A sports car is a small car which has two seats and two doors most of the time. This car is designed for fiery appearance and agile handling. The term “sports car’’ was first used all the way back in 1982 (Merriam-Webster dictionary says).
A bit of history of sports cars
There is no precise definition of a sports car. People who rode the first cars said that they had found ways to make these cars faster, their parts better and look much better and more beautiful. They also mentioned “the relationship’’ and the feeling while driving the car (it is fun to drive them and use them in this way). Touring car and roadster are the basis of these automobiles, and this leads us back to the early 20th century. The races were held in meetings such as the Herkimer Cup, Monte Carlo, Prinz Heinrich Fahrt, etc. The first ones (3-liter cars) were 1910 Prince Henry Vauxhall and 27/80PS Austro-Daimler (created by Ferdinand Porsche). Ernest Henry designed its 2LS, two liters, premiered by Ballot in 1921. About one hundred were built within four years. Added to these soon was the Simson-Supra Type S (60 hp DOHC 2 liter) designed by Paul-Henze (in 1924) and a lot more others.
The drive train and motor arrangement have the significant influence on an automobile characteristics, and they are crucial in the sports car design. Their engine is commonly at the front part, and they have the rear-wheel-drive layout, and this design has stayed much longer in sports cars ( the Caterham 7, the Chevrolet Corvette and Mazda MX-5) than other ones.
One of the manufacturers that use this layout (RR) is Porsche. Many of them also have an FMR layout, where the engine is placed between the firewall and the front axle. It is important to mention other plans as well. For example the RMR layout (this one is usually found in sports cars only), the motor is placed in the chassis, and the rear wheels have power. This arrangement is preferred by Lamborghini and Ferrari (high-performance manufacturers). The next one is FF layout, and it is commonly found in sports compacts and hot hatches, just like cars in general. It is not used in sports cars.
Some of these have little back seats (only suitable for little kids or baggage), but most have a typical configuration (2 seats only). Eventually, manufacturers tried to increase their vehicles practicality by enriching the seating room too.
In the end, we mustn’t forget to say that a car can be a sporting automobile even if it is not a sports car. Muscle cars, sports compacts, sports sedans, hot hatches and others with regular performances are not considered sports automobiles. Cars such as AMC AMX are regarded as both types.