Think of Italian sports car brands and many names come to mind. ATS might not be first among them, but maybe it should. Founded in 1963 by a group of former Ferrari employees fed up with old man Enzo's infamous intransigence, Automobili Turismo e Sport was originally a flash in the pan, disappearing almost as quickly as it appeared on the scene in the first place. But 50 years later the name was revived with a number of sports car designs. The ATS Sport 1000 was among the first, and now it's been updated.
A prototype-style racer for the road in similar form to a Radical or Caterham SP/300.R, the updated 2015 ATS Sport benefits from 100 upgrades over the previous Sport 1000. It's built around a new stainless steel and chrome molybdenum chassis that's nearly a hundred pounds lighter and draped in reshaped bodywork. Revised aero provides as much as 2,500 pounds of downforce, augmented by such components as Ohlins dampers, Tarox six-pot calipers gripping vented discs at each corner, a Qauife limited slip differential, Avon tires on 15-inch alloys and a cockpit with removable steering wheel and harnesses from Sparco, Tillet seats and CNC-machined pedals.
The ATS Sport is ready to take any four-cylinder motorbike engine, but ATS itself will gladly furnish you with one. A 1,300cc unit with 185 horsepower will rocket the car up to 62 in just 2.5 seconds, with cornering forces up to 3g on racing slicks. But if that's not enough, ATS also offers a 1,400cc engine with 235 hp or a 1,600cc with 255. Other options include carbon-fiber bodywork, upgraded brakes and center-lock wheels. The options list runs on forever as each vehicle is made to order to specific customer requirements.
Pricing starts at 33,000 euros ($45k) without an engine and 48,850 ($66,500) with. The ATS Sport is fully CSAI and FIA homologated for the race track, and certain markets will allow it to be registered for the road as well. Fortunately the United States is just such a market. ATS is in the process of establishing a dealer network here, and will also instal the engines locally, with prices set according to Euro-USD exchange rates.