1. Citroën SM
In 1961, Citroën began development on a vehicle called “Project S.” By 1968, Citroën had acquired Maserati and, subsequently, all of their high-performance technology. French and Italian forces combined, resulting in the Citroën SM which contained a Maserati V6 and a Citroën suspension. The SM’s speed, power, dynamic styling, and ingenious technical features were extremely innovative for the time. The SM even set a land speed record in 1987 at the Bonneville Salt Flats!
The SM might not have been wildly popular, but it definitely deserves a place on this list.
2. Subaru BRZ
Debuting in 2012, this brainchild of Subaru and Toyota (Scion) has snapped up good reviews left and right, proving itself a collaboration worthy of this list. Besides being handsome, inexpensive, easy to handle, and well-appointed, the BRZ has spirit. Toyota has struggled in the past few years to offer consumers a car with even a hint of spice, but in conjunction with Subaru they have managed to produce a winner. Consumers are eating up both the Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S sports cars—a sure indication of a good union.
3. Alfa Romeo GTV6 Callaway Twin Turbo
Callaway Turbosystems, now called “Callaway Cars,” is an engine design/automobile tuner/parts manufacturer most known for its car modifications and turbocharged engines. Although Callaway would later become famous for its work under the hood of the Chevy Corvette in the late 1980s, one of their first projects was on the Alfa Romeo GTV6.
Produced from 1980 to 1987, the GTV6 was Alfa’s fast coupe of the ’80s. Despite great racing credentials, the car was facing increasing competition from Maserati and Porsche. Alfa decided to unite with Callaway.
Enhanced with turbochargers and an intercooler, the GTV6 standard horsepower increased from 154 horsepower to 230 horsepower. It accelerated from 0-60 in 5.9 seconds and hit a top speed of 140 miles per hour. They were a hit with the automotive magazines, hailing the GTV6’s speed and fun factor. Between thirty and thirty-six (depending on how you count) were produced between 1983 and 1986. This rare beauty is one of the most powerful and collectable GTV6s ever made. Callaway and Alfa made a star.
4. Volkswagen Karmann Ghia
There are a lot of parents in this equation: Volkswagen, the German car-maker, Karmann, a German coach-builder, and Ghia, an Italian coach-builder/designer.
This car belongs on this list for two reasons; first because it was a far cry from the products Volkswagen had previously churned out. VW was famous for its economical Beetle, not flowing lines worthy of an Italian sports car. The “VKG” was stylish and looked like it belonged on the winding roads around the Italian coastline.
Second, the car became so popular in America that it couldn’t be imported fast enough. After its debut, it topped the car-import charts.
5. AMG “Hammer”
AMG took “passenger sedan” to a whole new level in 1986 when it released the “Hammer,” a high-performance mid-size sedan that was based on the Mercedes-Benz (W124) E-Class. When the Hammer made its debut, it was the fastest passenger sedan in the world. This aggressively styled car contained a Mercedes-Benz 5.6L V8 that AMG modified to squeeze out 360 horsepower. This car was meaty and powerful—and what you would expect to come out of a union between luxurious Mercedes and aggressive AMG.
6. Audi RS2 Avant
The Audi RS2 Avant was a joint venture between Audi and Porsche to produce a high-performance station wagon. Produced from early 1994 to mid-1995, the RS2 used the most powerful inline-five cylinder turbocharged engine in Audi’s arsenal. Porsche managed to work some additional magic on Audi’s engine. In the end, the RS2 could accelerate from 0-62 in 4.8 seconds and had a top speed of 166 miles per hour. Don’t forget, the car also had four-wheel drive and could seat a family of five. The RS2 was the real deal.
7. Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato
This handsome car is the product of a beauteous union between luxurious Aston Martin and ingenious coach-builder, Zagato. The Brits contributed their DB4 and Zagato added some stylistic details, polish, and ingenious improvements.
The DB4 GT Zagato made its debut at the London Motor show in 1960. Unfortunately, demand for the vehicle wasn’t as high as expected—and only twenty were ever made. However, this coupe did get its due. The DB4 GT Zagato has become an admired and sought after vehicle–and has been known to fetch prices north of a million at auction.
8. 1990 Mercedes Benz 500 E/ E 500
Mercedes Benz and Porsche got together from 1990 to 1994 and created the 500 E—a high-performance version of the Mercedes-Benz W124. In order to complete their respective assignments, the 500 Es were shipped back and forth across Germany to the Porsche and Mercedes-Benz plants. Porsche hand-built each 500 E while Mercedes-Benz contributed a 5.0L M119 V8. The entire process took eighteen days for each car.
It was worth the costs in shipping. On performance day, the 500 E went from 0-62 miles per hour in 5.5 to 6.0 seconds and could hit a top speed of 160 miles per hour. Its aggressive styling, stance, capabilities on the road, and limited number have already made this collaboration a desirable classic.
9. Fiat Dino
The Fiat Dino was a mid-engined sports car that first appeared in the mid-1960s. Enzo Ferrari, wanting to honor his beloved son who was nicknamed “Dino,” decided to market the V6 cars as “Dinos.” Like many of Ferrari’s beautiful creations, designer Pininfarina had a hand in their design. Pininfarina styled the spider while Bertone, another talented Italian coach-builder, took over the Fiat Dino coupe. The result of these collaborations was a stunning vehicle worthy of the Dino name.
10. Ferrari 250 GT Zagato
The Ferrari 250 GT Zagato is the product of one of the best “car marriages” to ever occur; that between Ferrari and coach-builder/designer, Mr. Zagato.
The GT Zagato was a variant of the Ferrari 250—a sports car built by Ferrari from the early 1950s through the mid 1960s. The first Zagato rolled off the line in 1956 and only a handful of these beautiful cars were ever produced. The “GTZ” combined the famed Ferrari “Tour de France” chassis and an aerodynamic body, sculpted by Zagato. It was light. It was fast. It was stylish. It was the beautiful result of a beautiful union.