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From the 1960s, the term sports sedan was increasingly applied by manufacturers to special versions of their vehicles that allowed them to enter production cars in motor races. These cars contained modifications not normally permitted by the regulations which therefore required cars to be homologated typically by selling them in minimum numbers to the public. Some of the earlier examples were the Alfa Romeo 1900, Renault R8 Gordini (1964), Triumph Dolomite and Lotus Cortina.
In the twentieth century, sports sedans used a manual transmission and rear-wheel drive. However as other transmission types and drivetrain layouts have become more widespread for sedans in general, these have also been used by sports sedans.
North American usage
The term "sport sedan" was initially used in North America for luxury import sedans (i.e. BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz). These cars gave higher priority to handling than the domestic luxury sedans (i.e. Cadillac and Lincoln), which were more focused on comfort. However, since the 2000s, the domestic brands have begun producing sports sedan models such as the Cadillac CTS and Lincoln LS.
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- Autoexpress April 2003 "Of all the cars transformed by Rover's engineers, this motor is perhaps the most remarkable, as it turned the originally rather dowdy 45 into a fire-breathing super saloon"http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/car-reviews/36794/mg-rover-45
- Fleet news Sept 2003 "Ford V8 power for MG's new 260 super saloon"http://www.fleetnews.co.uk/news/2003/9/25/ford-v8-power-for-mg-s-new-zt-260-super-saloon/14960/
- Autoexpress "GM gave the engineers at Hethel a Carlton GSi 3000 and asked them to transform it into a fire-breathing super saloon - which they did. The result was the legendary Lotus Carlton, the first four-door to crack the 170mph"http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/vauxhall/vectra/15524/vauxhall-vectra
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