Ferrari won't be building Italy's newest high speed train, but the company's chair is holding the reigns on the sleek "Italo" train. You think it's a coincidence it's bright red with a prancing animal โ€” a hare โ€” on the side?

The French-built train actually has more in common with a Renault than a Ferrari โ€” Luca Cordero di Montezemolo's train monopoly-busting startup is part owned by French national railway SNCP โ€” but that seems to be the way of things for Italian companies these days.

The always impeccably dressed Montezemolo said that the locomotiveless Italo, officially dubbed NTV, can travel as fast as 220 MPH, but Italy's existing high speed rails can only support speeds of up to 185 MPH. Able to travel from Rome to Milan in about three hours, Montezemolo has his sights set upon loosening Trenitalia's long running hold over Italian rail travel. By the end of this week, the new trains will offer service between Rome and eight other cities.

Montezemolo's started NTV โ€” Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori โ€” four years ago, and has his sights set on garnering 25 percent of Italy's high speed train ridership (some 8-9 million passengers per year) by 2014. To do this, his team has employed that most Ferrariesque feature: Style.


(Hat tip to AntiSpeed!)

Photo Credit: Getty Images