Grand tourer

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Porsche 911, a GT model built since 1964 (showing model 991, the 7th generation of the 911)
A classic Gran Turismo, the 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO
1953 Bentley Continental grand tourer

A grand tourer (Italian: gran turismo) (GT) is a performance or luxury automobile capable of high speed or spirited long-distance driving. The most common format is a two-door coupé with either a two-seat or a 2+2 arrangement.

The term derives from the Italian phrase gran turismo, a tribute to the tradition of the grand tour, used to represent automobiles regarded as grand tourers, able to make long-distance, high-speed journeys in both comfort and style. The English translation is grand touring.

Characteristics[edit]

The Grand Tourer, Grand Turismo, Grand Routiere, or GT terms are the most misused and abused terms in motoring.[1] According to author Sam Dawson, "the ideal is of a car with the ability to cross a continent at speed and in comfort yet provide driving thrills when demanded" and it should exhibit the following:[1]

  • "Ideally, the GT car should have been devised by its progenitors as a Grand Tourer, with all associated considerations in mind."
  • "It should be able to transport at least two in comfort with their luggage and have room to spare - probably in the form of a two plus two (2+2) seating arrangement."
  • The engines "should be able to cope with cruising comfortably at the upper limits on all continental roads without drawbacks or loss of useable power."
  • The design, both "inside and out, should be geared toward complete control by the driver."
  • Its "chassis and suspension provide suitable handling and roadholding on all routes" during travels.

Grand tourers emphasize comfort and handling over straight-out high performance or spartan accommodations. Historically, most GTs have been front-engined with rear-wheel drive, which creates more space for the cabin than mid-mounted engine layouts. Softer suspensions, greater storage, and more luxurious appointments add to their driving appeal.

GT abbreviation[edit]

Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Gran Turismo Compressore (1932)
Lancia Aurelia B20 GT, a GT car from the 1950s

The GT abbreviation, so popular across the automotive industry, traces to the Italian tradition of referring to their luxury performance cars as gran turismo. Manufacturers such as Alfa Romeo,[2] Ferrari and Lancia led the way starting from the end of 1920s.

Among the many variations of GT are:

Grand tourers in racing[edit]

Four GT cars racing

Today the term grand tourer, or gran turismo is synonymous with race versions of sports cars (even those that don't fit the definition above) that take part in sports car racing, including endurance races like the 24 Hours of Le Mans, 12 Hours of Sebring, Petit Le Mans, Mille Miglia, Targa Florio, and Carrera Panamericana. Examples of race grand tourers include:

Motorsport classification[edit]

In certain professional motorsport classifications, such as the Grand Touring categories promoted by the FIA, the GT car is defined as an open or closed automobile with no more than one door on each side and at least two seats, one on each side of the longitudinal centre line of the car; these two seats must be crossed by the same transversal plane. This car must be legal to drive on the open road, and adapted for racing on circuits or closed courses.

GT cars are divided, from most powerful to least powerful, into GT1 (formerly GTS and GT) and GT2 (formerly GT and N-GT) in most championships, although the ACO has canceled further GT1 involvement not only in the 24 Hours of Le Mans but in every other Le Mans Series (LMS, ALMS, ILMC, JLMC) sanctioned by the ACO. This only left room for GT1 cars to race in the FIA GT1 World Championship, while in turn GT2 cars only competed in ACO sanctioned event due to the absence of the FIA GT2 European Championship. GT3 and GT4 class cars also have their own championships, as well as being eligible for several National GT championships.

Examples of grand tourers[edit]

A true grand tourer is a luxury or performance vehicle intended for long-distance spirited travel in both comfort and style. The placement of "GT" on an automobile does not necessarily classify it as a "grand tourer." Some examples include:

Electric grand tourers[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Dawson, Sam (2007). GT : the world's best GT cars 1953-1973. Veloce. pp. 7–8. ISBN 9781845840600. Retrieved 27 August 2013. 
  2. ^ "Alfa Romeo 6C-1750 Sport/GT (17/85 HP)". motorbase.com. Retrieved 2011-01-07. 
  3. ^ "Maserati 3500 Gti". maserati.com. Retrieved 2011-01-07. [dead link]
  4. ^ "Volar-e review". 

External links[edit]