Sports cars are largely preferred by those who love speed and acceleration. The classification of sports car types cannot be specific, since these automobiles are divided into a variety of general categories. However, they are mainly split up according to the body type, which we are going to discuss in the following article.
A fun fact to know: As in 2011, cars used in the World Rally Championship (WRC) are currently required to have a 1.6-liter engine, instead of a 2.0-liter engine used for earlier seasons.
Many people, especially youngsters have a great fascination for sports cars. These machines have a lot of power and torque, and most importantly are lower to the ground, contributing to proper aerodynamics against the wind. Moreover, they are generally available in either two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. Two-wheel drive ones are usually used for road racing or drifting, whereas AWD sports cars are used for rally racing. Just like any other cars, they are also divided into certain groups. These groups are more or less the same as in standard types of cars. A general classification of sports cars is shown below.
Types of Sports Cars
A hatchback can be a small or a mid-sized car which has two or four passenger doors and a raise-open door at the back. Hatchbacks are also known as three-door or five-door cars, keeping the back raise-open door in mind. These cars generally come at a low price and are known for better gas mileage and usability for a small family. Sport hatches are faster than big sports cars on roads with sharp turns, which is why they are more agile.
Hatchbacks can be seen in any type of car racing, but are primarily found in road rally championships. For example, one of the best hatchbacks is the Ford Fiesta. Its 1.6-liter 16-valve Duratec I4 engine produces 120-hp with a mileage of 29/40 MPG in city/highway. Along with an acceptable mileage, the price of this hatch starts from a $15,500, which is pretty affordable. A good feature in the Fiesta is the AdvanceTrac electronic stability control which helps in proper control when a wheel slippage occurs. Other good hatchbacks are:
- Subaru Impreza WRX
- Volkswagen GTI
- Audi A3
- Volvo C30 T5
Car enthusiasts believe that sedans are a fuller type of race cars than hatchbacks. Sedans generally have four doors, and a trunk at the back for luggage. This makes them suitable to be used as passenger cars as well as sports cars when needed. Most race cars come in this category, since racers consider this type to be more stable and well-balanced. These cars have a sporty look, and are fitted with a powerful engine. Some even have luxury facilities for the comfort of passengers. These cars are generally more expensive than standard sedans. A good example of a sports sedan is the Infiniti G37 Sport 6MT. This one from Infinity comes with a 3.7-liter 24-valve V6 engine that delivers a nice 328 hp.
A 6-speed manual transmission gearbox and rear-wheel drive contributes to the excitement the car offers. This fast car also does not compromise with safety, as a result comes with the Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), Traction Control System (TCS), EBD, Brake Assist, ABS, and other safety functionalities. A mileage of 17/25 MPG in city and highway might not seem good on this vehicle though. The base cost of this sports sedan starts from $40,000 approximately. Other good sports sedans are:
- Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan
- Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution
- BMW M5
- Aston Martin Rapide
- Volvo S60
Coupes are traditionally referred to as cars with just two doors and two seats, and a fixed roof. Generally, these types of cars are sporty variants of sedans. In addition, they also have a lower height than their four-door counterparts. Due to just two elongated doors, they have a sleek body styling factor. These cars are ideal for two passengers, and additional cargo. Coupes do not compromise with power, as they have the same power that is found in sports sedans. Modified coupes can be found in all types of auto racing. The M3 Coupe is one of the best performance coupes available in its class.
You can really enjoy 414 hp power generated from the 4.0-liter 32-valve V-8 engine. Owing to on-road safety, BMW has incorporated the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), ABS, and Dynamic Brake Control technologies in the M3. An interesting feature of this coupe is the Electronic Damping Control (EDC) which enables the shock absorbers adapt according to the driving condition and speed. This rear-wheel drive car is priced at around $59,000. Other good coupes are:
- Hyundai Genesis Coupe
- Dodge Challenger
- Ford Mustang
- Mitsubishi Eclipse
- Nissan 370Z
As the name portrays, convertibles are those which can convert from closed to open cars and back. This simply means that the roof can be put up or down, according to the preference of the driver. These kinds of cars can either come in coupes, hatchbacks, or sedans. They can be available in soft-top or hard-top models. Soft-top means the roof is made out of some sort of textile material; whereas in hard-tops, the roof consists of steel or carbon fiber material. The engine of convertibles is the same as other performance cars.
A majority of popular sedans and coupes are offered in convertible variants for style-conscious consumers. The Volkswagen Eos is an ideal example of a convertible. This hardtop convertible is embedded with a 200-hp 2.0-liter TSI engine that gives a mileage of 22/29 in city/highway. The Komfort variant, which is the base model in the line, is priced at about $34,000. Just like other advanced cars, this too has its share of safety features such as the ESC, Engine Braking Assist (EBA), Hill Hold Control, etc. Other good convertibles are:
- Audi TT Roadster
- BMW M3 Convertible
- Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet
- Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG
- Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Convertible
This is a totally different category of sports cars. Custom built cars are mainly manufactured for the purpose of professional racing, drag racing, or street racing. They are modified by company mechanics or private auto-technicians. These cars have additional components added, which makes these vehicles real fast, yet controllable. Any ordinary car can be turned into a performance car with the help of hi-tech parts. These sports cars can even be customized with attractive paint jobs and accessories, which make them unique.
Sports Cars Manufacturers and Series
It cannot be concluded that one particular company is the best manufacturer of sports cars. Every company has its line up of these machines which are incorporated with trademarked technologies. For example, in rally sports; brands like Subaru, Mitsubishi, and Citroen are considered the best. However, in stock car racing Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, Lamborghini, Porsche, BMW, Aston Martin, Ford, etc. are more prominent. Likewise, each brand has its own specialty in sports cars.
Since all wheels from Subaru possess an AWD, any model from the brand can be used for racing, with just minor modifications. Mercedes-Benz has AMG as its operating arm for high-performance versions of their standard cars. Similarly, owing to car racing requirements, BMW offers the M series for street and track races. On the other hand, Lexus has the IS F and LFA as sports cars from their factory. Brands like Ferrari and Lamborghini are dedicated to serve rich enthusiasts interested in high-speed racing machines.
This is some generic information on the different types of sports cars. The manufacture and use of these machines also depends on the race type; whether an off-road rally, street racing, or on-track auto racing. In order to get a sports car, you also need to keep your budget high, as these automobiles can be pricey.