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    What is considered a sports car anymore?

    Is it judging by ultimate quickness? Track worthiness? Performance on public roads?

    Road legal track cars? Road cars that's capable on a race track?

    Are widely accepted GT cars considered sports cars? Or are they already being classified as a different class?

    90% of the population cannot extract 90% of a car's performance on 90% of the world's paved surfaces, is a 'sports car' ultimate performance on a closed race track matters anymore?

    If track performance is the benchmark, I have to believe the ultimate 'sports car' to be a track car disguised as road cars like the Ariel Atom, nothing comes close.

    What about creature comfort, are those addition to a 'sports car' diminished the 'sports car' definition? Or is it the amount of creature comfort a car provides that separate 'sports car' from the rest? So something a little bit less hardcore than the Atom, like a GT3RS, Scuderia, etc the quintessential 'sports car'?

    A 458 has a lot more creature comfort over the Scuderia, like sat nav, leather everywhere, etc. Do those things make it less 'sports car' than the Scuderia?

    A 997 Turbo, most consider it a sports car, some disagreed saying it's more GT car for long distance travel comfort. So do comfort comes into play when considering 'sports car'? A more comfortable car is LESS 'sports car' than a less comfortable car?

    Handling do play a part in the consideration, but where to draw the line? If a 997 Turbo is not considered to be a 'sports car' but more of a GT car, then the bar is set very very high as the 997 Turbo already out handles 95% of the cars out there. I doubt there will be no more than 1% of the population who can even come close to half way of a 'sports car' handling envelope on public roads.

     

    It's 3am here and I can't sleep thinking about this philosophical question. Funny how the human mind works.

     


    Re: What is considered a sports car anymore?

     To me it's more about involvement than pure performance...

    (I like the way the mind works )


    Re: What is considered a sports car anymore?

    IMO a sportscar is the car you want to drive just for the pleasure of driving it, even if there is no practical reason for the ride.

    It's the car that makes you take the long way home. A car you drive out of hobby rather than for transport.

    Looks, configuration, brand or even performance don't matter IMO as long as the above ingredients exist.


    --

    "Form follows function"


    Re: What is considered a sports car anymore?

    A Mazda MX-5 is a sportscar and a 997TT is a GT car, despite the fact that the TT is faster and handles better.


    --

    73 Carrera RS 2.7 Carbon Fiber replica (1,890 lbs).  Former: 73 911S, Two 951S's, 996 C2, 993 C2, 98 Ferrari 550 Maranello


    Re: What is considered a sports car anymore?

    reginos:

    IMO a sportscar is the car you want to drive just for the pleasure of driving it, even if there is no practical reason for the ride.

    It's the car that makes you take the long way home. A car you drive out of hobby rather than for transport.

    Looks, configuration, brand or even performance don't matter IMO as long as the above ingredients exist.

    +1... Spot on definition in my book...Smiley

     


    --

    "Things turn out best for people who make the best of the way things turn out."


    Re: What is considered a sports car anymore?

     To state it another way, a car that is FUN to drive. Many cars are pleasurable, very comfortable and fast to drive. But few are fun.


    --

     


    Re: What is considered a sports car anymore?

    Grant:

    A Mazda MX-5 is a sportscar and a 997TT is a GT car, despite the fact that the TT is faster and handles better.


    --

    73 Carrera RS 2.7 Carbon Fiber replica (1,890 lbs).  Former: 73 911S, Two 951S's, 996 C2, 993 C2, 98 Ferrari 550 Maranello

     

    I agreed 110% on the MX-5. Not very fast but FUN. Same for the 997TT as a GT car.

    But how is the 997TT not a sports car? It also has the fun factor, it's a blast to drive even on mountain roads. Can it be a GT car AND a sports car?

    I sat in a SLS yesterday, most would consider it a sports car, but it's just as comfortable as the Turbo, has the same creature comforts as the Turbo and it is a proper GT car too.

    The old definition for GT car is that it's a very comfortable traveler, but they don't handle as good as a proper sports car. New generation GT cars are so capable in the handling department that the line is quite blurred.

    I have to think the weight of the car has more bearing on whether a car is consider sports car or GT car.

    There aren't too many pure GT cars around now, apart from a Ferrari 612, Maserati Granturismo, Bentley Continental GT, all of them pretty heavy.

    What about the M3? It used to be a no brainer sports car. But the current one some would consider it a GT as it became bloated and loaded with creature comforts.

     


    Re: What is considered a sports car anymore?

    Low slung body, 2 seats, hint of track useability, no sedans, no wagons and no trucks.

    The M3 is not a sportscar. It is a incredibly good go fast sedan though. A Cadillac CTSV Wagon is just as quick and even faster, that doesnt make the Caddy Wagon a sportscar either.


    Re: What is considered a sports car anymore?

    John H:
    reginos:

    IMO a sportscar is the car you want to drive just for the pleasure of driving it, even if there is no practical reason for the ride.

    It's the car that makes you take the long way home. A car you drive out of hobby rather than for transport.

    Looks, configuration, brand or even performance don't matter IMO as long as the above ingredients exist.

    +1... Spot on definition in my book...Smiley

    +2 

    SmileySmiley

     

     


    --
    2008 Boxster S

    Re: What is considered a sports car anymore?

    awai08:
    John H:
    reginos:

    IMO a sportscar is the car you want to drive just for the pleasure of driving it, even if there is no practical reason for the ride.

    It's the car that makes you take the long way home. A car you drive out of hobby rather than for transport.

    Looks, configuration, brand or even performance don't matter IMO as long as the above ingredients exist.

    +1... Spot on definition in my book...Smiley

    +2 

    SmileySmiley

     

     


    +3 its all about the feeling you get when you drive, no matter what you're driving. Whoopsy this is a good philosophical topic for car guys.

    Re: What is considered a sports car anymore?

    JimFlat6:

    Low slung body, 2 seats, hint of track useability, no sedans, no wagons and no trucks.

    The M3 is not a sportscar. It is a incredibly good go fast sedan though. A Cadillac CTSV Wagon is just as quick and even faster, that doesnt make the Caddy Wagon a sportscar either.

    <cough> McLaren F1 had 3 seats <cough>

     

    Smiley


    Re: What is considered a sports car anymore?

    Heist:

    <cough> McLaren F1 had 3 seats <cough>

     

    Smiley

     

    McLaren was never known for following rules.............

    But then again 911s have 4 seats yet are still consider sports car.

     

    This is not a easy question to answer. There really isn't a line on the sand separating, apart from 2 doors as a hard and fast rule.

    Fun factor is a good gauge, but it's quite objective.


    Re: What is considered a sports car anymore?

    Great thread raising an interesting question ...

    I'm going to give this some thought before posting a response


    --


    RT Moderator 
    - 997.1 C2S GT Silver/Cocoa, -20mm sports suspension/LSD, PSE, short shifter, SportDesign rims, Zuffenhausen collection

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    Re: What is considered a sports car anymore?

    The Mazda MX-5 is a Roadster, not a sports car by definition.  It is fun to drive but the 997 Turbo is more fun, much more fun.

    Yes, I would call a 997 Turbo a sports car.

    Maybe we should take the weight/power ratio as some sort of indicator, this actually works pretty well...usually. Of course a sports car can't have more than two doors. 


    --

    RC (Germany) - Rennteam Editor Porsche 997 Turbo, BMW X5 M, BMW M3 Cab DKG, Mini Cooper S JCW


    Re: What is considered a sports car anymore?

    RC:

    The Mazda MX-5 is a Roadster, not a sports car by definition.  


    Smiley

    I'm surprised you wrote that because the statement breaks down as soon as you try to say it in German. 

    I'm sure that most Germans looking at an MX-5 would refer to it as a "Sportwagen" but hardly any would use the English expression "Roadster", and there isn't a direct German equivalent to the latter. 

    I think the expression "sports car" really gained currency referring to light, low-slung open two-seaters like those built by MG, Triumph, Austin-Healey, Alfa-Romeo, Lotus and many other brands which have not survived, and that the name "roadster" was initially used for the convertible versions of cars also built as sedans. 


    --

    fritz


    Re: What is considered a sports car anymore?

    Let us look at it this way, guys. The word "sportscar" is a large bucket which can hold many different criteria and definitions. At its most basic level it can be labeled as anything that's not a sedan, not a wagon, not an econobox, not a truck or SUV. A vehicle with no more than 3-passenger doors, low ride height, emotional body styling, minimizes weight, and is geared towards performance and handling moreso than comfort or utility, and whose steering, engine and transmission place an emphasis on delivering responsiveness.

    Within that broad bucket, you can then filter it down into narrower categories which will capture the exact criteria for each of your sports car types: Hypercar, Supercar, Roadster, or TDS (track day specials) things like the Aerial Atom, Campari T1, etc.

    Things like GT Cars (M3, GT-R, 599, DBS/Vantage), Muscle Cars, Hot Hatches/Pocket Rockets, and Sports Sedans make attempts to shoehorn their way into the sportscar classification, but to me they never fit the category.


    Re: What is considered a sports car anymore?

     Is a Jeep (by which I mean open top, no doors, roll bar, big wheels) a sports car? 

    Some of my best drives have been in an open jeep bombing through the hills or blasting through desert dirt roads.

    But is is a sports car?


    --

    "We all love the music. What we hope is that the music loves us." -- Tom Waits


    Re: What is considered a sports car anymore?

    reginos:

    IMO a sportscar is the car you want to drive just for the pleasure of driving it, even if there is no practical reason for the ride.

    It's the car that makes you take the long way home. A car you drive out of hobby rather than for transport.

    Looks, configuration, brand or even performance don't matter IMO as long as the above ingredients exist.


    --

    "Form follows function"


    +1 to the point...as long as it's a SLS from my current pov Smiley


    --
    Speed has never killed anyone, suddenly becoming stationary... That's what gets you.

    Re: What is considered a sports car anymore?

    Not an easy question at all.  And my wife and I struggled with this as last year she decided to sell her 2002 BMW M Coupe (by most definitions a sports car...) and choose a Porsche - but which Porsche?   Her initial bias was that she wanted a pure sports car again, and a Cayman was a sports car, but the 911 was far less so, since it was larger and had 4 seats.   But driving the actual cars made it much more difficult, and the end result is: we own a 911.  And now that we have had 3 months 911 experience, I would argue that it is just as much fun, but in a very different way, as the old M Coupe, thus is a sports car.    


    --

    2011 Range Rover Sport S/C,  2009 Porsche 911S


    Re: What is considered a sports car anymore?

    Look what wikipedia defines as a sports car: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sports_car and their list of manufacturers:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sports_car_manufacturers <br>

    That's hardly complete, we should chime in and help wikipedia.


    Re: What is considered a sports car anymore?

    4trac:

    Not an easy question at all.  And my wife and I struggled with this as last year she decided to sell her 2002 BMW M Coupe (by most definitions a sports car...) and choose a Porsche - but which Porsche?   Her initial bias was that she wanted a pure sports car again, and a Cayman was a sports car, but the 911 was far less so, since it was larger and had 4 seats.   But driving the actual cars made it much more difficult, and the end result is: we own a 911.  And now that we have had 3 months 911 experience, I would argue that it is just as much fun, but in a very different way, as the old M Coupe, thus is a sports car.    

    I would disagree.

    M3 = GT Car

    911 / Cayman = Sports Car

     

     


    Re: What is considered a sports car anymore?

    Heist:    

    I would disagree.

    M3 = GT Car

    911 / Cayman = Sports Car

    Heist:  We didn't own an M3 - the M Coupe is the Z3 based one (also called the Z3M by some).... a weird but strangely lovable hatchback thing with the M54 engine, that sold only a few hundred, rare enough that you may never have even seen one.   Trust me, the M Coupe is raw, and a sports car.  Smiley
     


    --
     

    2011 Range Rover Sport S/C,  2009 Porsche 911S


    Re: What is considered a sports car anymore?

    fritz:
    RC:

    The Mazda MX-5 is a Roadster, not a sports car by definition.  


    Smiley

     

    I think the expression "sports car" really gained currency referring to light, low-slung open two-seaters like those built by MG, Triumph, Austin-Healey, Alfa-Romeo, Lotus and many other brands which have not survived, and that the name "roadster" was initially used for the convertible versions of cars also built as sedans. 


    --

    fritz

     Technically this is correct. However, the term sport car has morphed into any vehicle where its primary objective is the fun factor. If its fun to drive, then it's a sporty vehicle.

    To try to place parameters on the definition is like getting your arms around smoke.


    --

     


    Re: What is considered a sports car anymore?

    Eunice:

     

    That's hardly complete, we should chime in and help wikipedia.

     

     

    That's for geeks like you and Carlos :)


    Re: What is considered a sports car anymore?

    Old style definition is 2 door, 2 seats, not very powerful but fast enough, but fun to drive, the British made a bunch of those, but in convertible form, somehow the term roadster is coined to brand open top sports cars.

    With the birth of the 911, the definition is clouded a bit as the 911 is a 2+2 config.

    What is the fun factor? I think it's more about the interaction with the car, the driver feels engaged in the operation of the car. Another part is the G-force factor, be it lateral or medial, ie acceleration.

    Most sports car have manual gearboxes, the fun factor comes from the perfect execution of shifts, heel-tow matched downshifts. Which is why some people insist a car isn't a sports car if it doesn't have a manual. But then Ferrari crashed the party with the pedals. Now the transmission is not really a dividing line for sports cars.

    I think sound also plays a role in defining a sports car. The exhaust sound, the intake roar. The hissing sound from turbo boost valve, etc.

    In the end I think the term 'sports car', depends solely on how the owner view his car. An owner of a M5 may think he has a 'sports car': it makes the proper sound, a V10 scream, it gives him the lateral and medial g-forces that he likes, it gives him smiles every time he sit in it.


    Re: What is considered a sports car anymore?

    4trac:
    Heist:    

    I would disagree.

    M3 = GT Car

    911 / Cayman = Sports Car

    Heist:  We didn't own an M3 - the M Coupe is the Z3 based one (also called the Z3M by some).... a weird but strangely lovable hatchback thing with the M54 engine, that sold only a few hundred, rare enough that you may never have even seen one.   Trust me, the M Coupe is raw, and a sports car.  Smiley
     

     

    I misread. My apologies.

    Yeah, I remember the M Coupe. A girl who worked in HR at my job used own a silver one.

    (She wasn't your typical kind of girl - dressed like a fashion model, then would go home and tig weld, mig weld, or help her boyfriend swap out transmissions)

    Odd looking bulbously and squat thing, but I kind of liked it. Especially in silver or blue.

     


    Re: What is considered a sports car anymore?

    Heist:

    Odd looking bulbously and squat thing, but I kind of liked it. Especially in silver or blue. 

    I think it was one of the few modern BMWs with a characterful design.

    The inspiration for the new Ferrari FF, too.


    --

    "Form follows function"


    Re: What is considered a sports car anymore?

    easy_rider911:

    Great thread raising an interesting question ...

    I'm going to give this some thought before posting a response


    The car market is so blurred now that IMO it's impossible to define what a sports car is anymore ...

    So IMvHO it's best to adopt the approach that 'if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and walks like a duck, then it is a duck'.

    So if it looks like a sports car, sounds like a sports car and goes like a sports car then it is one Smiley


    --


    RT Moderator 
    - 997.1 C2S GT Silver/Cocoa, -20mm sports suspension/LSD, PSE, short shifter, SportDesign rims, Zuffenhausen collection


    Re: What is considered a sports car anymore?

    So maybe the good old power/weight rating is the one which decides if a car is a sports car ?

    I wouldn't call any car with a power/weight ratio of over 5 hp / kg a sports car, less than 4 hp / kg is actually more accurate.


    --

    RC (Germany) - Rennteam Editor Porsche 997 Turbo, BMW X5 M, BMW M3 Cab DKG, Mini Cooper S JCW


    Re: What is considered a sports car anymore?

    You mean kg/HP perhaps?

    Anyway this ratio doesn't define a sportscar, now with the huge HP that SUVs and limousines have.

    For example the Cayenne Turbo is not a sportscar like the Cayman S is, although both have the same kg/HP figure of 4.2-4.3.


    --

    "Form follows function"


     
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