Talk:Sports car

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Characteristics and Definition of a Sports Car[edit]

As much as this is intended to be an encyclopedia, the article fails in doing its primary job, which is, to define a sports car. If information is verifiable it doesn't mean straight away it is accurate. Now according to the latest edits a sports car hapens to be tied to an specific engine layout, seat layout, drive and now it even has to be open-roof, quite funny.

The article has to be reworked.

Start with: Sports Cars originally come from Motor Sport; What you need in motorsports is what you find in a sports car, then the other things as comfort, layout, are not determinant, a given sports car can be luxurious and other stripped down; one sports car can be FF, other MR; One can be low and with stiff suspension other can be high and with soft suspension; One can be street legal another can be track-only...

A tag has been added —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:54, 10 September 2009 (UTC)


"MR is a layout found only in sports cars"? Is this a fact? The Zundapp Janus minicar used this arrangement and I don't thnk anybody can call that a sports car. [1] // Liftarn

There are other examples. Also, I think it's pretty daring to say that Porsche is The Only RR-using manufacturer. It is or will probably be wrong without exclusions. You can exclude DMC as dead, maybe, but how about RUF, for example?
RUFs are derived from Porsches so they don't really count. // Liftarn

This is probably really old now but the Tata Nano is RR and so is the Smart for 2, neither are sports cars.( (talk) 14:39, 28 June 2010 (UTC))

What is/isn't a sports car?[edit]

Time to start getting religious. Or at least making some group decisions. Are the Lamborghini Murcielago, Chevrolet Corvette, and Ford Mustang sports cars? How about the Toyota MR-2? Or the Honda Integra? Or even the new BMW MINI? I think we can all agree that the ones near the end of the list aren't, but what about the ones at the front?

We can't use raw performance to define a sports car. It would exclude cars like the Mazda MX-5 which are certainly sports cars but don't perform like a Ferrari 360. I like the concept of sacrifice - If utility is substantially sacrificed in the name of performance (handling, acceleration, braking, etc) then it's looking like a sports car. This would eliminate the Mustang and Integra, for example, and would lock in the MX-5. It would also include cars like the Corvette and Murcielago that have no back seat, poor visibility, poor performance in bad weather, little storage capacity, etc...--SFoskett 02:13, Oct 3, 2004 (UTC)

I agree. We should point out that performance is not the definition of a sports car. A performance car may not be a sports car at all; I don't think that, say, a Lotus Carlton, a Maserati Quattroporte etc. are sports cars, but they can certainly perform. Sports car excludes muscle cars, pony cars, hot hatches, import racers, and a whole bunch of cars that definitely fit the "performance car" label, but not "sports car".
There are regular family sedans that outperform many sports cars (especially older ones, and especially in a straight line).
We should have a paragraph or two about this; and possibly pointing out that many performance car buyers do NOT buy a sports car, since they don't want to lose utility. Indeed, all the above non sports car performance categories have been eating away at the sports car market for 30 years or more. —Morven 03:41, Oct 3, 2004 (UTC)


To answer Sfoskett's questions... No, I don't think the Murcielago, Corvette or Mustang can be considered sports cars in the traditional sense since they are very heavy. I believe they are more accurately described as GTs. Likewise "performance saloon's/sedan's" like the BMW M5 and Lotus Carlton - they may be the equal or even superior of many sports cars in acceleration and braking, but they're still not sports cars. To my way of thinking, one of the key attributes of a sports car is a combination of total weight as well as power:weight ratio. In modern terms, no car intended to be a sports car should weight more than 1250kg and should have a power:weight ratio in excess of 150bhp/ton. But that's just my opinion. Also, I think the utility issue is sort of a red-herring. I don't think there's any rule that says a sports car *must* be impractical, it is just that practicality and light-weight/good handling tend to be mutually exclusive. There are, of course, exceptions. The Lotus Excel for one.--JonGwynne 21:13, 3 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I applaud your attempt to be objective with a numerical definition, but I believe it is impractical. The Mazda MX-5, certainly a sports car, has just 142 hp pulling 2300 lbs, or 123 hp per ton. Even the original Lotus Elise was at 144hp/ton! And of course, your definition would have to vary with time. And it ignores the intended purpose of the car - many muscle cars and even performance sedans would qualify! In fact, the Dodge Ram SRT-10 pickup truck would more than qualify at 196hp/ton!
I'm not sure I'd agree that the MX-5 is "certainly" a sportscar. It is certainly a roadster and it is meant to appeal to those looking for something sporty but there are people who would argue that it hasn't quite got the performance that a modern sports car should have. The current Lotus Elise with 190bhp to carry 800kg has a power:weight ratio of 237bhp/ton. That qualifies by my criteria with much room to spare.
A sports car is a vehicle intended and designed to be sporting more than any other aspect. This is the root of my "compromise" test - a vehicle with four seats could have been made more sporting with two. A vehicle with a station wagon or sedan body was not optimized for sports because these raise the center of gravity and so on. The Corvette is a sports car. The M3 might be one. The Mustang isn't. That's my thinking.--SFoskett 14:00, Oct 7, 2004 (UTC)
Again, we disagree here. The way I see it, a Corvette more closely matches the description of a GT than that of a sportscar given its extra weight and attention to coddling the occupants.
I think that the definition as it stands is very good: "a car designed for sporting performance above utility". I don't think that we need to make this definition more exact for two reasons:
  • I don't think that an objective and exact definition will ever be agreed upon for what is a partially subjective term (in a similar fashion to the definition of the term "supercar"). I agree that a numerical definition is impractical and inflexible, and I agree that a definition based on how much a car prioritises "sportingness" over practicality is better, but I still don't think it will work. How do you decide how much practicality a car must sacrifice before it becomes a sports car? Surely you can only do this by using subjective, "feels right" techniques.
But your definition really isn't defining anything. Yours seem to be a "marketing" definition - i.e. if someone who works for the company says a car is supposed to be "sporty" (whatever the hell that means, after all some people consider SUVs to be "sporty" when, in this context, they are the exact opposite) then it should be considered a sportscar? Absolutely not.
  • If there is not already an exact definition in existence, an encyclopaedia should not try to invent one. Instead, we should give a loose definition (the sportingness over utility sentence) and present any notable opinions, and leave it up to the reader to come to their own conclusions.
Of course a numerical definition is inflexible. That is the entire point. If we agree that, for cars on sale today, a minimum of 150bhp/ton is the cutoff point for bona fide sportscars, then that makes it clear which cars qualify and which ones don't. I take your point that power:weight shouldn't be the sole criteria - I think overall weight should also be a factor. That's why I suggested a cutoff of 1250kg. That will leave out the pretenders and obvious powerful but non-sportscar vehicles like the Dodge Ram Pickup.

SamH 21:14, 7 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Note: I have just re-worded one sentence of the above post to improve clarity but I have not changed the aim of what I was trying to communicate. SamH 21:26, 7 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Jon, you seem to be missing my point. I'm not arguing for one definition or another, I'm saying that not only do we not need an exact definition, but inventing one when one doesn't already exist is non-encyclopaedic. SamH 21:53, 7 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Let me see if I have this straight. You're arguing for less clarity? Fact of the matter is that there is this category known as "sportscars", it is possible that no single individual or group has laid down an objective definition of what that means but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't define it here and make it clear, if necessary, that the definition is our own, does it? --JonGwynne 23:39, 8 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Well, one could say that I'm arguing for less clarity, but more accurately I'm arguing that we should only present what clarity exists. The reason that no one has set down any clear and objective definition of what a sports car is, is almost certainly because no-one agrees. If some widely agreed upon definition did exist, I would certainly argue for it to be included. But inventing a definition and then presenting it as widely agreed upon seems downright ridiculous to me. SamH 10:11, 9 Oct 2004 (UTC)
We should rely on concensus outside Wikipedia. The Corvette is almost always categorized as a sports car by serious auto journalists. The M3 is often, but not always, a sports car. The MX-5 Miata is always a sports car. The Mustang is rarely a sports car. I suggest we follow the concensus despite what some folks might think. I cannot imagine anyone who has actually driven the Corvette, MX-5, or (previous) M3 on a track doubting these definitions. --SFoskett 01:36, Oct 8, 2004 (UTC)
Start imagining. As someone who has driven many different cars, including some that are sports cars and other that are just thought to be sports cars by certain people - and all of the cars you mention, I have a few questions for you.
1. Why is a Mustang "rarely a sports car" but a Corvette is?
2. When you say an MX-5 "is always a sports car", do you seriously expect us to believe that you are speaking from authority on the views of every single statement of "serious auto journalists"?
3. What do you consider a "serious auto journalist"?
4. If a Mustang isn't a sports car, what is it?
5. Don't you think a Corvette is, due to the high weight and attention to occupant comfort, better described as a GT than a sports car?
6. Despite its light weight and world-class handling, don't you think the MX-5 is more than a little underpowered to be considered a proper sports car?
Just curious... --JonGwynne 23:39, 8 Oct 2004 (UTC)

My refference for "space for a girl friend" in my recent addition is Saturday Night Live.--David R. Ingham

Yes. By definition, a sports car must give up seating capacity and comfort for performance (especially handling). (Just as microcomputers are defined in price, not performance, spots cars are defined in seating capacity and comfort, not performance.)--David R. Ingham

A sports car can be luxerious. You can buy a Porsche with BOSE surround sound, sattelite navigation, integrated phone, cruise control and driving computer, seat heaters with two levels, air condition, additional wind shields to make it more comfortable (in the Boxster), mirrors that dim automatically, a mixture between skin and wood interior. cup holders that extract from the dashboard. It can be argued of course that some of these features are security related (even air condition), but BOSE surround sound is not. Ie. Picture of Porsche Boxster. Here are picture from a seriously luxerious sports car, the Jaguar XK. My conlusion is that a sports car is made for joy. That includes performance. On the other hand, a supercar can hardly be luxerious because it is only made for performance and the luxerious features weighs too much. (Koenigsegg, Pagani Zonda...). --Cvik

That's exactly why Porsche isn't a sports car. It gives up performance for luxury. That and that it's basicly a sporty version of the VW Beetle makes it dubious to call it a sports car. // Liftarn

Conclusion of the argument[edit]

What Sam and I are trying to say is that, in an encyclopedia, we cannot be inventing anything, or even trying to make strict definitions for terms that are vague in popular usage. Instead, we need to rely on what the world says, even if (in your opinion) "they" are "wrong". It's not like we're dealing with facts here - if we were talking about the exact horsepower or wheelbase of a car, then the minority would win because they are correct. But for vague categories, the minority does not win.

Jon, We all have been trying to reach a compromise with you on this topic (look at the very non-negative answers above) but you seem to just continue arguing the point. Even after you concede that power and weight are not the strict definitions of a sports car or supercar, you keep coming back to those particular elements. I think the time has come to stop talking about this.

I will not respond to anymore argument on this point, and will not engage in a revert war about it. Instead, I will follow the concensus of the community whatever that may be.

I propose a straw poll on the categorizing vehicles in their respective talk sections. In other words, we add a straw poll to the Mustang, Corvette, Murcielago, etc asking for votes on the definition. Since we are dealing with matters of opinion rather than fact, we can rely on a democratic process for this.

Please, everyone, vote on the question in the following articles:

Thank you. --SFoskett 13:14, Oct 9, 2004 (UTC)

If it's clear that the term is clouded, why not say so! Document different uses and views and related terms and cars that may/may not qualify.

Please note that the Ford Mustang page has ignored the vote count and kept "Class: Sports car" in the table. I deleted the "best selling sports car" title from automotive superlatives because that is too vague a title to be listed. David R. Ingham 04:51, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

please note the term Straw Poll (talk) 16:41, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

In case you're curious, here are Evo magazine's assessments[edit]

  • Corvette: Supercar (Z06 model only)
  • Ford Mustang: Not listed
  • Honda NSX: Coupe/GT
  • Lamborghini Murcielago: Supercar
  • Mazda MX5 (a.k.a. Miata): Sports car (1.8 liter models only)
  • Toyota MR2: Sports car

(for the record and for whatever it is worth, I don't agree with all of their choices but I can report objectively when called upon to do so)

Fisker Coachbuild[edit]

For your information, there is currently an Article for deletion vote regarding the Fisker Coachbuild car manufacturer here: Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Fisker. You may wish to comment on this. --Edcolins 09:00, 30 October 2005 (UTC)

"While opinions differ as to the exact definition, most sports cars have two seats and two doors, and are designed to provide excellent acceleration, top speed, and good looks."[edit]

It seems to me that this postpones the central part of the definition, which is a low center of gravity for better car handling, reduced risk of rollover and braking. Since, on public roads, speed is usually limited by safety considerations, these are much more important than acceleration or top speed. Some sports cars have jump seats and the Morgan four seater has full rear seats in place of luggage space. Something about being low, and why, must be at the very top. This is what I have seen in dictionaries.

More precisely, it is a question of what thrills one. The cars for people who are thrilled by acceleration or gas economy have other names like muscle car, microcar and Hybrid vehicle. Sports cars are intended to be fun for people who like handling. David R. Ingham 08:06, 18 February 2006 (UTC)

"excellent acceleration" probably. "top speed" No, not required (that's for supercars). "good looks" No, not required (some sports cars are designed in a strictly utilitarian way). // Liftarn


An article in Motor magazine compared sports cars and the editor's race prepared sedan. The last word from the editor was that the racing tyres made it faster (in the handling sense) than the sports cars. The trouble with that is that, though it did go around curves faster, its cornering was limited by rollover instead of by adhesion! David R. Ingham 08:22, 18 February 2006 (UTC)

"the idea of an affordable sports car vanished" (Don't take this seriously.)[edit]

That, if true, must be because of the Edsel/Mustang principle that a car's value is defined by styling trends and how much your girlfriend knows it cost, rather than by whether it could avoid her dog, if it wanders onto the street. David R. Ingham 08:13, 4 March 2006 (UTC)


Sorry, Image:Venn_cars.PNG is a nice idea but the classifications strike me as not NPOV. And if strictly going by objective criteria, would be original research too? — Shadowhillway 23:13, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

"high performance airplane"[edit]

Most fighter planes, like racing cars, have had only one seat. This has changed to some extent, now that the missiles do much of the maneuvering. David R. Ingham 04:17, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

my "fairly" edit comment[edit]

"(The Thunderbird or BMW M6] would be sports cars if they gave up a bit more comfort, and the [[Spatz would have been, if it had spent a bit more money.)"

should have been (The Ford Thunderbird and BMW M6 would be sports cars if they gave up a bit more comfort, and the Spatz Kabinenroller would have been, if it had spent a bit more money.)

David R. Ingham 07:01, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

"mucle cars are a subset of sports cars[edit]

You people are stupid. Muscle cars are sports cars. Sports cars are any car meant to emphasize high performance as a road vehicle. Saying a car is 'sporting' but not a sports car is silly too. Draw a big circle on a page. Now draw some little ones inside it that overlap if you like. Well done, you've just started a venn diagram. The big circle is sports cars. Now label the smaller circles muscle cars, super cars.. whatever else you like.

Even things like srt-10's and ford lightnings, whilst I think they're stupid cars, I'd have to concede they're sports cars of some type. They're not particularly practical vehicles, but people like them anyway because they're 'sporting' they're sports cars. Impractical perhaps, but fun.

For the record, I'm new to this discussion, I'm a uni student in Sydney that just had a discussion with a housemate about this because I was somewhat disgusted with the article regarding muscle cars not to be sports cars. I don't have a wikipedia account.


you might find parallels between them but it's generally accepted that sports cars and muscle cars are different, cater to different markets, are bought by different types of people with different levels of income. you can make the blanket statement that all cars are under the umbrella of 'powered transportation' but there is enough distinction between muscle cars and sports cars to seperate them, even though some cars can blur the line.


"they are safer than other cars because they are capable of avoiding accidents that would be inevitable for other vehicles and because they stimulate their drivers to improve their driving skills and to pay attention."

this doesn't seem very encyclopedic to me, more like unsupported opinion. I don't think any car's safety can be defined by what their drivers may or may not be inclined to do; rather it's about what happens to the dummy when they shoot it at a wall in a testing facility.

In general (those dreaded words) sports cars have better active saftey (you can avoid hitting something), but often they have lower passive saftey (what happens when you hit something). For instance in a Morgan (an archetypical sports car) you may easier avoid hitting something because it handles better, but if you hit something you have little more protaction than if you were on a bike. // Liftarn

May 2006 Cleanup Efforts[edit]

"Modern sports cars have a FF layout" =laughable

This is precisely what makes them NOT sports cars but sporty cars, hot hatches, or economy cars. Section is being removed. CJ DUB 19:33, 13 May 2006 (UTC)

Many anecdotal nonsense sections removed to bring this up to a decent writing standard. I have spent about 2 hours wokring on this today. CJ DUB 21:48, 13 May 2006 (UTC)

first sports car[edit]

What is considered to be the first sports car? 12:05, 21 May 2006 (UTC)

That depends on your definition of sports car. Most early cars can be called sports car since they had no comforts whatsoever and they were all about moving forward. But if we talk about sports car as opposed to ordinary cars it would probably one of the early roadster versions. Ford Model T roadster (was it available from 1908?) perhaps? Bugatti Type 13 from 1910. According to Auto racing it was not until the 1930s there was a difference between road cars and racing cars. // Liftarn

One source[2] claims the 1915 Smith Flyer. // Liftarn

Lada Revolution[edit]

Where is LADA REVOLUTION car???

At Lada Revolution, but did it enter production? // Liftarn

FF Sports Cars?[edit]

What definies a sports car? Is every Lamboghini a sports car?

I changed "some modern sports cars use FF" to 'sporty' cars to my knowledge there are few if any modern vehicles that fit the sports car description that use front wheel drive.

I changed it back since there is no proper definition on what a sports car is (most Porsches fail on that they contain too much extra weight like air conditioning systems and so on). However for the "modern" bit you may have a point. Fiat Coupé ended production in 2000 so I think that qualifies as "modern". Fiat Barchetta was made until 2005 so it's even more modern. // Liftarn
Come on. Rear wheel drive defines a sports car. Front wheel drive is something else. There are lots of cars like the Fiat, all 'sporty' but not sports. Also, I've seen the Fiat Barchetta page. That is NOT a sports car any more than a Golf cabrio or a Hyundai Tiburon is. —Preceding unsigned comment added by CJ DUB (talkcontribs)
I don't see why rear wheel drive defines a sports car. It might be preferable, and there may even be no sports cars in production which are FF, but it is not a pre-requisite. As for whether the Fiat Barchetta is a sports car or not, leaving the fact that it is FF aside, why would one not consider it a sports car? Nasty 23:44, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
Fine, its a sports car. Everything is a sportscar, Golf, Tibby, etc. Heck, a Honda Civic is a sports car, even a Dodge Ram is a sports car. Getting the picture yet? I'm saying if you are gonna bother to call something by a certain name, you need to set criteria. The premise that when something is sporty (and has no more than two doors) it makes it a sport car, is flawed. CJ DUB 00:25, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
Firstly, there have been FF sports cars (Lotus Elan M100 is a prime example). Secondly, the Fiat Barchetta is in no way less a sports car than say the Mazda MX-5, MG TD (in its day), etc. I don't think that the Hyundai Tiburon (or Hyundai Coupe as it is known in this neck of the words), is anything other than a sports coupe. The Fiat has two seats, two doors, a soft top, sleek body, sporty handling, and is genearlly designed with a greater emphasis on driver enjoyment than other cars such as the Golf, Hyundai Coupe, Honda Civic, Dodge Ram, etc. I see many reasons to count it as a sports car, and so far, other than your claim that a car must be RWD to be such, nothing to suggest that it is not a sports car. Nasty 12:07, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
I think by prime example, you mean lone example. Ok, so because Lotus made a odd FF sports car many years ago, this automatcially means we can think of some FF cars as being sports cars? Wrong. First off, a Lotus is a Lotus, and not a Fiat. As I said above, this is simply an exception to the rule and a weak reason to consider ANY other FF cars as sports cars. Second, you've said it yourself the Fiat has "sporty" handling. This does not give it any credibility as a sports car coupe or Roadster. The idea that a soft top confers some sports ability or style is also flawed. You can get a drop top on any boring 2-door, (Ford Ka, Pontiac G6, Chysler Stratus). I would say the Tibby is more of a sports car, because the chassis actually lends itself to racing. Each of the cars above, Golf, Tibby, Civic, at least at the top of the range, DO place significant emphasis on the driver's enjoyment. Fact is none of them are sports cars, they are all sporty coupes, not in spite of, but because of the configuration. This is why the Ford Lightning is called a sports truck instead of a sports car. CJ DUB 13:26, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
By using that logic most Porsches aren't sports cars since they put to much emphasis on driver's comfort (and that's why I don't consider Porsches a true sports car, but rather a modified VW Beetle). And you also seems to think the brand name has something to do with defining what a sports car is or isn't. By using that logic we would exclude Mazda MX-5 since it's a Mazda and (by following your logic to it's end) also exclude tractor manufacturers like Lamborghini. The difference between a sports car and a sport compact is often difficult to tell. Often it boils down to personal opinion. For instance Berkeley made sports cars with as little as 15 or 18 hp (and using front wheel drive too). Modern examples include the San Storm with just 60 hp (the power-to-weigh ratio is about the same as early Lotus 7). // Liftarn
No, I do not mean that the Lotus Elan M100 is the lone example of FF sports car.
Yes, because "Lotus made a odd FF sports car many years ago, this automatcially means we can think of some FF cars as being sports cars?". You point out that there is such a thing as a FF sports car, so we can no longer use whether a car is RWD or not as a criteria for whether it is a sports car or not.
It does not matter who makes the car when we consider whether it is a sports car or not, but Fiat have made sports cars in the past (X1/9).
I said that it had sporty handling because one usually says that a car has sports handling when one is refering to a car which has different available handling packages. The handling on the Fiat Barchetta is more sporty (or sports car like if you prefer), than many other cars which we accept as sports cars. Whether a car's chassis lends itself to racing or not is no measure as to whether it is a sports car or not (classic Minis were perfect for racing, in their day, and are not sports cars).
The Golf, Civic, Tibby/Coupe, are not designed from the ground up with an great emphasis on driver enjoyment, and particularly do not place driver enjoyment above practicallity. They also have too many seats and in the case of Civic and Golf, often, too many doors. Being a soft-top does actually bestow a certain amount of sportiness on a car and should be considered when deciding whether a car is a sports car or not, especially when the car is only available as a soft-top. You have failed to give a single reasonable argument beyond the "it's not rear wheel drive" one, to suggest that the Fiat Barchetta is not a sports car. Nasty 14:19, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
"The handling on the Fiat Barchetta is more sporty (or sports car like if you prefer), than many other cars which we accept as sports cars." Hilarious comment, and I doubt very much that the Fiat is as performance orientated as you say, with zero references. I said the Lotus is an exception to the rule, since all Lotus-es are designed with performance in mind. This does not grant any recognition for cars that are slightly sporty and also happen to be FF like the Lotus. A drop top does not make a car more like a sports car; it simply makes it more "sporty". By your logic, racing stripes/stickers on a car make it more like F1. A drop top is not a criteria for a sports car. Come on. CJ DUB 17:16, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

Ok, what did the press say about the Fiat Barchetta? From "what Fiat has here is a damn fine little sports car"(Road & Track), "In Europe, the Barchetta costs about 10 percent less than the Miata. And if it lacks some of the inspiration behind the Japanese knockout, that's not enough to stop it from feeling like a genuine sports car. If you love the Miata, you'd likely appreciate the Barchetta."(Car And Driver), "Purists will say that a front-wheel-drive car cannot be a sports car. Let them re-evaluate after a week with the Barchetta."(European Car), "Europe hopes to win back the hearts of the sports-car set, and Fiat's new Barchetta may be their best bon-bon yet."(Sports Car International), "On the windy B-road stuff, the Barchetta comes closest to matching the MG's composure. It feels more spirited, too - partly because it's got more power and partly because its engine sounds much rortier. There's a real impatience about the Fiat; it's a perky little thing, tremendously communicative. Its steering dances around on the bumps more than the MG's does, but it never tells lies, and the short-throw gearchange, twin-cam bark and its general liveliness all make for a ceaselessly entertaining companion. It grips well, and handles the undulations surprisingly well, too - if not with the ease of the MG. The Fiat's feedback means it's fun to drive at any speed; the MG only brings out the big smiles at silly speeds, when its sheer competence has a chance to shine."(Car), "I'm happy to announce that the Barchetta has enough balance, predictability and driver involvement in its chassis to easily match its looks and engine."(Performance Car), "It provides a visual and tactile feast that, while not universally liked, shows breathtaking vision and attention to detail."(Autocar), "A small Italian roadster full of the spirit of the '60s, but brought right up to date. Very good value, very easy to live with."(Autocar) // Liftarn

Translation: "Its a cheap POS that makes you feel like your are driving an actual sports car." Seriouslly. People say that nonsense about all kinds of cars, coupes, and even mini SUVs. Not a very strong argument. Note that only the Fiat site calls it a sports car. The rest refer to how it is sports car-like, or take away sales from actual sports cars. This is why sporty coupes were invented, to give people the feel. The media are experienced enough to not call it a sports car. —Preceding unsigned comment added by CJ DUB (talkcontribs)
Firstly, Road and Track definately called it a "sports car". Secondly, European Car very heavily alluded to it being a sports car. Being performance oriented is not a prerequesite for being a sports car, the MGB is a sports car but was not particularly fast compared with saloons/sedans of its day. The MG TD was similar. The Mazda MX-5 1.6 was almost slow when compared with ordinary cars of its day. Therefore, the fact that the Fiat Barchetta is hardly going to worry a Porsche 911 around a race track is no reason to deny that it is a sports car. Cost has nothing to do with whether a car is a sports car or not. Finally, a sports car is ultimately about how it makes you feel and if something looks like a sports car and feels like one, I think that is enough to classify it as such, but how you or I feel about it is unimportant, this site is not for original research. As for your final unsupported statement, please provide references to material which says that it is not a sports car or describes it as something which would preclude it from being a sports car. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nasty (talkcontribs)
Unsupported statement? Nope. I am critiquing your references. I was making an observation that only a single one of those many references dared to call it a sports car. The rest will not for fear of losing credibility. Wow strong references. So alluding a something as being a sports car makes it a sports car now? Wait, unless its 100% not a sports car, it probably is?
Lets finish this: state the main identifying features of a sports car (opinion based); please state all of the characteristics that make the Barchetta a sports car; state the characteristics of the Hyundai Tiburon and Ford Lightning that would preclude them from being a sports car. Use the statements you made above and use any addtional statement or references you feel necessary. Cheers. See below. CJ DUB 14:46, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
If they are not unsupported, please provide references. Otherwise the statements are your personal opinion and violate the Wikipedia policy on primary research. The references were not mine. As for listing identifying features, any list you, I, or anyone else composes is only likely to be a single person's opinion and therefore primary research. Also, any list will exclude cars which we would agree are sports cars and include those that we would agree are not, so it would be pointless. All I ask is that for every reference found that claims it is a sports car, you find an equally autoritive reference which claims it is not. Otherwise, it is just your opinion that is being stated and this article is not "Sports car as defined by CJ DUB". Nasty 16:31, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Accoring to Wikipedia (see Hyundai Tiburon) it is a sports car (I'd call it a "sports coupé", but then I would call most Porsches "sport compact"). Ford Lightning is defined as a "Performance Truck". // Liftarn

PS, the sporty v sports car argument was done in 2004, above. The premise then as now was that if something is sporty, that does not make it a sports car. CJ DUB 15:33, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Sporty is definitly needed for a car to become a sports car. That's why my narrow definition excludes most Porsches since they may perform OK, but are far too comfortable. To quote the above disussion "If utility is substantially sacrificed in the name of performance (handling, acceleration, braking, etc) then it's looking like a sports car.". Ford Lightning is a truck and it would have been more sporty without the cargo bed so it's not a sports car. Hyundai Tiburon is more of a GT car, but I guess it could qualify. There are several cars that can be excluded if you just want to and I think that's what you're trying to do. // Liftarn
Okay none of that made any sense. Porsche NOT a sports car? Wow. Too comfortable? Have you even driven a Porsche? Porsche literally defines the classification "sports car". They scarifice much more than other companies to give you a distilled sports car product.CJ DUB 17:25, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
Porsche is basicly a VW Beetle with some improvements on styling and performance so a Porsche is more of a sport compact. A true sports car (as opposed to a sporty car in general) would be MG T. It has all the classic attributes: long hood, open (so you can feel the air), two seats, low, low cut doors (so you can feel the contact with the road) and so on. Jaguar XK140 also has those features. Lotus Seven is an even better example. It don't even have doors. But then, if I was to use this narrow definition then very few cars would be sports cars. // Liftarn
You know they built sports cars after 1955 right? That defintion (and the list below) is way too old-time roadster oreinatated. Cars have changed alot since then. Carburated? where have you been?CJ DUB 18:16, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
Yes, there have been some sporty cars built since then, but that was the golden age. Befor saftey regulations and enviromental issues. Carburetted engines give more direct (and thus sportier) performance. When you push the pedal you want the engine to start revving right away, not a while later (even more noticable in turbocharged engines). Cars have indeed changed a lot since then, but to the better? Well, we have safer cars that are more enviromental friendly and give better mileage, bot sportier? // Liftarn¨
CJ DUB, rear wheel driven? where have you been? Back to the point, provide references which counter those provided, or accept that for Wikipedia's purpose, the Barchetta is a sports car. Nasty 22:44, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
Never. Those references are worthless as only one refers to Barchetta as a sports car. The others make references to sports car demographics and sports car feel. Pretty poor support for your contention. You won't find references which argue the point it is a sports car (mostly cause nobody is interested in talking about this paradigm, this classification shattering automotive juggernaut, the Fiat Barchetta). You don't get it do you? Accepting Barchetta as a sports car means we have to include all kinds of other sporty cars that are equal or even superior to the Barchetta in sports car attributes, to the definition. Of course in your view, none of those are sports cars (GTI, Tibby), so you have a pretty subjective, and even contradictory argument. Further, if you don't realize that RWD is absolutely superior in terms of handling and feel (excepting AWD, which ironically is sometimes 10/90 split), as evidence by 95% of all GT cars built (inlc. sedans, hatches, coupes), not to mention consistent use at the highest levels of motorsport, then you haven't got a clue about what makes a car "sporty" . CJ DUB 14:33, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
I don't consider them (Hyundai Coupe, VW Golf GTi) to be sports cars, but if you find appropriate reputable references, I don't see any choice but to accept that by Wikipedia's standards they are. That said, there are other characteristics of a car which would exclude it from being considered a sports car, such as 4 doors a hatchback, estate, saloon/sedan, MPV body, etc. I see no characteristic that would exclude the Barchetta from being considered a sports car and many which would make it a sports car. As for whether RWD is superior to such an extent that FWD cars can not be considered to be sports cars, no I do not agree. I believe that since we can demonstrate that there exists a sports car that is FWD that we can no longer use it as a criteria to exclude any other vehicle. I for one drive a RWD car since it is more fun (it's also carburatted, low, English, two doors, ladder frame, oriented towards driving pleasure and performance, has optimised handling, no power brakes/steering/windows/mirrors/etc., but it's not a sports car). I know that many of the most fun to drive cars are FWD and that some of these are more sporty to drive than many RWD sports cars. I believe that your bias in favour of RWD has blinkered your view that it is a necessary trait for a sports car, just as much as being carburated would be necessary for others, or having a powerful engine, etc. These may all be of benefit in considering whether a car is a sports car or not, but they are not appropriate restrictions. Nasty 15:26, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
You haven't really demonstrated that any FF cars. Nice stacking of subjective statements of your own opinion, to construct an argument. I don't known who put those assinine tractor comments, but those tractors have about as many sports car attibutes as your Barchetta, so why not include them while you're at it? In summary, sporty coupes or convertibles are NOT sports cars since they possess very few attributes of sports cars, but have far greater affinity for other classification of cars such as sport coupes, sport compacts and sporty cabrios. CJ DUB 16:00, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
...that any FF cars are what? There have been sports cars that use FF just as it has been sports cars that use RR. Yes, FR or MR are more common, but the other versions exists too. Examples of FF sports cars are Lotus Elan M100, Fiat Coupé, Fiat Barchetta, SAAB Sonett and many Berkeley cars... So we're not just talking about a single odd car. // Liftarn
I did not say that we had demonstrated that a sports car can be FF, just that we can do so. You have accepted that the Elan M100 is a sports car, but if you insist on having reference material to back that up, I will get some. I never made any comments about tractors, though they do make a valid point in dismissing some people's views that sports cars come from a very limited number of manufacturers and that everything they make is a sports car. Back to the topic of whether the Fiat Barchetta is a sports car or not, so far nobody has provided any external reputable source that would suggest that the Fiat Barchetta is not a sports car. The only argument against considering the Barchetta a sports car that I have read that is verifiable is that it is FWD, which we have already agreed is not an absolute barrier to a car being considered a sports car. Therefore, the arguments against are weak and unsupported, but the arguments for are considerably stronger and supported. I have a feeling that this argument is probably down to cultural differences. I would suggest that you read This is an article by probably the most respected UK car magazine, Autocar, and it very clearly says that the Barchetta is a sports car. Nasty 23:46, 24 June 2006 (UTC)
I meant "You haven't really demonstrated that any FF cars ARE SPORTS CARS". Sorry. Your sources are weak, and thus it pointless to find a reference to show it isn't a sports car (and people don't write about such things). I said all Lotus are sports cars, this doesn't open the gate for anybody who can build a convertible and put some Koni shocks on it, and have one magazine write a nice letter to say its a sports car. I will reiterate again for both you guys. The Barchetta AND the rest have affinity for the classification of sports cabrios/coupes for more than sports cars, ergo they are sports coupes. Classification is based on affinity as well as criteria, gentleman. I mean a dog can eat cat food. Does that make it a cat now? CJ DUB 04:03, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

Ok I've cleared my head some and read about the Barchetta. It is a Mark 1 Fiat Punto chassis you chumps!!! You nutcases have propelled this car to superstardom and its based on a horrible Italian econobox. I find it hilarious that you won't accept some of the other sport coupes I have said are closer to sports cars, not even approaching the Barchetta. Tiburon chassis is far more sporty and so is the Golf and also the Civic. HAHAHAHAH. I think the Barchetta has bigger problems other than FF. Finally, the British press has barely any idea what a sports car is any more, being as England (heck Europe as well) has not made an afforable REAL sports car in 3 decades. (So sad what they call "sporty" these days.) The fact they call this a sports car pretty much proves that. CJ DUB 04:36, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

So? The Triumph Spitfire is based on the Triumph Herald and it's still a sports car. We have sources saying the Barchetta is a sports car so it is a sports car. If you disagrre you'll have to find some reputable source (i.e. not yourself) that says it's not. Your personal opinion simply doesn't matter. // Liftarn
If our sources are weak, even though they are two of the most reputable car magazines from the English speaking world, what would be strong enough for you? You have said that there is at least one FWD sports car, this means that using which wheels are driven is not enough to deny a car sports car status. If any reputable source said that it was something which would otherwise prevent it from being a sports car (such as calling it a hatchback), then you would have a reference, please find such and stop giving us your opinion as it really doesn't matter what you think (or I, or Liftarn, ...). As for sports cars not being able to be based on other vehicles, what about the Porsche 356 (Beetle), MGB (Morris Oxford), MGF (Rover Metro), Audi TT (VW Golf), even the most sports car of the lot, British kitcars (Caterham 7, Sylva Striker, etc.) all borrow parts (suspension, engine, steering rack, etc.) from ordinary cars, such as Ford Fiestas, Escorts, etc. So, I reiterate again, stop giving us your worthless opinion and give us references and I wont give you my worthless opinions! Nasty 11:10, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
The Porsche 356 has many other features which make it a sports car. Also, the Herald was a decent sedan back in the day, however the Fiat Punto is THE BOTTOM OF THE BARREL. Just sit back and listen to yourselves. Admit that the Barchetta is a POS substitute for sports car, and many cars are similar, superior and closer to the sports car ideal. CJ DUB 17:20, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
Give us references or stop spouting this unsubstantiated claptrap. I don't need to read about what you think, it really doesn't matter to me and unless it is supported, it has no place on Wikipedia. I just want to read what you can back up with proper reputable sources and this can be added to Wikipedia.
As for their being cars which are closer to the sports car ideal, of course there are (Caterham 7, for instance), but I believe that the Barchetta is closer than the Porsche 911 Carrera 4 (I am a Porschephile and have no problem saying this), Chevrolet Corvette (too heavy), Mercedes Benz SLR (more sports GT than sports car), Toyota Supra (more sports GT than sports car), etc. It may not be a good car, it might even be a "POS" as you like to say, but none the less, it is a sports car and I have multiple verifiable sources to back up that claim. Now accept it or provide references to back up your claim as neither you nor the Barchetta are worth the argument. Nasty 18:19, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

Can we stop this nonsense, please?[edit]

You are confusing two terms, SUPERCAR and SPORTS CAR. They are by no means the same. A very significant portion of sports cars, I would in fact say the archetypical sports car, like a Triumph Spitfire and an Austin Sprite, has very humble origins. The thing that makes a car a sports car is not its price, its performance nor its pedigree, but the priorities it makes within the available resources. Neither the Triumph Spitfire nor the Austin Sprite are high performance nor particularly well handling cars, not even for their time. But they are undeniable sports cars. The Porsche 911 is also undeniable a sports car, even though it is a four seater and has a fixed head. The Fiat Barchetta is just as much a sports car as any of the above. Just like a BMW M5 never is a sports car, even if its performance is ten times better than the Barchetta. -- Egil 18:07, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

Sports Car Charcteristics[edit]


  • Two passenger doors
  • Unibody or monocoque design (modern sports cars)
  • Orientated towards performance and/or driving pleasure
  • Optimized handling including,
  • Extensive use of lightweight materials, e.g. aluminum; plastics; carbon fibre; composite materials.

Nasty: Place holder


  • One or two seats
  • Spaceframe, ladder or unibody
  • Manual gearbox (or perhaps CVT)
  • Orientated towards performance and/or driving pleasure
  • Optimized handling
  • Open (convertible, roadster or no top at all)
  • Low windscreen or preferably an just an aeroscreen (for instance brookland screens)
  • Low stance and preferably low cut doors to improve feeling for the road
  • No power brakes or power steering (for superior road feel)
  • Carburetted
  • Brittish
  • Green
  • Not RR

Way too many infantile edits May 2006[edit]

Please discuss before you edit and ad large blocks of text. I have done some cutting to remove the endless repetition in the opening section. I also removed some irrelevant trivia.CJ DUB 03:38, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

Mustang a sports car?[edit]

i was just wondering if the Mustang was the best example of a sports car. i would consider a Mustang to be a muscle car, fast in a straight line but not particulalry brilliant when the road gets curvy. I don't think that it is sharp enough to be a sports car, but definitely not enough to be as one of the listed examples. Pratj 16:58, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

The Mustang is somewhat between a sports car and a muscle car. The emphasis have differed between generations. // Liftarn
good point. I think that (ive never driven a mustang but i watch Top Gear alot) the mustang is still too soft to be a sports car. Straight maybe the lotus elise, Aston V8 vantage or something like the Subaru Impreza (for a 4 door saloon sports car)is a better example. after all, i personally think that being fun in the corners and acceleration is more important than big lazy yawns of power like the mustang. just my POV though Pratj 21:06, 7 September 2006 (UTC)
What is a sports car often has more to do with styling and marketing than actual performance. One rather extreme example is the Biscuter Pegasin. Powered by a 9 hp engine giving a top speed of 75 km/h (about 45 mph). // Liftarn
yes, what is the exact definition of a sports car? all i know is i consider the mustang a performance car, but not a sportscar. Pratj 14:43, 8 September 2006 (UTC)
AS you can tell from the discussion above there is not exact definition. So it would be something like "a sports car is a car that is sold as a sports car". // Liftarn
will u object to me changing it to something where there is no arguement about it being a sports car. vauxhall VX220, Lotus Elise or Exige, toyota MR2 or something like that Pratj 19:24, 8 September 2006 (UTC)
I think that is a good idea to change it to something that fits with the context (front engined, rear drive). Also, the BMW M3 is not considered a sports car by many, so it shouldn't be included either. The Corvette would be a good replacement for the Mustang, though some wouldn't consider it a sports car, and perhaps the Caterham Seven to replace the M3. Nasty 21:46, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

What about adding a picture of a FF sports car? // Liftarn

Not a bad idea. I see you've done it anyway. Nasty 10:41, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
Yes, but a better picture would be nice. It would probably be better showing the front or side rather than the rear. // Liftarn

the Caterham is a sports car, the corvette i think is a supercar with an engine block that size. The M3 is probably not a sports car. Pratj 11:24, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

I disagree. I have never heard of a reputable source claim that the Corvette is a supercar. I could accept that some Corvettes could be considered to be, such as the ZR1 and the current Z06 (though I wouldn't consider either to be), but the Corvette is generally considered a sports car. Anyway, I don't think that there is anything which prevents a supercar from being a sports car (McLaren F1, Ferrari F40, Ferrari 288 GTO). Nasty 23:06, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

with a top speed around the 200mph mark, the vette is too fast to be a sports car. i personally feel that a sports car is agile, rather than powerful. anyway, the vette is better than the mustang as a sports car Pratj 23:33, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

i have a question. why r lexus on the list, when have they built a sports car? Pratj 14:25, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

Number of Doors??[edit]

Does the number of doors matter for a sports car? I've always been under the impression that a sports car could have a maximum of two doors, and after reading this page, I kind of kept that impression, but after looking at a couple of other pages here on wiki with car types on them, I've seen a couple of four door sports car, mainly the whole srt line of dodge cars... So does the number of doors matter for a sports car? Alex

Traditionally sports cars are roadsters so they would have two doors (and no roof). But some have four (or even five) doors. The line between sports car, grand tourer, sports sedan, muscle car, supercar and hot hatch is also a bit blurred. // Liftarn
I would say, a sports car should have two doors and a rear coupé like hatch for some and if that is 4-doors or more, then that makes it a sport sedan. Willirennen 17:12, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

If we go back to the begining or into the kit world, not doors is also fairly common on the more full on sports car (For the absolute minimum weight possible.( (talk) 14:57, 28 June 2010 (UTC))


The examples are more like examples of ordinary car companies which manufacture some sports cars rather than sports car companies and their cars. At least one of the following should be in a list of sports car companies, Lotus, Ferrari, Porsche, and MG as they are some of the most important sports car companies of all time. Nasty 00:23, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

Mustang Sports Car - Window Sticker[edit]

The Ford factory window sticker for the S197 (2005-present) Ford Mustang classifies the car as a "Sports Car". Does that officially make it a sports car?

(Metroplex (talk) 12:14, 20 November 2007 (UTC))

I would like to have a betetr source than the manufacturer due to their obvious bias. It should be no problem to find since many "journalists" only copy press releases anyway. // Liftarn (talk)
I don't think that it should be classified as such unless the majority of reputable media does so. So, if we can show that it is generally not classified as a sports car (by being classified as something else), I think that we shouldn't consider it to be a sports car. Nasty (talk) 19:29, 20 November 2007 (UTC)


I wanted to clarify my position on the removal of the Celica from the list of front wheel drive sports cars. We are finding classing cars on Wikipedia dificult these days because manufactureresr and some automotive journalist have a tendency to put little thought into labeling vehicles in promotional literature. It would not be hard to produce semi reliable sources that label just about any half way sporty car a "sports car" and just about any expensive (sometimes not), new high performance vehicle a "supercar." We on Wikipedia have to exercise some restraint in following this trend. The Celica is a perfect example, it might get the sports car label thrown at it from time to time, but that does not mean it is a sports car or the label should be used here without the clear qualification that it is used as a promotional term. It is clearly not sports car (plenty of refs can be supplied to this effect) and its addition to the section regarding front wheel drive just causes confusion. If it is used as an example of a rare front wheel drive sports car and then mention is made of seperate class of front wheel drive sport compacts this is a problem. The Celica 'IS a member of the sport compact class and was a direct competitor to the GTi, Civic Si/Type-R and so forth. Just to sum up, we must use a little editorial restraint and not simply ape mediocre automotive journalist who are in turn apeing promotional manufacturer supplied literature. --Daniel J. Leivick (talk) 17:23, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia is about verifiable sources, not some abstract "truth". If the sources say it's a sports car it is a sports car. // Liftarn (talk)
First off I have to say that Liftarn accusing two established editors with significant experience editing automotive article of vandalistic blanking in an edit summary is highly insulting. On to actual discusion. I must disagree that if a source labels something with a particular name than we have to use that label. Wikipedia uses editorial discretion all the time, I could provide sources that label George W. Bush the worst US president, but that doesn't mean the Wikipedia article should label him as such. I think we should have a section regarding the disputed definition of the term sports car and will work on producing a well referenced section in that regard. As for the "usually" in the first sentence, that isn't sourced and the example Liftarn has provided of the Triumph Spitfire is very weak. The Spitfire may have been based on a sedan chassis but it was significantly modified with performance in mind. --Daniel J. Leivick (talk) 02:27, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
Can a marketing publicity piece turn a 4-door sedan into a sports car? Perhaps! It is curious that the same contributor that decries the market segmentation efforts by automakers for "their obvious bias" (see Liftarn's response in the "Mustang Sports Car - Window Sticker" discussion above) now seems not to observe the blatant bias contained in Larkin Hill's "drive review" article about the 1996 Saab 9000 Aero. It is clearly a fawning article and the author is bootlicking to the Saab marketing department. The second sentence is admission of bias when the author states "I’ve forever been fond of Saabs..." He then begins with how much he "admires" this car and concludes that "I was in love" with the car. If someone describes a vehicle that leaves them "fulfilled and in awe", as well as when everyone is "amazed and breathless" about a car, then these are clear warning signs of extreme puffery, bias, and POV. This article does not provide any clear measures or standards about the subject being reviewed. Moreover, the author changes his mind about the exact classification of the vehicle within the article. He first describes it as a "sporty family car" and concludes with an exuberant burst of euphoria that this Saab a "perfect family luxury sports car". In short, Larkin Hill's article is hardly an objective and credible source to expand the Wikipedia definition of "sports car" to include four-door sedans that have a "sporty" character or an effective marketing publicity piece (as is best evidenced in Larkin Hill's "drive review" of the 1996 Saab 9000). Another evidence that this car is nor a "sports car" is the classification of the Saab 9000 as an executive car and shared its chassis with the Fiat Croma, Lancia Thema and the Alfa Romeo 164 -- none of them sports cars. — CZmarlin (talk) 06:50, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
Yes, what is a sports car and what isn't is mostly about styling and marketing. As far as I know early Triumph Spitfires used the same chassis as the Herald causing some problems that were fixed in later versions. Porsches are basicly sports compacts, but maketing have made them into sportscars. There are other examples of sportscars with dubious handling. Porsche have been mentioned already, but say Morgans. Obviously a sportscars, but the handling is not up to modern standards. Anyway, the article in question is a reliable source for the claim until someone finds a soource saying the opposite. Notice we have a source for the rather odd statement that sport cars can be luxurious. This is no different. // Liftarn (talk)
Here are two sources defining the 9000 as specifically not a sports car.
[3] "midsize luxury car"
[4] "no sports car"
I will admit that the NY times piece is discussing the CD rather than the Aero, but I think this shows that the 9000 is not a clear cut sports car by any stretch of the imagination. It is important to use descretion, many sources can be found calling evolution a discredited theory, but the Evolution article doesn't call it that, because it isn't true. I see this as a direct parallel to this debate, we have to go by what quality sources say, we don't have to go by any dubious article that can be linked to. As for the the luxury sports car ref, it is out of Car and Driver and written by Csere, this is about as reliable as US car mags get, and clearly shows a class populated by real sports cars with luxury features like the BMW Z4 and Mercedes SLK. --Daniel J. Leivick (talk) 23:26, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I wouldn't call the 9000 a sports car either (and the article was about the CS, not the CD), but try googling for "family sports car" and I think you'll find that it is a term in use so the article should reflect that as well. As for handling, there are indeed many sports car that aren't "designed for performance driving". // Liftarn (talk)
From what I have gathered "family sports car" is a synonym for sports sedan. It should be covered on the separate page. I still have to disagree, all sports cars are designed with driving enjoyment in mind. Some focus more on sports car styling rather than performance, but I think it would be hard to find an example were handling ignored completely although I would be interested if you could. --Daniel J. Leivick (talk) 20:38, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
I think it would be difficult to find any car where handling was completley ignored. Sports cars are generally cars that are a) uncomfortable, b) unpractical and c) you think will help you get laid. Sports cars are more about image than performance, but both performance and styling work to build up the image. // Liftarn (talk)


Someone listed Corvette as a marquee/company in the list. Obviously the Corvette is a sports car by a large car manufacturing company (Chevrolet) and NOT a company/marquee. I will delete that from the list. Also Panoz is USA based (Georgia being a US state, not to be confused with the country Georgia). Also Alfa-Romeo is Italian based.

While we're on the topic, the image for Corvette says that it was "based upon European sports cars." I would like to see a reference for that. As I know the Corvette, it wasn't comparable when it came out to any European sports car, primarily because it was being made by a high-volume company, and because it was tepid and soft. And it ultimately became even more different from European cars, with huge V8 engines and beautiful looks that were made in-house without the omniscient presence of Giorgetto Giugiaro or Pininfarina. What European sports car was Corvette based on?
Sorry, forget to sign that. Chaparral2J (talk) 12:40, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
It seems the closest car the Corvette came from Nash Motors when in 1951 the Nash-Healey was introduced as a halo car built in partnership with the Italian designer Pinin Farina and British auto engineer Donald Healey. At least the Hash-Healey was not only luxurious and expensive, but also had performance, as well as real motorsports experience in Europe! — CZmarlin (talk) 15:58, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
That's fair enough, but two things. Firstly, the Corvette is still highly dissimilar to any European sports cars for most of its life. And secondly, it doesn't provide any meaningful clarification to say that it was based on European sports cars. The comment for the Jaguar E-Type says that it's a classic and very beautiful, yadda yadda, and that's all true. But it doesn't say "it was based on the Jaguar XK150, XK120, etc." even though it is true, and it is extremely similar to them. Likewise, there is no car aficionado who hears "Corvette" and says "Yeah, that's SO European." Chaparral2J (talk) 21:28, 6 May 2008 (UTC)


I always assumed that a sports car was a small, lightweight car either with 2 or 2 plus 2 seating, and 2 doors and was designed for sporty driving, not comfort. A prelude is a small GT car, but what about an integra? to me its just a coupe. A boxster is a sports car, while a 911 is a GT/coupe.

Does a sports car have to be convertible? in my opinion, maybe. A merc SL is just a convertible because of the levels of comfort and size, while an SLK is a sports car.

are there any citations to back up any specs of what is and is not a sports car? Sennen goroshi (talk) 05:53, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

What is/isn't a sports car? - Part II[edit]

According to page 2206 of Webster's Third New International Dictionary unabridged Volume 2 L-Z 1966 G. & C. Merriam Co., ISBN 0 7135 1037 4 , a sports car is:

a low-slung open or convertible automobile designed for high-speed transportation on regular roads and having rapid acceleration, more or less smooth horizontal lines, and usu. seats for two people.

Shorter Oxford English Dictionary Vol II N-Z, Third Edition Revised with Addenda 1956 Reprinted with corrections 1968, no ISBN given (and I forgot to note the page number) gives a shorter definition under "Sport (Comb. with pl.)":

an open low-built fast motor car.

I will check more recent dictionaries later; these are the ones available to me at work. My sister's Random House College Dictionary is from 1975 which, while newer than these, isn't exactly current.

Still, the Oxford definition (open, low-built/low-slung, fast) is contained within the Webster's definition. I suspect either of these could be a good starting point.

No signature (talk) 16:36, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

== misc ==

Sports cars won't suit for Iceland. (talk) 11:53, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

Incorrect 1950's OED definition[edit]

Some with a strong POV re sports cars dominate here. What a nonsense the article opens with. Based on a 1950's OED [British] defn we are told a sports car is open. Now, that wasn't true even back then, unless you were British. In the USA and Italy, even then, sports cars were often enclosed and not even convertibles. Certainly that is the case, now. A solid top Aston Martin or Ferrari or Porsche is a sports car. So, time to lose the misleading opening sentence. Paul Beardsell (talk) 23:45, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

Defining a sports car is difficult. I suggest we do not look to the OED but to the motoring press for supporting references for the definition I propose here. Best, I think, to define "sports car" one word at a time. "Sports" implies purpose. And we know what a "car" is. A "sports car" is a motor car not designed primarily for transportation but for enjoyment of open road motoring. Hence the word "sports", folks! "Car" means four wheels, almost universally. Enjoyment, on the open road, usually means high performance (unless you are fuddy duddy British) and good handling (unless you are ridiculously American). But what the POV-inflicted authors of the current version of this article seem to take as being the canonical examples of sports cars, the tragically underpowered British sports cars of the 1950's were, back then, "high performance" compared to almost all other contemporary British cars. Similarly, in comparison to other USA motor cars, the wallowing USA sports cars did handle well. So there we go: A sports car is a high performance, good handling motor car intended primarily for enjoyment of the open road. I suggest we use that as the opening line for the article. Paul Beardsell (talk) 23:45, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

I don't see why you would throw out definitions about word meaning from the OED and replace them with your own interpretation. How could that possibly reduce POV? If you have other sources defining sports cars please provide them. --Leivick (talk) 00:09, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
The OED definition is as old as the Triumph Spitfire. Any definition, however respectable, which defines a sports car as open top is just *wrong* and you know it. Understand what I am saying: Here, at least, the 1950's OED is now wrong. Now, whereas I agree it best to have supporting refs for my suggested defn, and we will find some if we look, you will agree, I am sure, that mine is correct! Now, I am well aware that WP:V says it is not good enough to be correct. But nowhere in any WP policy does it say we must stay with text which UNIVERSALLY is known to be wrong, and for which no supporters can be found. Unless, Daniel, you are saying that a sports car must be open? Paul Beardsell (talk) 00:21, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
Also, there are many assertions made in this article which are not supported by citation. If we are going to be WP-purist about this I will start sprinkling citation requests throughout the text. But first, before we get purist, let's at least have an article which is correct. We don't want a 9-year old doing his first independent school project, and choosing the subject "The Sports Car" to learn and repeat rubbish he has read here at WP, even if that rubbish is supported by the 1950's edition of the OED. Paul Beardsell (talk)
I'm going to switch it to a Meriam Webster definition that doesn't include the open top part. I think that that should be satisfactory. --Leivick (talk) 02:12, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
At least as far as the UK is concerned the sports car is a cheapish car designed to have a higher performance than a normal family car, but with better roadholding and handling. The type, often built using the same mechanical components, drivetrain, engine, etc., as the family car, but in a lightweight, usually two-door body, was intended for 'fun' driving along the twisty country roads then prevalent in Britain before the advent of the Motorways. As such, the design ideally emphasised speed and agility (nippiness) over comfort, and many were often soft-tops so that the occupants could 'feel the wind in their hair' - on the scant occasions when it wasn't raining and already blowing a gale. These cars were usually two-seaters because they were aimed at the single man who only needed accommodation for himself and his girlfriend - and perhaps room for a pet dog. A couple of examples of these would be the pre-war MG Magnette and the post-war Austin-Healey Sprite
The Grand Turismo (GT) car OTOH, was aimed at a much different market, namely the very wealthy person who would often take an annual holiday spent at a succession of various luxury hotels around Europe, in wealthy resorts such as Monte Carlo, etc., the car being designed to transport the occupants and their luggage at high speed over the large distances involved - i.e., on a tour, and in the comfort and luxury to which these sort of people were accustomed. The epitome of this sort of car would be any of the Aston Martin DB series, and it's probably no accident that Ian Fleming chose the DB5 as the sort of car that James Bond would drive. GT cars could be 2 seater, for a husband and wife, or four seater, for the husband, wife, and a couple of kids. The large distances involved is also why the 24 Hours of Le Mans was originally for GT cars, the race being intended to test GT cars at high speed over long distances.
Although I have used UK examples here, the same sort of market forces also drove the other European manufacturers, such as Ferrari, Porsche, etc. Generally the UK GT cars were designed to appeal to the older buyer - i.e., Gentlemen, often by then in their late thirties/early forties, whilst the Ferrari and Porsche were aimed at younger ones - again usually male, although in both cases this was simply a result of aiming at the people with the money. In many European countries a wealthy father might buy his son a Ferrari or Lamborghini as a birthday present, whereas in Britain the likelihood of a wealthy father buying his son an Aston Martin or Jaguar would be be very slim. It just wasn't the done thing. So on the whole, the UK/European cars were aimed at different buyers and age ranges.
So Sports Cars and GT Cars, at least in the 1930s-1960s, were aimed at different markets, and at people with greatly different budgets and lifestyles. For the US cars such as the Mustang and Corvette they really fall between two stools, being designed for the large distances involved in driving around the US, like a normal European GT car, while being less of a luxury car resulting in them being more affordable by the average person, more like an average European Sports Car, although costing somewhat more than a European one and without the 'nippy' handling.
The current meanings of the various Sports Car/GT Car terms have probably changed out of all recognition these days, but the above is more-or-less how they originated. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:59, 16 June 2011 (UTC)

Article too Euro-centric[edit]

I'm not sure I agree with the scope of the content of this article. Europe isn't only place sport cars are designed and built. Even the Japanese have been involved in sport car manufacturing for 60 years. --THE FOUNDERS INTENT PRAISE 15:01, 7 April 2011 (UTC)

Yes, but as far as I know they copied European cars. // Liftarn (talk)

car classification[edit]

for the most part car classification terms like "sports car" is not a technical term with a precise definition. The statement "the first true sports car" begs the question. saying a certain car is too heavy, or an engine is too small, or a ride too comfortable, doesn't work because there is no universal standard that makes a car too heavy or which size engine is too small. It is not our job as wiki editors to determine such things. Sports cars are sports cars, because they are considered sports cars.

similar things could be said about muscle and super cars. muscle cars and super cars grew out of change in technology. Muscle cars were created when manufacturers started using bigger engines, and supercar, as the term is now used, refers to a class of cars made possible by more modern technology. I have also brought up another point, terms change in uses.

my final point is that there are official classifications of cars. Governments and insurance agencies have specific classifications for cars. (talk) 16:06, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

bad sports cars vs. not a sports car[edit]

I think there is some confusion, that because some cars aren't very good as sports cars, it means they aren't ones. I think it has to do a lot with the intent of the car manufacture. Also, one should considered the market, just as time is considered. For example, Europe and North America have different ideas of a small car. A sports car just simply has to be significantly sportier than a regular car. A say significant, because I don't believe simply giving a car hints of sportiness, makes it a sports car. (talk) 16:42, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

And it is important to remember that sportiness actually have very little to do with performance, example: Biscuter Pegasin. // Liftarn (talk)
Interesting... my mark 2a Austin-Healey Sprite was arguably the fastest of the spridgets, and definitely a sports car, but I'd never call it a performance car. Andrewa (talk) 19:55, 18 May 2012 (UTC)
I removed the phrase in the lead about high performance. I was thinking even further back about an MG TC (one of the first real sports cars imported into the U.S.). Very slow except around corners compared to other cars of the time. 72Dino (talk) 23:55, 18 May 2012 (UTC)

Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost[edit]

The statement is made in this article that this car was a sports car. (Third paragraph under Early History) So this is an American article about American cars but this has to be one of Wikipedia's sillier statements. Eddaido (talk) 03:36, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

Surprisingly it may be true - the Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost was supplied as a chassis and coach builders could put any sort of body on it the customer chose. Even very un-sporty ones like this one: Rolls-Royce Armoured Car. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:53, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

Porsche 959 a sports car?[edit]

Hello SamBlob, the 959 is a very exotic car and I think not a typical sports car. For SuperCar definition try here [[5]]. Yes, of course such an exotic car is a sports car but I think that it is a poor example, not typical of most people's image. DesmondW (talk) 15:02, 26 November 2014 (UTC)

As mentioned many times, including quite often on the discussion page for the Supercar article, the term "supercar" is very vaguely defined and, as such, is not used as an automotive classification on Wikipedia. Sincerely, SamBlob (talk) 15:26, 26 November 2014 (UTC)