The most famous sports car logos and performance car logos
How many famous sports car logos can you picture right now? Even if you don’t spend a lot of time around performance car logos, companies like Ferrari, Lamborghini and Porsche probably spring to mind.
Like any car brand, sports car companies rely on their logos to inspire, motivate, and engage.
When we see the prancing horse of Ferrari, we instantly imagine speed and luxury. The powerful bull of Lamborghini reminds us of strength, precision, and skill. More than just a way to differentiate a brand, a good sports car logo can change how we feel about any company.
Today, we’re going to be exploring some of the most famous sports car logos of all time, from the world’s leading brands.
Let’s dive in!
Famous sports car logos: Luxury sports car logos
Sports cars or “performance cars” fall into a number of different categories. There are sports cars intended for the racing world, as well as vehicles simply built to give us a sense of additional speed and power on the road.
Some of these automobiles even feature additional “luxury” components.
For the first section of our list, we’re going to be looking at sports car emblems from luxury brands. This section will include both luxury “super cars”, and standard luxury sports cars.
Starting with perhaps one of the best-known sports car companies in the world, Ferrari’s logo is instantly recognisable. Bright and fearless, this sports car emblem stands out on any street, and has even made its way onto a lot of branched merchandise over the years.
Ferrari is an Italian luxury sports car manufacturer first launched in 1939. While the company’s emblem has changed a few times over the years, the colors of the Italian flag have remained a consistent testament to the company’s origins.
The prancing horse is a symbol of good luck, speed, and elegance for the company.
Similar to the Ferrari logo, the Lamborghini sports car symbol is one immediately recognized in locations all around the globe. The company, first launched in 1963, is best-known for producing some of the most impressive luxury sports cars around.
Lamborghini’s logo is a testament to the company’s commitment to excellence. The golden bull on the black shield represents strength and power, as well as sophistication and elegance.
According to historical stories from the brand, Ferruccio Lamborghini was inspired and impressed by bulls after watching a Spanish bull fight.
Aston Martin was first launched in 1913, in Britain, and has since become an iconic manufacturers of luxury sports cars. The Aston Martin brand has also earned some attention for the presence of its vehicles in various pop culture environments, such as the James Bond movies.
The Aston Martin logo is a reference to the company’s history in the air force, as well as being a highly symbolic emblem. The use of wings in car logos is relatively common as a way to convey concepts of speed, freedom, and innovation.
The beautiful silver and grey colors are fantastic for highlighting the sophistication of the brand.
McLaren is better-known for producing formula 1 sports cars – the kind of vehicles responsible for competing in worldwide competitions. The company was initially launched in 1963, by the famous racing legend, Bruce McLaren.
The company’s racing team won its first Grand Prix soon after, in 1968, and continues to excel today.
McLaren’s logo is simple and powerful. The design features an eye-catching wordmark in bold sans-serif letters, with an orange half-circle just above it.
The orange component looks a little like an arrow, pointing upwards and to the right as a reference to forward motion and innovation.
When it comes to famous sports cars, it’s hard to ignore the impact of the iconic Maserati brand. This Italian luxury vehicle manufacturer was first launched in 1914, and has produced some of the world’s leading vehicles ever since.
The Maserati logo is just as compelling as the cars the company creates.
Featuring a serif wordmark to highlight ideas of sophistication and heritage, the main focus of the Maserati sports car symbol is the three-pronged trident. This is apparently a reference to a statue of Neptune in Bologna, which inspired the founder growing up.
The incredible Porsche brand produces some of the best performance cars in the world. Launched in 1931, this company is best-known for its attractive and practical vehicles. Porsche has even created a handful of SUVs and sedans to go alongside it’s sportier automotives.
The Porsche logo is an important reference to the company’s history. The shield emblem includes the coat of arms for Wurttemberg, as well as the Stuttgart coat of arms. The horse prancing in the middle of the shield is another excellent reference to the company’s elegance and power.
Mercedes Benz is best-known for producing luxury and commercial vehicles, but it has also produced a handful of sporting cars and other automotive products over the years. The company first launched in 1926, in Germany, and features an unforgettable three-point star in its logo.
According to historical references from the brand, the three-point star is a tribute to the Daimler family, chosen because the two sons of Daimler saw this image in the mark their father used on letters.
The three points are also intended to represent the areas of air, sea, and sky Mercedes one day hoped to dominate with his vehicles.
Another example of one of the most famous sports car logos worldwide with a memorable animal as its symbol, Jaguar was first launched in 1933. The company now develops luxury cars for the Land Rover Company, though there are various other vehicles available from the brand too.
Jaguar has an unforgettable logo, featuring a jaguar in mid-pounce, in a silver silhouette. The creature appears to be jumping over the Jaguar wordmark, which is in all sans-serif capital letters.
This sports car emblem is a testament to Jaguar’s strength, elegance, and luxury.
Though a little lesser-known than some of the sports car logos on this list, Acura is still one of the most popular performance car manufacturers in the world. First launched in 1986, the business is actually the luxury division of Honda, the Japanese automaker.
Acura’s logo is based on an arrow, pointing upwards to the heavens to symbolize forward motion, discovery, and innovation. The bold image, combined with the harsh edges of the wordmark delivers a powerful and confident symbol for the brand.
Alfa Romeo is another luxury automobile manufacturer from Italy, launched originally in 1910. The company produces a range of beautiful and powerful vehicles, including those intended for Grand Prix and touring car racing.
Alfa Romeo has competed successfully in a range of competitions.
The Alfa Romeo logo is a complex symbol, split into two halves, the cross of the municipality sits on the left, while the Visconti serpent consuming a man is on the right. Both are traditional symbols of Milan, where the Alfa Romeo brand first began.
Though there are plenty of ultra-luxurious performance car logos worth mentioning, it’s also a good idea to draw some attention to some of the other options on the market. Many of the car companies best known for creating less expensive vehicles also produce their own sports automobiles.
The Audi brand was originally launched in 1909, before reforming to become part of the Audio Auto Union later in life. The company offers a lot of cars suitable for the everyday driver, as well as S and RS racing models, electric vehicles, and soon, self-driving cars.
Audi’s logo is a reference to the four companies which joined together to create the Auto Union: Horch, Wanderer, DKW, and Audi. Each of the connected rings represents one of the brands, and the links between them show the collaboration between the companies.
The eye-catching BMW brand first came to life in 1916, more than 100 years ago. The German multinational manufacturer builds a huge selection of vehicles today, from touring cars, and sports cars, to a range of everyday motor vehicles.
BMW has even competed in a number of sports racing competitions over the years.
The BMW logo symbolizes a couple of different things. It’s a reference to the flag of Bavaria, though the colors are inverted to help reduce the risk of trademark issues.
According to the company, the middle circle also represents the turning propeller on an aircraft, referencing the brand’s history in the air vehicle landscape.
The Ford Mustang is a series of sports-level automobiles created by the iconic Sports company. These vehicles first started production in 1964, and although the company didn’t them expect to be particularly successful, they achieved incredible popularity around the world.
The Mustang logo features a running horse, modeled after a Mustang, as a reference to the company’s name. The image of the creature in motion is excellent for conveying the speed and precision of the business.
The sleek silhouette is also perfect for a company trying to maintain a modern image.
Best-known for creating a huge range of SUVs, trucks, and sedan-style vehicles, Chevrolet also produces a handful of sports cars such as the Chevrolet Corvette.
The company first launched in November 1911 and has been incredibly successful around the world ever since. It’s one of the best-selling car manufacturers in the US.
The Chevrolet sports car logo is a simple golden bow. The origins of the design aren’t entirely certain. Some people believe Chevrolet’s logo was inspired by a wallpaper pattern, while others say it was a completely original image, created by the founder.
First introduced in 1900, Dodge is an American automotive brand based in Michigan. The Dodge company mainly produces performance cars, but also produces various sports and racing cars, such as the Dodge Viper.
The company is one of the best-known in the US.
The Dodge sports car symbol is a simple but elegant design, featuring the name of the company in bold capital letters, and a sans-serif font. The two lines on the side of the image are intended to represent “racing stripes”, symbolizing speed and incredible performance.
The Mazda Motor Corporation was first launched in January 1920 and continues to be one of the most popular brands in the world today. The company has a range of great automobiles in its lineup, and takes its name from the god of Harmony, Ahura Mazda.
Considering the meaningful name of the company, we can see a lot of intention behind the Mazda logo. The image combines a wordmark with a symbol of a bird with outstretched wings in the center of an oval.
We can also see the image of an “M” in this bird shape, depending on the angle. The Mazda wordmark is also particularly compelling, outlined in blue to symbolize trust.
Toyota might not be the first brand you think of when looking for sports car logos, but it actually has a decent history in the motorsports market. The company first started branching out into the sporty environment in the 1990s, with cars like the Toyota Supra.
The Toyota Group ended up earning a significant following in Europe.
Toyota’s logo looks at first glance like a stylized “T”, made with ovals overlapping eachother inside of a larger, metallic oval.
The ovals have a meaning of their own. The outer oval represents a steering wheel, while the larger shape is supposed to be indicative of the world surrounding the brand.
Nissan is another company frequently associated with cars outside of the sporting landscape. However, there have been a number of sporty vehicles throughout the company’s lifespan, starting in 1914.
One of the first sports cars introduced was the 240Z Datsun in 1969. According to the company, the vehicle was an immediate sensation among customers.
Nissan’s logo has evolved a few times over the years, to the point where today we only have a simple wordmark to identify the business. This wordmark features sans-serif font in all capital letters, creating a bold and confident image for the brand.
First launched in 1899 as Fiat S.p.a, then again as “Fiat” in 2007, this automotive company comes from Italy, like many of the top sports car manufacturers. Fiat is actually the largest automobile company in Italy and is third in the world for sales after Ford and General Motors.
Fiat hasn’t produced many sports cars in its time, but it has had a couple on offer, like the sports version of the Fiat 850.
The Fiat logo today is a pretty simplistic image, featuring block capital letters in a sans-serif font. The use of a slightly curved “A” reminds us of the shape of the windows on many Fiat cars. The overall image is fun and engaging, with just a hint of extra meaning.
Pagani Automobili is one of the world’s most sought-after car brands. The Italian company launched only 30 years ago in 1992, founded by Horacio Pagani. The company specializes in sports cars above anything else, often crafted using unique carbon fiber components.
Pagani’s cars are unique and beautiful, often utilizing engine’s from other popular vehicles. The Pagani Zonda includes a mid-mounted DOHC V12 engine manufactured by Mercedes-Benz AMG. Pagani’s logo is surprisingly minimalistic for a company focused on such eye-catching sportscars.
The company uses a sans-serif wordmark, written in all capital letters, with each character designed to be the same size, showing balance.
The image is surrounded by an oval, a shape usually intended to represent community or universal appeal.
A Swedish manufacturer of high-performance sports cars, Koenigsegg first launched in 1994, and became a worldwide company within very little time. The company’s first street-legal performance car was introduced in 2002.
The brand has even achieved a number of stand-out awards of the years, with one of its vehicles listed as the “world’s most beautiful cars in 2009”.
Koenigsegg has a somewhat traditional sports car emblem. The image is a shield based on the family coat of arms for the Koenigseggs.
The phantom insignia is actually a tribute to the Swedish air force squadron operating from the airbase where the Koenigsegg factory also produces its phenomenal and famous sports cars.
Bugatti first launched in 1909 over 113 years ago, and unfortunately went defunct in 1963. However, this doesn’t stop the Bugatti vehicles from becoming some of the most popular and sought-after sports cars of all time.
The vehicle producer was best-known for creating stunning racing and high-performance cars, which achieved a number of victories in competitions around the globe.
The Bugatti logo is said to hold some reference to the history of the company. Some people say the red dots are supposed to look like safety wires, common in sporting and racing vehicles throughout the world.
Others say the dots are intended to look like rubies, as Ettoree Bugatti often thought of his vehicles as fine jewels.
Abarth is an Italian racing and road car maker, as well as a performance division founded by Carlo Abarth in 1949. The company is owned by Stellantis at this point, and is well known for producing sports cars in regions worldwide.
This phenomenal company has produced a huge range of different styles of vehicles over the years, including those based on Fiat models.
Today, the Abarth logo is a little lesser known than some of the other sports car logos we’ve covered so far. However, it’s fair to say it is still instantly recognizable.
The scorpion on the yellow and red shield is the astrological animal of Karl Alberto Abarth. He belongs to the Scorpio zodiac sign. While the coloring on the shield is clearly a reference to the location of the company and its Italian heritage.
The world’s leading sports car symbols
Hopefully, this article covering some of the world’s top sports car logos has given you an excellent insight into just how attractive and appealing the right images can be for sporting vehicles.
The famous sports car logos we’ve covered so far are an excellent overview of how meaningful the right visuals can be for any company.
Throughout the years, countless businesses have emerged within the sports car landscape to demonstrate their own vision of what the ultimate sporting vehicle should look like. Each company came with its own phenomenal logo, and an unforgettable brand identity.
You can learn more about some of the vehicle companies mentioned here, and the power of logo creation here on Brand Fabrik.