Definition Of A Sports Car

Definition Of A Sports Car



A simple definition of​ a​ sports car is​ “a small low car with a​ high-powered engine, and​ generally seats two people”. This is​ more or​ less a​ “textbook” definition but gives us an​ idea of​ what the​ public perceives to​ be a​ sports car.

The Houghton Mifflin dictionary defines a​ sports car as: “An automobile equipped for​ racing, especially an​ aerodynamically shaped one-passenger or​ two-passenger vehicle having a​ low center of​ gravity and​ steering and​ suspension designed for​ precise control at​ high speeds.” This dictionary definition does not seem to​ capture the​ general perception of​ what the​ public sees as​ a​ sports car.

The Houghton Mifflin definition of​ the​ “two seat rule” seems out-of-date. Many sports cars today offer small back seats (sometimes referred to​ as​ 2+2 seating) and​ there is​ a​ current movement underway to​ increase the​ seating room in​ models long considered sports cars by most automotive experts.

Insurance companies use their own formula in​ classifying automobiles and​ often the​ presence of​ two doors automatically makes any car a​ “sports car” in​ their eyes. This perspective, of​ course, is​ as​ overly simplistic as​ the​ standard dictionary approach to​ defining a​ sports car. One can certainly think of​ any number of​ two door vehicles that fall far short of​ being an​ actual sports car. Economy cars and​ even larger two-door vehicles that are not built with power and​ performance in​ mind should not qualify as​ true sports cars.

Some car buffs will refer to​ high-performance muscle cars and​ other larger vehicles as​ sports cars. Others, however, draw a​ distinction between these vehicles and​ “true” sports cars. These individuals will claim that a​ car can be a​ “sporting car” or​ simply “sporty” but still fall short of​ being a​ true sports car. Thus, “regular” cars may be outfitted with a​ “sports package” and/or accessories to​ make the​ car sportier, but may not fit a​ strict definition of​ a​ sports car.

Not all automotive enthusiasts, however, embrace this restrictive view of​ sports cars. in​ many circles, a​ sports car is​ any car offering greater performance or​ power than more standard offerings. This school of​ thought will consider muscle cars and​ other larger vehicles designed with performance in​ mind as​ sports cars.

Others will maintain that the​ distinction between a​ sports car and​ any other type of​ car lies in​ how the​ car's suspension and​ handling are addressed. Technical debates rage over whether various suspension packages qualify as​ belonging to​ true “sports cars.”

Some will argue that a​ sports car can be defined by its intentions. if​ the​ car is​ designed for​ performance more so than for​ utility, they say, it​ is​ a​ sports car. This intent-based definition, however, provides little guidance in​ determining whether a​ car is​ a​ sports car or​ not. Particularly in​ the​ modern era, the​ notion of​ designing a​ car of​ any sort without significant consideration of​ its feasibility and​ utility seems unlikely. Any commercially viable vehicle, regardless of​ its performance, must retain significant utility.

Road and​ Track, a​ leading automotive publication, summarizes the​ sports card definition debate with a​ simple observation: “Ask five people the​ exact definition of​ a​ sports car, and​ you'll likely get five different answers.”

There is​ no clear-cut definition of​ what really is​ a​ sports car. the​ restrictive definitions of​ the​ past seem ill suited to​ categorize today's' diverse automotive offerings and​ common usage of​ the​ term runs contrary to​ most long-held definitions.

There is, however, a​ common thought that seems to​ run through almost all of​ the​ outlooks on the​ meaning of​ “sports car.” if​ a​ car is​ designed with high performance or​ race-like capabilities in​ mind, it​ can probably be safely termed a​ sports car. Some purists may balk at​ such a​ liberal perspective, but alternative definitions fall far short of​ accurately distinguishing sports cars form regular production models.




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