Top 15 most beautiful Italian four-door saloons of all time
The majority of petrolheads agree that the Italians produce the most beautiful cars in the world. With designers such as Pininfarina, Giugiaro and Bertone to name but a few, there has never been a shortage of stunning automobiles coming out of Italy.
Ferrari and Lamborghini are usually cited as the two manufacturers with the best portfolio of beautiful designs, both focussing on the supercar game. Today I want to focus on the much less loved saloon (sedan for America) market.
To design a truly beautiful four-door saloon is a much harder task than designing a supercar as the parameters are different. With supercars, you can let the pen glide across the paper in flowing movements, channelling your inner child to design the car dreams are made of. When you approach the design of a four-door saloon, the shackles are very much on and you're restrained from letting your imagination run away with you.
This is why I find a beautiful saloon more interesting than a supercar as only a few designers can make them into something really special.
This list is made up of Italian four-door saloons that I think achieve so much within the strict parameters. There are no Ferraris that appear on this list and the only Lamborghini that came close was the Estoque which is excluded due to being a failed concept.
15) Alfa Romeo 164
Starting off with an Alfa Romeo is always a good idea. Equipped with those Alfa alloys and two-tone paint job, the 164 is a prime example of a beautiful car with little diversion from the saloon norm.
14) Fiat 124
Simple clean lines but bursting with character.
13) Alfa ROmeo 75 Evoluzione
The Alfa Romeo 75 Evoluzione is verging on the side of vulgar, but it manages to remain so appealing. The lines of the 75 look all over the place, but somehow Alfa Romeo has a magical touch that keeps a car from being ugly. One of life's great mysteries.
12) Fiat Abarth 1500s
Again, how the Italian manufacturers manage to extract so much character from a simple shape is brilliant.
Here is a little video of the 1500S in action:
Credit to TargaFlorioClassics for the video
11) Alfa Romeo 166
The Alfa Romeo 166 was a design that split opinions. In my opinion, it is gorgeous, but I can see why some people aren't fans. When it was new, I couldn't understand who was choosing the BMW 5-series or Mercedes E-Class over this saloon. It was something different, something you didn't see all the time. A car that made you instantly cooler.
10) Lancia Aurelia B12 Berlina
Oh Lancia, where have you gone. Now we're just left with the Ypsilon... Genuinely didn't mean for that to rhyme.
9) Alfa ROmeo Giulietta Berlina
I bet you're getting bored of the Alfa Romeos now, right? Well it isn't over yet.
8) Alfa Romeo 159
I think the Alfa Romeo Brera is one of the best designs in recent history and the 159 uses that sex-appeal in a four-door saloon. A guaranteed winner. Who would buy a monotonous German competitor over this?
7) Lancia Fulvia Berlina
More proof that Italy can achieve so much with so little. This could have easily looked like the Lada Riva, but, with a few small delicate touches, it looks worlds apart.
6) Lancia Appia II
I can hear Dean Martin as soon I lay my eyes upon this classic.
5) Alfa Romeo GIulia TI Super
The side profile is the car you drew as a kid. Straight lines and some space for wheels. With that design, Alfa Romeo has produced one of my aesthetically favourite cars of any genre. I honestly don't know how they do it.
4) Alfa Romeo GIULIA QUADRIFOGLIO
A modern entrant now with the Giulia Quadrifoglio. If you have the money for one of these and you opt for the BMW M3... shame on you.
3) Iso Fidia
Iso made some gorgeous cars, such as the Grifo. For the four-door saloon category, they produced this, the Fidia. No-one has ever not looked the absolute business getting out of one of these.
2) Alfa Romeo 156 GTA
The Alfa Romeo 156 GTA looks like it has no rear doors. In typical sexy Italian style the rear door handle is hidden to protect aesthetics.
A beautiful car as a basic model, but with the GTA bodykit it elevates the 156 to legendary status. Every angle is beautiful and opening up the bonnet reveals the famous 3.2-litre V6 that gives me butterflies every time.
1) Maserati Quattroporte V
The Maserati Quarttoporte (literally 'four doors') was the car that immediately jumped to mind when putting together this article. It was bold, elegant and was dripping with style. Every version of this model is beautiful, but I have to go with 2003's model. It gets it right on every single inch of the car. Stunning.
Just as a bonus, here are the other two versions of the Quattroporte I nearly put at number one.
If your favourite isn't in my list let me know in the comments.