Power Ratings

POWER RATINGS: 2023 Hot Wheels Car Culture / SPETTACOLARE

Welcome to the #Power Ratings for the 2nd mix of #Car Culture for 2023: Spettacolare. Translated from Italian to English, this series is “Spectacular” — and that it is.

Before we go any further, make sure you pre-order your Car Culture case via 1StopDiecast.com. Ordering by the case gives you the best shot at getting a chase outside of being camped out at retail with the masses.

As the name of this series implies, this selection of Italian cars is SPECTACULAR — and so is the card art. When laid out from #1 to #5, the background colors go from green to white to red — patterning the Italian flag — making no mistake this is an Italian lineup. Also, if you look at the artwork real close, there is an Easter egg of sorts. The building behind the cars looks to have cracks in it, but if you inspect those cracks closer, it appears to be an aerial map of the streets of an Italian city.

Three of the several Italian automobile manufacturers are represented: #Alfa Romeo, #Lancia, and #Lamborghini. Sure, it would have been nice to see cars from Ferrari, Maserati, Fiat, Pagani, or even Pininfarina, but with only five slots and a smattering of other reasons (like licensing and lack of premium castings), these five do hold their ground for a multitude of reasons.

Without further ado, lets take a look at what should be arriving at stores very soon. Again, I solicited help from a few people I follow in the collecting world to help me rank these Italian beasts. Here is a rundown of how we form the ratings…

POWER RATINGS are comprised of an average of 3 scores: Casting Choice, Deco/Livery, and Cool Factor. Below is what is factored into each rating:

  • Casting Choice: Rating is based on how well does the casting fit within the series. Is the casting a good choice for today’s Car Culture?
  • Deco/Livery: Looks are everything! Rating is based on the color/deco/livery and how appropriate it is for this release.
  • Cool Factor: The real X-factor here. Does the car resonate with collectors? Will it be sought after?


Casting Choice = 7 • Deco/Livery = 7 • Cool Factor = 8

Lamborghini Countach LPI 800-4 (chase)


What a way to introduce the new casting of Lamborghini’s long-awaited #Countach. The #Lamborghini Countach LPI 800-4 is dressed in all-black and it the perfect counterpart to the white one you’ll see below — giving the two initial releases a contrasting approach. #Chase models of new castings always stand out in the eyes of collectors so this one will certainly resonate well.

From Jimmy Liu (Director of Marketing for Hot Wheels) on why the Lamborghini Countach LPI 800-4 was chosen as the chase: It’s a new tool. Not a hard and fast rule, but a lot of the times the chase is the new tool if there is one in the mix.


Casting Choice = 7 • Deco/Livery = 7 • Cool Factor = 7

Lamborghini Countach LPI 800-4


What could be a better way of celebrating Lamborghini’s new #Countach than releasing it in its signature color (white) in Car Culture — the hottest Hot Wheels line there is! For these reasons, the choice and deco are solid 7’s and I ranked it just below the chase as the cool factor is there, but you know, it’s not a chase. One could argue that if the rarity of the chase didn’t play a factor here, the white model actually looks better and would be more desirable.

From Reece, @aussiehotwheelscollector on IG: The moment I first saw the Lamborghini Countach LPI 800-4, I instantly knew that Hot Wheels were going to make it soon. I had high expectations. The latest crop of Hot Wheels supercar castings have been excellent, and this one should be another addition to that collection. But when I first saw a picture of the casting, something seemed “off”. I think it might be the staggered wheel sizes. Most new supercar castings have the same size wheel front & back, so this one is different to what we’re used to. From what I’ve seen, the rest of the casting looks very nice, so hopefully my apprehension will be relieved once I have the car in my hand.

From @grunty_diecast on IG: [Hot Wheels Designer] Mark Jones’ swansong as lead designer for Hot Wheels Premium has led him to designing some awesome automobiles, and this Countach is absolutely no exception. The supple and sleek appearance along with the aggressive contours typical of Lamborghinis, couples with a coat of Bianco Siderale paint, make this the perfect fusion of old and new. It looks the look and walks the walk, and I can assure you this casting will have a lot going for it.


Casting Choice = 8 • Deco/Livery = 6 • Cool Factor = 5

Lamborghini Countach LP 5000 QV


Its year two for the Hot Wheels #Lamborghini Countach LP 5000 QV casting, and it’s back in #Car Culture again — this time in yellow. This casting is so clean its going to look great in any of the standard colors — black, red, yellow, white & silver — and this makes 3 of the 5. This also marks the first usage of the Real Riders 8-Dot Wheels on this casting which more closely resemble the 5-hole wheels that came standard on this generation of the #Countach.

From @seajay21diecast on IG: [I’m] excited! It doesn’t hurt that yellow is my favourite colour.

From Charlie “Countach King” @chasillac_hotwheels on IG: I think the new Hot Wheels Spettacolare set is neat, but of course the yellow Lamborghini Countach LP 5000 SV is a must-have in the collection with a bit more stock style wheels. [It’s] another win on this casting!


Casting Choice = 5 • Deco/Livery = 7 • Cool Factor = 5

Alfa Romeo 155 V6 Ti


Can you imagine if Hot Wheels made an exception to allow alcohol & tobacco sponsors in premium adult lines? It would make for some awesome replicas of some vintage race cars. As a father, I see why Mattel has the stance they do about what they put in the toy aisle, but as a collector I wish I didn’t have to buy other brands to get an authentic Martini livery. With that said, the graphic designers at Hot Wheels do a great job of creating unlicensed versions of these liveries, such is the case here. This release of the #Alfa Romeo 155 V6 Ti should be a popular one amongst collectors.

From Jeff, @jghopwheels on IG: Everyone will be clamoring for both Countachs, and for good reason. I certainly will be too, but this Alfa Romeo 155 V6 Ti in a Martini-esque livery is going to steal the show in my opinion. I never knew how much I would love this casting until I got it in hand. Once I got the red Boulevard version in-hand, I fell in love with it, and now I will certainly be a completist on this casting. This Spettacolare version does not disappoint. In fact, it may just be even better than that stellar red and white version from Boulevard. It may not be a car most people think of when thinking of an Italian car, but I believe this Alfa is a big hit amongst collectors, and I’m really glad it has been included in this all-Italian Car Culture mix.


Casting Choice = 5 • Deco/Livery = 4 • Cool Factor = 4

Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA


This one is tricky. I, for one, love the #Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA casting as evidenced by my previous articles about it. I admit that I am a completist when it comes to it. Also, the white car pops off the red-colored card, however, I do expect collectors to leave this one behind while being blinded by the Lamborghinis in this mix. Its the third white car in this mix so the “very-Alfa-inspired” livery leaves a little more to be desired. Another full-racing deco would have been more welcomed, along with “plain” decos in gold or dark green — just not somewhere in-between.

From Baught & Bilt, @baughtandbilt on IG: With classic racers, simple liveries work best. The Giulia is no different here. While dropping the roundels and numbers, you still get a not-so-subtle nod to Alfa’s racing history with a pronounced Quadrifoglio [four-leaf clover] on the sides. The hood has the biscione (man eating snake) that’s obviously part of the Alfa badge; which in and of itself is a symbol of Milan. Symbolism and iconic design in motorsport is nothing new but it’s always awesome to see new takes in our toy cars. While it may be just a white car with green logos to some, it’s a whole history lesson waiting to be unpacked by those who want to learn their meanings. Fun fact: excluding the 2022 mail-in; all Giulia Sprints have included the Quadrifoglio.


Casting Choice = 1 • Deco/Livery = 5 • Cool Factor = 2

Lancia Stratos


Every time I see the Hot Wheels #Lancia Stratos, I think it is a weirdly designed casting… then I remind myself how odd the real 1:1 car truly was with a quick Google image search. Its hard to assess this one as I really like the deco for this casting’s first premium release despite being around since 2002! Its clearly the best release of this casting, but at the bottom of the ratings, collectors will wonder why we didn’t see the made-for-premium Lancia Rally 037 & Lancia Stratos Group 5 castings here, or even an upgrade of the popular basic, Lancia Delta Integrale over this Stratos casting which finally got the call up to the big leagues after 21 years.

From Paul, @Tasmanian Devil on HWC: Absolutely period correct deco and wheels on this vehicle; it absolutely nails what a 1970s rally car looked like. This car could easily be lifted straight from rally footage of the era.

From @grunty_diecast on IG: It’s been a little while since we’ve heard anything about the Stratos in the lineup. That’s all about to change with this, and it’s official introduction into the premium lineup could not have been done any better than this. The copper-colored wheels give this thing character, a nice color break from the other cars in this series. Combine these new shoes with accurate tampos and you have yourself a prime example of one of the greatest and most successful rally cars in miniature form. I cannot wait for what the premium team will do next with this casting.

There you have it! Our second #Power Ratings here on OTD for #2023 Hot Wheels #Car Culture. What do you think? Do you agree with these ratings? Let us know in the comments below!

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