Since its rebirth, Italian automaker ATS (Automobili Turismo e Sport) has brought us exciting modern cars like the track-ready ATS Sport 1000 and early 2014 the very beautiful sporty-looking ATS 2500, which are both throwbacks to this brand’s roots. While the Sport and 2500 GT are reimagined versions of the original cars, the new ATS Leggera takes a different approach with its styling.
What’s dissappointing about its appearance is that it looks like a British Ginetta, instead of a Italian ATS.
Despite the origins of ATS dating back to the early 1960s, the Leggera doesn’t has a look that evokes small, classic Italian roadsters. Sadly it looks more like a British Ginetta. There are also some AC Cobra and Wiesmann cues mixed in as well. That’s not a bad mixology of design if you ask me, but somehow…. nót for an all new ATS. The interior has an equally retro theme with the central gauges, wooded Nardi steering wheel and hand-crafted leather seats and trim.
Leggera, of course, is Italian for lightweight, and this car definitely fits that billing. According to the press release, the ATS Leggera is offered in three flavors – depending on the level of tune you want – with curb weights varying from 1,400 pounds on the 300 Leggera to 1,433 pounds on the 365 Leggera and 420 Super Leggera SS.
The ATS also has some are standard features that are worth taking note of. It’s got an aluminum fuel cap similar to the ones used in the 50s and 60s. Conversely, the standard LED rearlights and optional LED headlights and xenon headlights provide a nice splash of modern styling to the predominantly retro-inspired roadster.
ATS is also offering a set of 16-inch alloy wheels for the Leggera, although those can be changed in favor of a classic wire wheels set.
ATS Leggera Inside
The interior is what you’d expect from a retro-themed roadster. In so many words, it looks old, dated, and boring. But this is how ATS intended it to look like, so we’ll give it the benefit of the doubt.
We’ll also give the automaker credit for at least dressing up the interior with plenty of expensive materials, including the seats that are lined with Italian leather, the wooden steering wheel, rigorously-Nardi Torino, is an homage to traditional Italian style of the product while the Smiths instrument marked ATS centrally located, are clear and easy to read. The interior panels can be colored depending on the customer’s preference.
Three-point seatbelts come standard on the ATS Sport, but customers can do away with that and instead opt for four-point seatbelts that are combined with lightweight, carbon seats. Another ‘by request’ feature of the ATS Leggera is a full FIA-approved roll bar that ATS can fit into the car in lieu of the dual chrome roll bars that come standard.
ATS Leggera Engine
The ATS Leggera is surprisingly quick and powerful, something it can attribute to its 650-kg (1,322-pound) weight. Unlike the other rear-engine ATS models, the Leggera has three available options for the front/mid-mounted engine, and owners get their choice of a five-speed manual, a six-speed manual or a six-speed sequential gearbox.
The 300 Leggera is powered by a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that produces 240 bhp helping the 1,400-pound roadster accelerate from 0-60 in 4.5 seconds along with a top speed of 135 mph. The 365 Leggera uses the same engine with an increased output of 240 bhp, which helps propel this 1,433-pound model to 60 mph in just four seconds with a top speed of 145.
The top performance model is the 420 Super Leggera SS with a Honda-sourced 2.2-liter engine with an output of 280 bhp, a top speed of 160 mph and acceleration from 0-60 in just 3.6 seconds. We’re sure none of the ATS cars are produced in high volume, but the 420 Super Leggera SS will be as rare as it is sporty with just five examples being built.
The ATS Leggera is already available on the market with a starting price of about €30,000. That converts to around $41,000. And for that money you’ve got an amazing toy!