Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What the hell is a "Sports Car"?

I remember having a conversation with a friend about the definition of a "Sports Car".  Some of the automotive press also ponders that same question.  So, we tried to agree on a list of things that make a "true" sports car and we hit a wall.  Here's my list of "must-haves" for a "true" sports car:

1.  Traditional manual transmission (with a clutch you operate with your foot and a shifter you shift with your hand)
2.  Rear wheel drive [puts on flame suit]
3.  2-door car (or 3-door, if you want to talk liftbacks/fastbacks/notchbacks/hatchbacks)

That's all.  It can be a simple Nissan 240SX or the ultra exotic Mercedes Benz SLS.  My friend stated that cars like the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution should be added, but I argued that the Evo is a "performance vehicle", much like a Ford F-150 Lightning.  He said I'm insane and made a video of my insanity. 

So, what's your list of prerequisites for a "true" sports car? Here's some of my favorites: 


  1. You insano, if youre excluding the lancer evo because it's compromised by 4 doors and isn't purpose built as a performance car then what about the S2000's lack of a roof???

    - Peter

  2. Peter,

    The Evo is "compromised by 4 doors" and affects the way it looks. It doesn't look sporty. It is made to be a performance car and puts down the numbers. I love the car but it doesn't define a "true sports car".

    The s2000 doesn't have a roof, sure. But it doesn't need one. Its got the look: 2 doors. And hell, without the roof, maybe that's a plus. Its got the RWD look, feel and performance. And then its got the optionless true manual transmission.

    Remember? we said the Lancer Evo could fit under the umbrella of "sports cars" and then "performance car" under that umbrella. However, the "true" sports cars are under the "sports cars" umbrella, but not necessarily under the "performance cars" umbrella.

    Yes, that means a manual Dodge Challenger (do they even make those?) would be a truer sports car than the Lancer Evo.

    -The Elitist Enthusiast