5) 1976-1987 Lotus Esprit
The Esprit may have been thoroughly British in its engineering, but its severe wedge was the peak of Italian style.
The Esprit sprang from a 1972 Italdesign concept of the same name done by legendary designer Giorgetto Guigiaro—the man also responsible for wedges including the BMW M1, numerous Maseratis, and the DeLorean DMC-12. The Esprit was a lightweight sports car so pure, sharp, and purposeful that it looked like it could rival the performance of anything from Ferrari or Lamborghini.
In truth, the original Esprit, with its normally aspirated four-cylinder, was a little slow. Yet that didn't stop it from becoming a two-time Bond car, first in 1977's The Spy Who Loved Me (in which it ) and again in 1981's .
By the mid 1980s, Lotus fixed the horsepower deficit with the Turbo model, making them quick enough to hit 60 mph in less than 6 seconds.