The different types of sports cars
Sports cars come in all shapes and sizes, some more exotic than others. Here are a few of the more common types:
Coupés and targas
The coupé is the most popular type of sports car: a hard-topped two-door machine that is equally at home on the road or on the track. These are generally considered the most practical sports cars, and models such as the Honda NSX and Porsche Cayman are occasionally used as everyday transport. The Ferrari FF is a four-seater, though its rear seats are very cramped. A related type is the targa, which has a hard roof section that can be removed to temporarily turn the car into a convertible.
Roadsters or spiders
These cars are characterised by their open tops and two-seat design. The word “roadster” itself became popular in Europe in the 1950s, but was common in North America before then. Among the first was the 1926 Ford Model T Roadster, but it was after World War Two before they became popular around the world thanks to models like the 1955 Triumph TR3. Later, roadsters emphasised comfort as much as outright performance, with the Alfa Romeo Spider and BMW Z3 Roadster blending style with practicality.
These are the ultimate sports cars, built for extreme performance. The term came into common use in the late 1960s, with the appearance of spectacular machines like the Lamborghini Miura, the first production road car to achieve 170 mph. By the 1980s, the supercar era was well established: Ferrari’s stunning F40 broke the 200 mph barrier for the first time in 1987, and six years later the McLaren F1 hit 240 mph. Today’s ultimate supercar is the Hennessey Venom GT, the only road car to break 270 mph.
Classic sports cars
Despite immense advances in automotive technology over the years, older sports cars are more popular than ever. Classic models such as the original Porsche 911 and Jaguar E-Type often sell for high prices at auction, while a substantial parts industry now allows skilful mechanics to restore even badly damaged examples. Some more recent models, such as the Series 1 Lotus Elise from 1995, are now making the transition to classic sports car status.
Categories: Sport Cars