated with Lamborghini.
Unveiled at the 1991 Geneva Auto Show, the Sogna started off life as a normal Lamborghini Countach (normal being a relative term for the supercar). Owned by Japanese designer Ryoji Yamazaki, the Countach was turned into his own personal dream supercar – as “Sogna” means “dream” in Italian, with a fully custom body all around. While a whimsical one-off meant just to chase a dream, the Sogna is one of the weirdest concepts to bear the Lamborghini name, even if it wasn’t an official one.
1 Fiat Turbina
Just looking at the design of this Fiat, it’s definitely a weird one, but not anything too crazy. Where the true insanity and oddness begins though, is with what powers this car.
As the name and rear end might make obvious, the Fiat Turbina isn’t powered by a normal internal combustion engine, but rather a gas turbine – essentially a jet engine. Chrysler too made one that is the most famous of the type, but that came later, as the Fiat Turbina was created in 1954 to explore the technology’s applications in cars further. Despite actually working, and having a top speed of 160 mph, there were just too many issues with it, and the jet-powered Fiat remained solely as a concept, a very weird, and very cool-looking one at that.
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