Fans of Italian sports cars and performance vehicles might like to head along to the upcoming Auto Italia – Italian Car Day, which is taking place at Brooklands Museum in Surrey next month.

The showpiece is set to include an array of some of the finest examples of Italian sports cars from both recent years and the distant past, with this year's guests set to be rewarded with a glimpse of the AC 378 Zagato prototype.

Gates will open on May 5th at 08:30 BST and the day will feature a jam-packed programme of events to tickle the fancy of classic car lovers, sports car enthusiasts and all petrolheads in between.

The itinerary of the day is full to the brim with attractions, including a demonstration of supreme driving skills from the Silver Arrows – Mercedes-Benz's performance driving experts.

One of the standout attractions of this coming event is sure to be the AC 378 Zagato. Offering stunning looks and blistering performance to match, visitors will be wowed by the vehicle that was debuted at last month's Geneva Motor Show.

It will be one of the first times the car will have been seen in the UK and guests might like to check out the stunning stats on this beast, including its hefty price tag of £89,990.

Based on the Zagato Perana Z-One, the AC 378 features a top speed of 185 mph and is powered by a monster 6.2-litre V8 engine providing 434 bhp.

Capable of accelerating from zero to 62 mph in under four seconds, the AC 378 is a true performance vehicle – and it has the looks to match, featuring sleek lines, a curving, swooping chassis and bonnet, and absolutely dominating tyres.

At present, the AC 378 is only available to buyers in Europe, but the manufacturer has plans for a worldwide release in the near future.

Another fine example of sports car excess that will be found at this year's Auto Italia Day is the Maserati Bellagio, which will be on display for guests and is among one of only five ever built.

The Bellagio was launched in 2008 and is an Italian sports car with significant pep – delivering 400 bhp, 451 Nm of torque and accelerating from zero to 100 km/h in just 5.2 seconds.

Meanwhile, an array of fine Italian luxury and sport vehicles will be available on the day for visitors to really enjoy, with more than 200 Ferraris being showcased at last year's event.

Brooklands offers a wealth of history to fans of classic cars, being the world's first purpose-built racing circuit and opened in 1907.

The venue held its last race meet in 1939 as the outbreak of World War II took place. By the end of the war, there were hopes that the circuit could be brought back into regular use, but the costs of doing so proved prohibitive.

However, that was not the end of the story for this historic venue, as it now plays home to the Brooklands Museum – an exciting and educational assault on the senses, where visitors can marvel at the wonders of British and international engineering, with a homage to the glory days of racing, aviation and cycling.

This year's Auto Italia – Italian Car Day will be running until 17:00, with the final event of the day set to be the Test Hill demonstrations, where brave souls attempt to set the fastest time possible on the daunting Test Hill.

Featuring a 1 in 4 gradient and divided into three sections, it truly is a spectacle to finish the day on.

Speak to the performance, prestige and sports car insurance team at Performance Direct for an expert, professional service and a choice of cover from the UK’s leading specialist insurance underwriters.

Posted by Mark Thompson

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