Never heard of ATS? Nope, we're not talking about the Cadillac sports sedan. We're talking about Automobili Turismo e Sport, an Italian automaker formed by a group of renegade Ferrari staffers in the mid-'60s. ATS was only on the map for a couple of years, producing models like the 2500 GT and competing in a handful of grands prix. But ATS (not unlike Mini and Bugatti) was revived a couple of years ago, hitting the scene with the ATS Sport with a number of other projects (not the least of them being similarly reviving De Tomaso). Here we have its followup.
Called the ATS Leggera, the two-seat roadster was previewed late last year but is now ready to cruise down the Italian coastline. Inspired by classic European roadsters of the 1950s and 60s, the ATS Leggera packs a 1.6-liter turbo four in a front-mid position for 50/50 weight distribution within a stainless steel tubular frame.
The base-spec ATS 300 Leggera drives 210 horsepower to the rear wheels through a five-speed manual transmission and Quaife rear differential, riding on 16-inch machined alloys packing six-piston calipers up front and gripping ventilated discs out back, fitted to a double wishbone suspension with adjustable Ohlins shocks and front and rear anti-roll bars. Weighing just 1,400 pounds, even the 300 model (so named for its power-to-weight ratio) is capable of reaching 62 miles per hour in 4.3 seconds en route to a top speed of 137 mph.
Those looking for a little more performance can opt for the ATS 365 Leggera with 240 hp. The first five customers, however, will have the opportunity to order the ATS 420 Super Leggera SS, packing a 2.2-liter Honda engine tuned by Spoon to produce 290 hp. With a chrome molybdenum frame, it weighs even less at 1,323 pounds for a power-to-weight ratio of 420 hp/tonne.
Both left- and right-hand-drive versions will be offered, with a cockpit trimmed in soft Italian leather, Nardi wood steering rim and Smiths instruments. But track-day enthusiasts (or those interested in entering in qualifying racing series) can opt for a six-speed sequential gearbox, semi-slick tires, carbon buckets, racing harnesses and an FIA roll cage to replace the chrome hoops among the long list of options. Scope out all the details in the press kit below and the images in the gallery above for a closer look.