What is a Sports Car? Everything You Need to Know About These Sweet Rides

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​A sports car is not the same as other cars. There is much more to it than its looks.

Did your friend buy a sports car and you can’t wait to buy one? Maybe you can’t resist the idea of looking at that shiny, new, and seductive, sports car frame standing and inviting you. But on the second guess, is that a sports car? After all, nowadays most cars have the sleek and super-cool look of a sports car. It’s natural to be confused. To know what is a sports car let’s check the history of sports cars, their evolution, why we get confused between a sports car and others, as well as some of the best sports cars today. Next time someone asks you, "what is a sports car?" you'll know exactly how to respond.

What is a sports car? Let's Break it Down:

You may have thought sports cars are easily identifiable, yet as the style and shape of cars evolves it is harder to tell. Below, we'll break down everything you need to know to identify these automobile beauties. 

what is a sports car, sports car definition, sports car, luxury sports car, luxury cars

Credit: Pixnio

What is a sports car? Definition and Meaning:

A sports car is a low built, high-performance car that can usually seat two. Lightweight for speed, but with minimal comfort sports cars lack the features of a larger sedan. For instance, not having a big trunk and rear seat is a drawback at times. Even still, sports cars have their appeal.

These cars are meant to stand out for jaw-dropping sleek looks and high speed. Even still, this often comes at a high price. However, it is rarely seen on the road, and that is one of the reasons that a sports car is associated with high value and premium feel. With low fuel economy, 6-cylinder engine, and maximum power at 239kW/ 325 bhp @6800 RPM, sports cars outperform standard vehicles.

What is a sports car? Elements of a sports car:

While essential aspects of a sports car exist in a regular car like power, layout, and type, there are few elements which vary to a great extent.

Seating and Position

It can get a bit difficult to enter in a low height seating position. Unlike regular cars, this is done so that the driver is closer to the engine and gets better speed and performance while driving. There are many adjustable car seats in the market meant for a sports car. But you might have to check with the manufacturer if it is suitable and safe.  You can also protect your car seats by buying a car seat protector.  

Weight and Body Panels

Most sports cars have a lightweight body to pick up speed quickly. That’s one reason why the body panels are durable and inexpensive. It helps to maintain control and provide a smooth driving experience.

Body and Aesthetics

A welcome change from the heavy bodied cars in the 1800s, sports cars have an artistic flair that is not only beautiful but also high on functionality and performance. These cars aren't for the faint of heart!

What is a sports car and how do they work?

On the surface we do know that speed is what makes a sports car cool and desirable, but there’s a lot that goes on inside. The moment you step on the gas, the transmission holds onto the gears, the steering becomes a bit tight, and the dampers firm up. With this, the shock fluid pressure increases to control your ride for a faster and reliable drive.

Why are sports cars elusive?

It’s not often that you drive a high-velocity car with an almost flying-in-the-air feeling with bated breath. The exact moment where you feel the adrenaline rush and also the fear for your life is an exclusive experience that cannot be compared to a daily car drive. It’s why a sports car with the right body, functionality, moment, and environment costs no less than approximately $200,000.

Why are there different perceptions of a sports car?

Because it is elusive, aspirations to buy a sports car vary. The elite sports car stands for pride or stature. It also accords you celebrity status. Perceptions change if it’s bought in bulk or by an individual. Corporate purchase looks for enticing design and many features to sell. An individual might skip these and buy it as a gift or as a part of his luxury car collection.


What is a Sports Car? History of the Cars:

Over the years sports cars have changed their meaning due to changes in policies. It triggered the entire segment to be shuffled and included cars that had the same engines as traditional cars but were categorized as sports cars to save costs. For that reason, it's now more important than ever to ask ourselves, "What is a sports car?" Let’s take a look at the history of sports cars in the next few sections.

what is a sports car, sports car definition, sports car, luxury sports car, luxury cars

Credit: Pexels

It can be difficult to trace the exact roots, but it is widely known that World-War 2 led to the entry of smaller and lighter vehicles in the US. Rising middle-income groups piqued the interest of car manufactures starting from the MG-TC in 1945 to Nash-Healey sports car in 1951. 1965 saw the entry of Porsche 911. Down the years, Datsun 240X - with a lower price than Porsche 911 -- competed in the sports category.

Sports cars manufacturers

Mostly produced in series, a sports car is either a two-seater or a four-seater. Famous sports car makers include Porsche, Lancia, Morgan, Aston Martin, Jaguar, and MG. Ferrari and Lotus are also known to make sports cars though they are often recollected for their Grand Prix racing cars.

Sports cars created a niche segment

When sports cars first launched, it brought along with it the emotional feel of owning and driving that did not come with other vehicles. Despite being highly priced, it was new and did not have the traditional drawbacks of other cars. While it did not disrupt the market, owing to high price it created a niche of its own. Sales of sports cars dipped in 2016 to grow marginally in 2017. In 2017 while Mercedes-AMG GT has seen a 31.1% YTD, Acura NSX has grown at 116%.

How have sports cars evolved and why?

Sports cars now lean on comfort as much as speed. Unlike the earlier version of sports cars where speed was superior to comfort, the recent releases have high-tech gadgets and lesser noise. High-speed power coupled with automatic transmission is another plus. Sports cars have evolved to be lightweight with increased efficiency, stability and control as compared to the earlier sports cars.

The waning interest in the old model sports cars called for upgrading it with the latest gadgets and better experience. Manufacturers realized that new car models did come with the sports button option thereby reducing the charm in full-fledged sports cars. To compete, sustained comfort was given priority. That’s the reason we now see sports cars with better support, more options, and even higher power to attract millennial buyers.

Sports cars advertisements today:

As a niche market product, sports cars have a natural pull factor. They don’t need to cater to the masses. However, in the competitive space, they do an ideal placement in automotive magazines, favorite blogs, and niche specific YouTube videos like this.

Popular YouTube channels review sports cars like the recent Tesla Roadster 2020. This is meant to give viewers an inside "test drive" to entice towards a purchase. You can expect overviews of each car's features, interior styling, tech gadgets, and speed.


What is a Sports Car? What Qualifies?

Supercars are often mistaken for a sports car. Both vary in their performance and are referred to as sports car either for promotion, for similarity to the engine, or to create an appeal. However, a sports car is much lighter, faster, and indulges in higher top-speed acceleration than a super car. A few distinct features and benefits separate a sports car from the others.

Features and Benefits:

Don't be fooled by imitators. Even if you haven’t seen a sports car yet, one look at any sports car poster, and it is evident that a sports car should look sporty. But, is that all it takes to qualify a sports car?

what is a sports car, sports car definition, sports car, luxury sports car, luxury cars

Credit: Flickr, Bill Abbott

Officially many features define a sports car. Some are car weight, top speed, maximum engine speed, number of seats, maximum torque, maximum power, cubic capacity (cc), car model and manufacturer. Let’s look at few features and benefits that you should check before purchasing a sports car.

Engines

The power is the key here to drive fast. A small engine gives the driver better control on the car with less weight on the front wheels. There are both automatic and manual transmissions available. Most prefer automatic transmissions since they come along with manual gear selection for the driver.

Wheels

With limited space inside, the wheels take on the critical aspect of controlling the position of the car. Rear wheels have to be strong to control the car weight while turning back. On the other hand, the front wheels might not be as sturdy as the rear wheels and would need proper driving to keep the car in the right position.

Safety

The latest technology allows you to control stability, traction and have improved efficiency with high horsepower. These functions make it easy to manage the car and avoid any significant breakdown or accidents.

Navigation System

For the long-distance traveler, you can depend on your sports car to be your travel buddy. The GPS unit can give you the same functions at a lesser cost than an independent retail purchase of a navigation system. One advantage is that touch-screen and voice display makes your navigation system a safer option. It also helps focus on the road.


What is a sports car? The Difference Between These & Other Cars

Don't be fooled by imitators! Know the difference between a sports car and its driving peers. We've broken it down for you so you know exactly how to answer the question of what is a sports car:

1. Sports cars

what is a sports car, sports car definition, sports car, luxury sports car, luxury cars

Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Ben

Two-seater or at times four-seater, lightweight, high speed, rear-wheel backed drive are the hallmarks of sports cars. The small engine supports the vehicle with forced induction.   

​2. ​Racing cars

what is a sports car, sports car definition, sports car, luxury sports car, luxury cars

Credit: Pixabay

A race car is made solely for racing. It is aligned to make the driver comfortable yet prepared to judge the road through rough suspension. A sports car, on the other hand, is made for a comfortable driving experience. Durability varies as a race car has a short life as compared to a sports car.

​3. ​​Super cars

what is a sports car, sports car definition, sports car, luxury sports car, luxury cars

Credit: PxHere

Supercars outperforms other cars in performance. These sit between a normal car and a sports car. At 500 horsepower it can be tough to handle as compared to a sports car. Some supercars include Bugatti Veyron, Aston Martin Valkyrie, and Mclaren P1. Supercars are rear-wheeled like sports cars, but they can be mid-engine, unlike a sports car.

​4. ​Normal cars

what is a sports car, sports car definition, sports car, luxury sports car, luxury cars

Credit: Public Domain Pictures

It is made for the comfort of daily family travel, and the standard car is everything you would want in your ride. Basic functionality, comfort, legroom, sufficient trunk space and fuel economy. Short on high design but excellent on performance, it outperforms other cars because of its high functionality and adaptability to most conditions.

​5. ​Muscle cars

what is a sports car, sports car definition, sports car, luxury sports car, luxury cars

Credit: Pixabay

As the name suggests, the muscle car design is bulky and delivers high performance as compared to other cars. The torque is way higher than that of a sports car. If you are in the market for a car, a muscle car will cost you more than a sports car. Because the engines are more massive than sports cars, muscle cars are highly priced.

​6. ​Hyper cars

what is a sports car, sports car definition, sports car, luxury sports car, luxury cars

Credit: W Motors

Hypercars don’t just have a superior and impressive body, but with 1000 horsepower it surpasses other cars. The cost is $1 million and above and the brute force is evident in its performance. The high prices and extreme performance requires extensive resources. Minimal on luxury and exuding outstanding performance, hypercars exist for those who thrive on the adrenaline rush and don’t mind the expense incurred.


​What are the best sports cars of all time?

When you ask yourself: what is a sports car?, you should also want to know about the best sports cars of all time. Here they are:

1. Porsche 911

what is a sports car, sports car definition, sports car, luxury sports car, luxury cars

Credit:Flickr

It is one sports car that has remained true to its roots since the 1960s. It still reigns supreme with 450hp and a top speed of 192mph. It is fast on the road and yet makes the driver comfortable.  Additionally, its interior can do with some work since it carries forward the same look from the past few decades and needs a modern look.

2. Ferrari 812 Superfast

what is a sports car, sports car definition, sports car, luxury sports car, luxury cars

Credit:Flickr

There is a reason for that 8 in the name. At 800 horsepower it is a mean machine that competes with flying experience.  The 12 stands for the 12 cylinders that power the Ferrari. The electric power-steering adds to the glitz and is surprisingly light. There could be a better steering experience to complete the outstanding performance.

3. Audi R8

what is a sports car, sports car definition, sports car, luxury sports car, luxury cars

Credit:Pexels

Audi R8 has won many races in the US and has a top performance at 5.2L V10 FSI. It performs supremely well even in bends due to dry sump lubrication. The mid-engine and carbon fiber-reinforced ceramic brake discs are well-supported by Audi virtual cockpit and bucket seats.

4. Aston Martin Vantage

what is a sports car, sports car definition, sports car, luxury sports car, luxury cars

Credit:Pixabay

Aston Martin runs on the eight-speed automatic transmission with a rather light steering wheel. The new structure has stamped a panel that allows for more space though a bit stiffer. It crosses 60mph in 3.4 seconds to 195mph. It does make the occasional sound, but it is not unbearable.

5. Dodge Challenger SRT/ SRT Hellcat

what is a sports car, sports car definition, sports car, luxury sports car, luxury cars

Credit:Thomas Classics

At a starting price of $50,840, the Dodge Challenger SRT has a supercharged 6.2L V-8 good for 707hp.and 650lb-ft with a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic. Acceleration happens from 30 to 50 mph in 1.8 seconds and to 50 to 70mph in 2.3 seconds.


Recommended Products for Sports Car Enthusiasts

1. Sparco R100 Black Seat 

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Credit:Amazon

PROS:

  • plus
    ​Tubular Steel Frame
  • plus
    ​Easy to use with 3-4 harness
  • plus
    ​Low bolstering for wide applications

CONS:

  • close
    ​Width needs to be adjusted
  • ​Might not be suitable as track seats

2. HappeGearPro Waterproof Athletic Car Seat Protector

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Credit:Amazon

PROS:

  • plus
    ​Protects the seat from sweat and dirt
  • plus
    ​Soft microfiber for comfort
  • plus
    ​Machine-washable

CONS:

  • close
    ​Size might be an issue

3. Sport Cars Poster Lamborghini Bugatti

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Credit:Amazon

PROS:

  • plus
    ​High Quality
  • plus
    ​Works well as a gift
  • plus
    ​Cost effective

CONS:

  • close
    Has only one car in the poster

4. Bugatti Veyron Poster Car Poster

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Credit:Amazon

PROS:

  • plus
    ​High quality surface design
  • plus
    ​Designed for proper ink settlement

CONS:

  • close
    ​Dimensions could have been a bit more

5. Cairnsi Canvas Prints

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Credit:Amazon

PROS:

  • plus
    ​Suitable for any place at home
  • plus
    ​High Quality

CONS:

  • close
    ​Dimension ca​n be a bit big

Sports cars are ideal for those looking for a need for speed and also performance.

While sports cars deliver on performance, it can at times not give high fuel efficiency like other cars. Seating can be restricted.  Hence, you should carry out the necessary research before buying a sports car. Find out if it meets your needs and also your expectations.

Do you have any questions on the sports car that hasn’t been covered? Let us know in the comments!

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