What car are you driving? Not that it matters, but if you’re somewhat superstitious or have learned that ‘A’ is your lucky letter, you should really start reading this right now. Today, we decided to focus on car manufacturers and automotive brands that have a name starting with the first letter in the alphabet: the big A.
Undoubtedly, this is a long list, yet we focused on the most obvious and important players on the market. To each their own, which is why each brand is original and attractive in its own way.
We tried to honor each company with the attention and respect it deserves, by naming a few relevant details that car buyers might want to know before making a decision on their next purchase. So without further ado, these are the most important car brands that start with A.
Based in Ingolstadt, Germany, the German automobile manufacturer designs all kinds of cars, from small hatchbacks and family saloons to sports cars and expensive luxury vehicles. However, most of the world remembers Audi entering the scene the minute it took over the rallying championship when it introduced all-wheel drive and the iconic Audi Quattro.
Since then, it was all about progress and increasing popularity. From one innovation to the next, the company has managed to become one of the most successful automakers on the planet. But, did you know that the company’s name is based on the Latin translation of the surname of its founder, August Horch?
It seems that “Horch” means “listen” in German, and “Audi” in Latin. For those of you still curious, please note that the four rings of the Audi logo represent the four car companies joined together to create the company that would one day make a bold statement with ”Vorsprung durch Technik”.
Audi’s sales grew strongly in the 2000s and why not, with the release of new models, including the TT in 1998, the name was becoming increasingly popular. Since then, the lineup has gone through some changes, with the current one looking impressive, to say the least.
Also around since 1910, this renowned Italian car manufacturer is based in Turin, Piedmont. A premium automaker, the brand’s first car was revealed more than 110 years ago and they never looked back ever since. Alfa Romeo has always been recognized for its excellent craftsmanship, innovative technologies and wonderful design language.
The current lineup will have you daydreaming for sure, from the Mito, Stelvio or Giulietta, to the 159 and Brera. Some people would have you believe that Italian cars are predisposed to some electrical issues, but that’s irrelevant. It’s all about the passion for cars.
Meanwhile, some of you may remember that Alfa Romeo has competed successfully in Grand Prix events, Formula One, touring car racing, and more. But did you know that in 1929 Enzo Ferrari actually founded the Scuderia Ferrari racing team as an Alfa Romeo racing team?
Established in 1986, a bit late compared to other names on this list, Acura is based in Minato City, Tokyo, Japan. The luxury division of Japanese automaker Honda, this car brand is focused on luxury, performance, and high-performance automobiles.
Just in case you were too young, you should remember that Acura took things to the next level when they’ve unleashed the NSX supercar to the world back in 1990. It was stylish, dependable and incredibly fast – no wonder even the legendary Airton Senna owned one.
The fresh iteration, the 2022 Acura NSX shows off modern looks, incredible performance and might even become a collectible as the years go by. It benefits from a twin-turbocharged engine mated to a nine-speed dual-clutch transmission and Sport Hybrid SH-AWD. Basically, it’s money well spent and a fun car.
Aston Martin Lagonda was founded back in 1913 and over the world ever since. It was an independent British manufacturer of luxury sports cars and although not independent anymore, the name remains synonymous with luxury and performance.
As some of you remember, Aston Martin became famous for grand touring cars, but it was 007 and his driving of the DB5 in the 1964 film Goldfinger that really made everyone in the world want one. Based in Gaydon, Warwickshire, Aston Martin also managed to design their first SUV a few years ago, the DBX model.
Keeping up with demands and environmental concerns, Aston Martin is focusing on designing electric vehicles. More interesting, the Aston Martin brand is being used on various other products, including a submarine and aircraft.
Société des Automobiles Alpine SAS was founded in 1955. Based in Dieppe, France, the sport and racing car manufacturer has a long and innovative history behind it. Throughout the years, the company has been in close connection to Renault, and it made sense when Renault bought it in 1973.
Although Alpine-badged models haven’t been released since 1995, the marque was relaunched in 2017, when the new Alpine A110 model was introduced. Last year, Alpine Cars, Renault Sport Cars, and Renault Sport Racing joined forces under the Alpine name.
The recent A110 sports car looks beautiful and drives like a bat out of hell, while remaining true to the timeless principles of Alpine’s concepts about driving pleasure.
In 1971, Alpine took over the Monte Carlo rally by using engines derived from the Renault 16. A few years later, in 1973, the newer A110 1800 even took down Porsche and other big names to win the World Rally Championship. Are you impressed yet?
The Alpine A110 was such a big success that even the Lancia Stratos was developed to take it out of the game. During this time, production of the Alpine A110 increased, but the petrol crisis was about to hit the world and the French company felt its effects back then.
Nonetheless, we are happy to see the Alpine name revived and their cars rolling down the road
Although founded in 1991, it took people a few years to really discover this company. Based in Somerset, UK, Ariel is a performance-oriented vehicle manufacturer that recently came up on our radar.
The company became popular with the release of the Ariel Atom, a lightweight, high-performance project powered by a Honda Civic Type-R engine. Roadworthy and showing off an exoskeleton, this design was unique and fun to drive. Ariel Atom has no bodywork or roof, and was built entirely around the tube chassis.
The Ariel Atom’s 4th version looks way better, drives better and packs a turbocharged Honda Civic Type R engine. One of the UK’s smallest automotive companies, Ariel Motors has 30 only people on the payroll and manufactures as many as 100 cars per year. But, this company is not all about the numbers; it’s all about driving passion.
Based in Turin, Italy, Abarth is a car manufacturer known for developing racing as well as road-worthy vehicles. Founded in 1949 by Carlo Abarth, the man who took over Cisitalia’s assets, the company rose from the ashes. From the Cisitalia liquidation, five 204 sports cars, a D46 single seater and plenty of spare components were used to create a brand new sports car maker.
The 204s were rechristened Abarth 204 A and thus the legend was born. The logo, a shield with a stylized scorpion over a yellow and red background, has become popular and a well-known symbol of upgraded Italian cars. In the 1960s, Abarth was also successful in motorsport although it was competing against Porsche and Ferrari cars.
More than 70 years later, the Abarth name is still very popular with automotive enthusiasts around the world. Alongside racing, the company’s main activity was producing and selling accessories and performance parts and tuning kits for Fiat vehicles, and they are still at it.
Based in Suffolk, England, Arash Motor Company was founded by Arash Farboud in 1999 with the soul purpose of developing outrageous hypercars. It was no surprise that the Farboud GT was the name of the company’s first model, revealed in 2002 at the Autosport International Show, in Birmingham.
This thing had a 620-hp 2.8-liter V6 twin-turbo engine – that should have been enough to get anyone interested. Needless to say, it was an attention-grabber and things could only get better from there.
The company then introduced new models such as the Farboud GTS, AF10, and AF8. The latter was designed by Arash and introduced in 2016, at the Geneva Motor Show. It displayed a carbon steel / tubular chassis, while a 7.0-liter V8 developed 505 hp and brought to life into an already impressive car. And did we mention the upcoming Arash Imperium?
As you can imagine, this company is not about mass- production. Producing less than 3 cars per year, sales are low while the build quality is high. What more could you ask for?
Based in Aix-les-Bains, Savoie, France, Aixam-Mega is an automobile manufacturer founded in 1983. Focused on designing small cars, similar to the annoying Smart car, the company envisions simple vehicles.
The Aixam 400, 500, and 500.5 are a few examples from the company, available with various engines. Small, compact, easy to drive these are the cars other drivers usually get annoyed by while in traffic.
Although Polaris Industries took over Aixam-Mega in 2013, the company currently produces the Aixam A.7XX series. The microcar is restricted to 45 km/h (28 mph) and can even be driven without a driving license in Europe. The odd fact is that Kubota diesel engines were used to power up these tiny things – not really the best of urban choices.
Also owned by Polaris Industries, Aspark is a company that people knew it was manufacturing electric vehicles, but not outrageous hypercars. Based in Osaka, Japan and founded in 2005, this company is well known for the development of the all-electric sports car Aspark Owl.
Initially focused on offering services for the electronics industry, Aspark had grown and decided to work on an electric supercar with one aim in mind – record performance. The Owl prototype was revealed in 2017, at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
A battery-powered, all-electric sports car sounds unusual to being with. What about one that does 0 to 100 km/h (0 to 62 mph) in less than 1.7 seconds and reach a top speed of 400 km/h (249 mph).
Thanks to a carbon fiber body sitting atop a carbon fiber monocoque chassis, the power-to-weight ratio is incredible. Add in the double wishbone suspension system, including hydraulic dampers and torque vectoring, as well as a carbon-ceramic braking system and you start to realize you’re dealing with a hypercar.
Founded in 2011 and based in England, Atalanta Motors is a British car manufacturer inspired by past legacy. By 2012, the rebirth of the marque as to be confirmed by the retro-designed Sports Tourer and Atalanta Motors would also be present at the 2014 Concours of Elegance with yet another model.
Built from hand-beaten aluminum panels, these cars feature an ash wood chassis. And, since about 90 per cent of the components are designed and engineered in-house, there is something to be said about originality and the independence levels of the company.
Other than that, the Atalanta badge represents modern cars: disc brakes, rack and pinion steering, and a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine good for about 214 hp. Is this the new Morgan? There is only one way to find out.
This is one name BMW fans are crazy about. Based in Germany, Alpina was founded in 1965 by Burkard Bovensiepen and it’s mainly focused on working magic on Bavarian cars – a.k.a. improving upon BMW projects.
Although the company is considered a manufacturer, some may debate that title. Either way, considering that Alpina have their own space in the BMW production lines is an achievement and one way BMW recognizes their incredible craftsmanship and attention to detail.
The German brand is known for developing high-performance versions of BMW and even Mini vehicles, and has been doing so for quite some time. This is more than tuning, this is a refined manner by which BMW fans get to enjoy a personalized object, one they’ve been dreaming about for years.
Feel free to look them up and check out their lineup. One thing’s for sure: you won’t be disappointed.
Ascari Cars was a name unknown to the world until 1996, but millionaire Klaas Zart changed that. Based in the UK, this car manufacturer bears the name of F1 champion Alberto Ascari and it’s focused on low-volume performance cars – which is one way of saying these cars are a rare treat, and an expensive one as well.
Launched in 1998, the Ascari Ecosse was the first vehicle to bear the company’s logo, and by 2006 the Ascari A10 would mark the end of the company’s run. That, however, does not make the cars less desirable. On the contrary.
The Ascari A10 is a road-worthy supercar, an evolution of the KZ1-R GT race car, packing a 4,941 cc BMW S62 V8. This means the driver would enjoy 625 hp and a six-speed sequential manual gearbox. Featuring a carbon fiber chassis, impressive body lines and a racing suspension system, this thing may be road-legal, but make no mistakes: this is a racer.
As proof, we must note that there is no soundproofing, air conditioning, and stereo system inside this car. Moreover, Ascari fitted a FIA-spec roll cage as well as a fire-suppression system. I want one!
Although some people are confused, we must make one thing perfectly clear: AC Cars is a British specialist automobile manufacturer and more importantly, the name represents one of the oldest independent car makers in the United Kingdom.
Why, do you ask? We just had to make that mention because everyone associates the name with Shelby and the very popular Cobra project. Sure, that part of the company’s history can’t and shouldn’t be ignored, but there’s more to this name than that.
Before and following the Second World War, the company was active and involved with the development and manufacture of various vehicles. Innovative by nature, AC was already using light tubular frames, all independent transverse leaf spring suspensions, and alloys for the bodywork – this was in 1947.
AC Automotive, a company based in Germany, still builds the AC under the original name. This is one way of saying the original still gets drivers excited, but let’s just focus on what’s really cool.
Shelby’s AC Cobra
In 1961, AC was no longer receiving their 6-cylinder engines courtesy of Bristol. Carroll Shelby proposed a Ford V8 should sit on the Ace chassis, and the AC Cobra was born. The AC Cobra had captured everyone’s imagination, especially after Ford’s 289 engine helped the Cobra win at Le Mans in 1964. At that moment in time, the AC Cobra 427 was the fastest thing around.
There you have it: these are the most important car brands starting with A. Of course, there have been many other automakers starting with the first letter of the alphabet over the years, but most of those companies are now unfortunately defunct. But we’ll surely have more car companies with A in the next couple of years as numerous automotive start-ups are starting to show up on our radar.