Ferrari is declared the 'world's most powerful brand'PA

Ferrari has been declared the most powerful brand in the world by the annual Fortune Global 500 survey, which analyses the financial and brand performance of leading companies.

This means the Italian supercar manufacturer not only beat other car companies such as Porsche or Audi, but also industry giants such as Google and Coca-Cola, which were judged second and third respectively.

Despite being much smaller than rival brands, Ferrari was said to excel in important areas such as brand affection and loyalty, although the company's profit margins, revenue per customer and marketing spend are also considered. But there were no problems in that department, as Ferrari recorded profits of over £130 million in 2012 from a £1.5 billion turnover.

The Ferrari legend has been built on some of the most iconic and lusted-after road cars of all time - all of which were of course available in red - but now the prancing horse logo appears on much more than just the bonnets of expensive cars.

"It is always a pleasure to top any list [especially] when the competition includes some of the world's most famous companies. This achievement proves that even in very tough economic times, Italy can still offer the world businesses of excellence," commented Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo.

See the gallery below for the top five most iconic Ferrari's ever built. The mouth-watering gallery features such greats as the 250GTO, a car that arguably kick-started Ferrari's reputation for producing drop-dead gorgeous sports cars. It's no wonder they sell for £20+ million at auction.