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Old 03-28-08, 09:11 AM   #1
Sledbikes
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sport car drivers

what is the definition of a sports car to you
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Old 03-28-08, 09:16 AM   #2
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Fun to drive.
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Old 03-28-08, 09:18 AM   #3
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Excellent handling and braking, good power to weigh ratio.
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 03-28-08, 09:54 AM   #4
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Excellent handling and braking, good power to weigh ratio.
And two seats, more and the car risks being a sports sedan.
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Old 03-28-08, 09:57 AM   #5
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valid point
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 03-28-08, 09:58 AM   #6
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Manual transmission. Automatic just doesn't count.
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Old 03-28-08, 09:58 AM   #7
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or the back seats have to be really inconvenient
my stealth and 240sx had back seats. in theory
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Old 03-28-08, 10:07 AM   #8
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what is the definition of a sports car to you
Any two seater made before 1980, Austin Healey 3000, Jensen Healey, MGB, TR6, MG TD, Morgan, TR4, Austin Sprite, 240Z, Cobra, Mercedes 190SL, Mercedes Gullwing, Sunbeam Tiger......
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Old 03-28-08, 10:11 AM   #9
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I've got a a Jeep XJ Sport. Does that count?
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Old 03-28-08, 10:20 AM   #10
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I've got a a Jeep XJ Sport. Does that count?
I don't know, can you autocross it?
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Old 03-28-08, 10:21 AM   #11
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And two seats, more and the car risks being a sports sedan.
Real sports cars don't have cup holders. So I have been told.
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Old 03-28-08, 10:24 AM   #12
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Sports car? No such thing. Driving isn't a sport.
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Old 03-28-08, 10:24 AM   #13
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Real sports cars don't have cup holders. So I have been told.
2 seater, no cup holders...
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Old 03-28-08, 10:25 AM   #14
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Sports car? No such thing. Driving isn't a sport.
It is the way I do it.
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Old 03-28-08, 10:26 AM   #15
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2 seater, no cup holders...
Winner, we have a "Real Sports Car"
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Old 03-28-08, 10:44 AM   #16
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2 seater, no cup holders...
Sports not Sporty

We have a brand new Smart car dealer in my town. Their quite cute.
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Old 03-28-08, 10:45 AM   #17
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Mercedes S class, with long wheelbase.
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Old 03-28-08, 10:53 AM   #18
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something sleek, sexy and plush that sits nice and low with a manual transmission and more than enough horses under the hood to get me there faster than what I want.
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Old 03-28-08, 11:21 AM   #19
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Old 03-28-08, 12:05 PM   #20
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1. rear wheel drive.

important for specific handling tendencies. as wonderful as the Honda ITR and Subaru WRX are, they're not sports cars. sorry.

2. two seats.

more for aesthetic and philosophical reasons, really. a four seater doesn't have the frivolity a sports car really needs. occasional seating can be o.k., though - i.e., a 2+2 where the rear seats are suitable only for small children and amputees. but even that's pushing it most times.

3. better-than-average handling, braking, and acceleration.

this is for the time of the vehicle's production, mind: an Austin-Healey BN2 is a nigh-perfect example of a sports car (particularly in 100M or 100S guise), but would be laughable if introduced today. also notice no mention of top speed - while a high top speed may be a plus, handling and braking are much more important, with acceleration a close third.

4. light weight.

again, this is relative. a modern sports car will often weigh more than a sedan from the fifties; there's lots of reasons for this. but it's still lighter than the current crop of sedans. for example (though i really don't think the Corvette is a sports car anymore), the 2008 Corvette only weighs 100 pounds less than a 1955 Chevy Bel Air V8. the 1956 Corvette (which definitely was a sports car) weighs almost 600 pounds less than a 1955 Bel Air (which is also about how much less the 2008 'vette weighs than a 2008 Impala).

this light weight helps a sports car have the better handling, braking and acceleration that is expected of the type.

5. attractive styling.

this is highly subjective, and there have been ugly sports cars, but ideally a sports car should be pleasing to the eye. the seating rule affects this as well, leading to the usual sports car body styles. most common are coupes and drop head coupes, though convertibles and shooting brakes may be acceptable. bonus points for roadsters.

6. performance doesn't make it a sports car.

pony cars, sport sedans, super cars, muscle cars, sport compacts, GT's, hot hatches: these are not sports cars. while they may be (and often are) excellent vehicles, they embody compromises in almost every case that removes them from the sports car category.

so, some examples:

1936-1939 MG TA
1953-1955 Triumph TR2
1955-1969 Mercedes-Benz 300SL
1956-1959 BMW 507
1957-1972 Lotus 7
1966-1969 Alfa Romeo Duetto Spider
1970-1973 Nissan/Datsun 240Z
1989-1997 Mazda Miata
2000-current Honda S2000

some cars that are not sports cars:

Bugatti Veyron (super car)
McLaren F1 (super car)
Ford Mustang (pony car)
Chevrolet Camaro (pony car)
Mazda 323 GTX (hot hatch)
Peugeot 205 GTi (hot hatch)
Pontiac GTO (muscle car)
Dodge Charger (muscle car)
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Old 03-28-08, 12:18 PM   #21
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Manual transmission. Automatic just doesn't count.
A stick with a clutch. Gotta be specific. None of that sequential manual crap (BMW SMG, Ferrari F1, etc.).
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Old 03-28-08, 12:27 PM   #22
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3. better-than-average handling, braking, and acceleration.
6. performance doesn't make it a sports car.
I think you mean "absolute performance doesn't make it a sports car." It's not about having the greatest acceleration or top speed.

Edit: Oh sorry, that wasn't exactly your point, but this is an addendum relating to supercars.

I think a good modern example you left out is the Lotus Elise/Exige.
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Old 03-28-08, 12:41 PM   #23
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1: 300 hp or better.
2: Ability to go down curvy roads like RR 2222 at 55-60 mph without ramming the cliff face or flying off the embankment.
3: Ability to get past the redneck in the pickup beside you and gunning it when lanes abruptly end due to construction.
4: Ability to stop quickly enough to handle a drunk who just hit a guard rail on one side of the highway, bounced across the median, and is now in oncoming traffic.
5: Ability to avoid various pieces of equipment dropping off of construction vehicles, be it ladders, or spools of random wiring.
6: Crashworthiness to be able to survive a collision with the above 2-5 if the driver's timing is off.
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Old 03-28-08, 02:01 PM   #24
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Where do these fall?

Porsche 911
XKE
BMW 2002
RX-8
Karmann Ghia
Carver
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Old 03-28-08, 02:26 PM   #25
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2 seater, built to handle and go fast, manual transmission, RWD, Positraction,
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