Is anyone paying enough attention to mark down the letters of the alphabet we’ve already covered? If not, don’t worry; what’s relevant today is that we are going to focus on those automotive companies whose name start with the letter ‘Z’.
As we count down the brands and manufacturers we’ve researched and tracked down for you, keep this in mind: how many of these car brands were actually aware of? Bear in mind, some of these companies are still very much alive and doing well on the market.
Who knows, some of you might actually discover something new and interesting, a company worth considering before buying your next car. In the meantime, let’s take our time and focus on the subject at hand, showing you all car brands starting with Z.
Danish supercar manufacturer Zenvo was founded back in 2004 by Troels Vollertsen. Based in Præstø, the company’s name is a tricky derivation from a combination of the first 2 and last 3 letters in the founder’s last name. Five years later, in 2009, the Zenvo ST1 was introduced to the world and since only 15 units were produced it was extremely sought after.
Needless to say, their hand-built supercars are packed with state of the art technology and engineering, which might explain for the incredibly high purchase costs – how does €660,000 sound like? That kind of money will buy you an ultra light carbon fiber body, with a radical look and various other high-quality components.
A 7.0-liter LS7 V8 engine, good for about 1,089 hp and 1,430 Nm of torque powers up this incredible machine. With a 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) time of 3.0 seconds and a top speed of 375 km/h (233 mph), things are looking that more exciting by the second.
Since then Zenvo Automotive has unveiled a few other supercars, the TS1, TS1 GT, TSR and the TSR S.
Based in Dubai, this up and coming car brand was the first to handle manufacture of the chassis, the body and the final assembly process of a production series automobile in the UAE. Founded in 2014, Zarooq Motors is focused on producing radical high-performance vehicles.
This country is known for its thirst for luxury hypercars, but this is one place on Earth that’s all about surviving in the desert. As such, the company has come up with a unique concept. Enter the Sandracer 500GT. This interesting project looks like a desert survivor, a very fast and versatile one.
Designed to be a game-changer, this off-road supercar boasts a cool racing-inspired interior and will certainly grab all the attention in the room. Putting your expensive racer through its paces on a week-end track day sounds nice. But the SandRacer is different because it will feel equally pleasant on any off-road terrain – yes, even the Arabian Desert.
This 2-seater is a rear-wheel drive machine built around a carbon fiber body, which is why it costs $450.000. With all of the interior finishing bearing the mark of Mansory specialists, while also including a digital dashboard, CarPlay compatible infotainment and more, this supercar hides a powerful engine as well.
A highly modified 6.2-liter V8 engine develops 525hp and 660 Nm of torque will handle both fast acceleration and deliver the necessary amount of power while off-road. Two sophisticated suspension height settings will ensure this vehicle’s ride height will fit the designated task, or environment.
Adding to the exclusivity of this design is the fact that only 35 units were meant to reach only the world’s most exclusive clientele.
This name has made automotive history in more ways than one. Established in 1919 by Ugo Zagato, the legendary Italian coachbuilder from Milan was focused on designing and manufacturing bespoke body parts for sports cars belonging to various other car manufacturers around the globe, but not before doing the same for airplanes.
The independent coachbuilder researched and developed sophisticated methods of construction that resulted in light and strong materials and components for the automotive market. Cars of that era were bulky, heavy and severely underpowered considering the overall mass of the vehicle.
Which is why the 1920s found Zagato involved in racing: Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Bugatti, Fiat, Lancia, Maserati, and Rolls-Royce benefitted from the unique and futuristic vision that Zagato had about cars.
Over the decades, the dedicated and passionate team behind Zagato continued building a variety of super aerodynamic cars – windscreens, headlights, convex bootlids and perforated disc wheels were just a few items the team improved upon and developed to optimize the overall performance of cars.
The increasing demand of special car bodies, following the rapid development of the auto industry once the dust of World War II cleared, required a new perspective on things. Zagato’s aim was now to design special bodies that could be assembled in series, which would later on be fitted with mechanical parts and interiors once the major brands would receive them.
Various super limited editions cars would end up being developed, during the 1980s and up until modern times, one more stylish than the other. A quick Internet search for Zagato cars will leave you breathless in a few seconds. The brand’s entry into the 21st century brought them even more fortune and fame.
Special projects created for Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Aston Martin, Bentley and more earned them point with the new generation and ensured their place in history when it came to custom-built models.
Founded in 2012 in Norfolk, UK, by Ansar Ali and Mark Edwards, this sports car company benefits from the expertise of two former Lotus Cars specialists. They’ve wanted to produce the ultimate lightweight high-performance cars and that’s how Zenos Cars was born.
Based in Wymondham, Norfolk, this firm is responsible for the design and manufacture of three variants of the Zenos E10. Hand-built in the company’s factory in Wymondham, Zenos vehicles are currently sold in the US, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, and the rest of Europe.
It seems that, upon in-depth research, the company’s founders discovered a gap in the automotive market they hoped to fill with their unique vehicles. Judging by their sales numbers, it seems they have been right all along.
Does this name sound familiar to you? Zinoro is the name of a partnership between BWM and Chinese car maker Brilliance – to be honest, the name is actually Zhi Nuo (“The Promise”).
Founded in 2013, Zinoro is dedicated to luxury automobile manufacture of an electric nature. Out of these electric vehicles, the Zinoro 1E manages to stand out. This all-electric crossover was inspired by the BMW X1 and revealed at the 2013 Guangzhou Auto Show. It features an 125 kW electric motor, developing a peak torque of 250 Nm powered a lithium iron phosphate battery pack. Range specs are about 150 km (93 mi), while the top speed is limited at 130 km/h (81 mph).
A few years later, in 2017, the Zinoro 60H model was revealed. This plug-in hybrid compact crossover is powered by the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer Plug-in hybrid system: a 1.5-liter turbo petrol engine good for about 136 hp complemented by a 15-hp electric motor.
This company based in Liaocheng, China, was founded back in 1958. Zhongtong is a bus manufacturing company, one of China’s major bus makers. Although initially known as Liaocheng Vehicle Manufacturing and Repair Factory, this company has been developing buses since 1971.
Zhongtong will deliver any bus between 6 and 18 meters long, all high-end, coaches for long trips, urban, light purposes, as well as hybrid electric buses. In most recent years, the company has also designed trolleybuses. What’s even more interesting is the fact that Zhongtong also released a panel van, designed for commercial use.
Released in 2014, this was the first mass-produced electric van meant for the Chinese market. Inspired by the Toyota HiAce H200 van while making use of a hybrid drive powertrain, this thing is both practical and cool, at the same time.
Hailing from Sombor, Serbia, Zastava was actually founded in 2000 as a special automobile factory. However, this story is much longer than that, considering that everything started in 1853, when a cannon-casting plant was established.
In the beginning of Zastava’s automotive efforts, the brand gained a reputation for locally built versions of two Fiat models – the 128 and the 600. However, most people took notice of the brand through comedic Hollywood productions, which mocked a tiny little car, called the Yugo.
During the 1980s, Zastava sold compact cars on the American continent, as well as Western Europe, under the Yugo name. The swan song, so to speak, Benefitted from the expertise of Italian designer Giorgetto Giugiaro. The Yugo Sana was revealed in 1988, but the Yugoslav wars disrupted plans for a long-time production series.
Fortuitous or not, the company did sign with Fiat in 2005 to produce a version of the Punto model – under the name Zastava 10. Two years later, Serbia announced that Zastava would be privatized and by 2008. Zastava ceased all production – the last vehicle rolled out of the factory gates on the 21st November 2008.
ZAZ – Zaporizhia Automobile Building Plant – is the main automobile manufacturer of Ukraine, based in the south-eastern city of Zaporizhia and with a history starting in 1923. It also got involved with truck and bus manufacture. The actual date of company’s foundation is considered to be 1863.
The business originally established by German entrepreneur Abram J. Koop was meant to produce agricultural machinery. Iron parts for the windmills, reapers, plows and more were manufactured, at least in the beginning. In 1908, the company started activity and later became known as the Melitopol Motor Plant. By 1961, the “Zaporizhzhya Automobile Plant” was working hard on the ZAZ-965 model.
Following the discontinuing of Moskvitch 401, the company inspired a new small model following the design of the Fiat 600. First attempts, dubbed MZMA 444, were powered by a win-cylinder engine which developed 17.5 hp and lasted only 30,000 km (19,000 mi). Needless to say, a replacement had to be found: the VW Type 1’s air-cooled boxer.
The company continued researching new potential models and, inspired by the VW Type 2, the ZAZ 970 utility vehicle was developed. Various iterations were envisioned, even four-wheel drive models – none were ever built. The company decided to join the modern era, by fitting water-cooled engines on newer models, such as the 1102 Tavria.
Various models later, in 2004, the factory began the serial production of the Opel Astra Classic. A few months later, Daewoo models were also rolling out the factory gates. Original ZAZ models continued being developed and built, including buses, along with externally-inspired projects.
Ying Jianren founded this car company in 2003, which was based in Yongkang, Zhejiang, China. Zotye Auto was a privately owned automobile manufacturer known for downright identical replicas of other popular cars from various brands around the world.
In the beginning, Zotye’s activity was based on contracts dealing in exporting car components. Since 2005, Zotye has expanded to automobile production meant for the Chinese market.
The first model bearing the brand’s logo was the Zotye RX6400 SUV, a vehicle inspired by the Daihatsu Terios. As time went by, the company sold cars across the borders, in Vietnam. However, Zotye entered bankruptcy in 2021.
Zytek was founded in 1981, with the company aiming to provide engine management systems for racing teams. By 1987, the British firm had extended its reach into developing racing engines for Formula 3000 and the Le Mans Series. And in 2009 Zytek decide to reveal their very own Le Mans Prototype, powered by an in-house Q10 Hybrid system – it wasn’t slow, either.
Zytek’s motorsport success and newly discovered reputation meant that the firm had attracted the attention of leading names such as Aston Martin, Jaguar, Rolls-Royce, and more. None can deny their involvement with the development of the beast that was the V10 Dodge Viper.
Having become one of the world’s leading integrators of electric and hybrid-electric drive systems, their involvement with Formula E seemed only natural. It might be worth mentioning that Zytek changed its name to Gibson Technology in recent years.
With a passion for motorsport, Hans-Albert Zender established the Zender Group, a company dedicated to the development of body kits and special vehicle conversions. Since 1969, Zender has been making dreams come true, especially when it comes to performance vehicles. The brand carefully considered and designed sports seats, spoilers and wing flares, but the founder had way more in mind.
As such, by 1974 Zender had Ford Werke AG and Volkswagen AG knocking at its doors, asking to be their customers. As time went by, Zender managed to refine its manufacture process and deliver nothing but high-quality car accessories. Thanks to the development of new technologies, new materials and shapes became a reality and allowed the firm to put its vision to the test.
By 1977, the company had a wide distribution network that covered over 40 nations. Constant development and expansion, and their involvement with carbon fiber materials and automotive components, transformed Zender into a leader in car design. State of the art technologies, cool prototypes and a unique vision of the future put the firm’s name on the world map as well.
Zender even developed its own cars, such as the 1989 Zender Fact 4, powered by a 3.6-liter V8 engine sourced from Audi that developed 448 hp and it looked ridiculously cool.
There is always big change around the corner and these last couple of years had a global impact on world economy, as well as the automotive industry. As such, the pandemic pushed Zender into a different direction, with the firm starting to develop even respirators and medical consumables for healthcare facilities, that’s how Zender Medical was born.
As you can see, there aren’t too many car brands starting with the letter Z, but they’re all special in their own way. From companies that developed sports cars and innovative prototypes to car makes that were iconic in the countries they came from, even though the world didn’t know too many things about them. Which is your favorite car company from this list?