Everyone loves a little nostalgia now and then and Italian firm Automobili Turismo e Sport—or ATS for short—is certainly happy to provide it. The name dates back to the golden age of racing in the 1960s and so does its latest sports car, the Leggera.

Joining the thoroughly modern Sport 1000 and the striking 2500 GT, the Leggera goes down the small, pretty roadster route, once the preserve of both Italian and British sports car companies. ATS will tell you it "revives the concept of Italian sports cars" but we definitely see a hint of British marque Ginetta in there—the Leggera bears striking similarity to the old Ginetta G27 and classic G4.

Under the skin though you get modern power and race-style technology. A 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder sits lengthways in the tubular stainless steel chassis, supplying 210 horsepower through a five-speed manual (or six-speed sequential) transmission to the rear wheels. A limited-slip differential aids traction and electronic controls are notable by their absence—it's just you, a classic Nardi Torino steering wheel and the road.

Performance as strong, as you'd expect from a car putting 210 horsepower to the road with only 1,433 lbs to move along. Reaching 62 mph from rest takes just 4.5 seconds, and ATS boasts a top speed of 137 mph for the little Leggera. As a small-volume company, ATS also gives you the scope for plenty of upgrades. Through interior and exterior shades, to adjustable Ohlins shocks, to xenon headlights, each Leggera can be tailored to its owner.

And if you want serious performance, ATS will sell you the Super Leggera 420 SS. With 290 horsepower at 9,000 rpm from its Spoon-tuned Honda 2.2-liter, the Super Leggera adds a dose of Japanese technology to an otherwise traditional Italian roadster. Who said that globalization is a bad thing?