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What makes a sports car?

By BenCee on 11 Aug 2011

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A lot of people still equate the term sports car to one that offers fire-breathing, neck-breaking performance. One that is measured in 0-100km/h sprint times and top speeds.

But is that always so?

Take the car pictured above, for example. The Kia Forte Koup. I know that it is a controversial topic, but many still deride the Koup for its lack of outright grunt.

That is despite its other positive qualities, like its sweet handling and smashing good looks.

So what if it doesn't go to 100km/h in a blink of an eye? Performance shouldn't be the be-all-and-end-all for a so-called sports car.

The Rolls-Royce Phantom can hit 0-100km/h in 5.7 seconds. I wouldn't call it a sports car.

Similarly, the Mazda MX-5 doesn't exactly have a powerful engine, but its driving and handling set-up can easily put many other faster cars to shame in the corners.

'Sports' is so much more than outright performance. It also has to have balance, involvement, engaging the driver such that he feels joy when driving. Because that's what driving is all about; the experience.

I guess this perspective of 'faster is better' mirrors a lot of Singapore society. Many people only see the end, the destination, and want to reach there quickly, for whatever reason.

Sometimes, it's the journey itself that really counts, and gives you the most pleasure.

Some things are better when enjoyed slowly, at your own pace.

discussions, gossip, motoring and 5 more...

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Written by BenCee
A petrolhead from young, Ben is living the dream, writing about cars...

Wsg Aug 11 2011 04:42 PM
er that also depend on how much you have in the bank too...
ER-3682 Aug 11 2011 07:13 PM
I am driving an Nissan 370z,it is good sports car,good handling,performance,nice shape,the best is just cost 1/3 of an Porsche 911,but 85% of its performance.
Lammy84 Aug 11 2011 08:07 PM
sweet handling? a "sports" car with a rear torsion beam set up??? and u call yourself a petrol head. I agree with alot of what u say like the miatas but the koup is just a car that is a poor imitation of something sporty. The Hyundai Genesis is more of a sports car than the koup ever will be.
Bavarian Aug 11 2011 08:20 PM
what kind of sports do 'sports' car partake? It is only a marketing moniker.
Mecontle Aug 11 2011 09:19 PM
anything + open roof top = sport, according to sgcarmart
Kax2 Aug 12 2011 12:20 AM
200 hp and above
Lammy84 Aug 12 2011 12:27 AM
HP figures dont mean everything, its more of the set up of the whole car, "sporty" cars are usually harsher as their tyre, suspension and chasis set up are more for superior handling over comfort. Look at the difference between a normal honda civic VS a type R, even without the power difference, the whole set up of the car is a different beast.
Kax2 Aug 12 2011 01:12 AM
If it is more of the setup of the car, then any < 1.6L 110 hp car with 18" rim, brembo brakes and camber arm kits can qualify as a sports car. HP is a better gauge since any stock >200 HP would already put u into sports car territory while modded car with >200 HP would have other modified parts, usually bigger rims, upgraded brakes and camber arms.
Lammy84 Aug 12 2011 02:55 AM
So i take it that you do not treat a miata as a sports car? I suppose most lotus's under your defination isnt a sports car then. Only people who dont know cars talk about 18" rims and camber arms and brembo like you. Have u even driven a car? a 400whp r32 has nothing on a 300whp fd3s. Know why? Im not gonna give u a lesson for free, go read up before u spew crap out of your mouth and look like a scrub.
Lammy84 Aug 12 2011 02:58 AM
BTW, u can take a stock civic and throw in all your camber arms and 18" rims and brembo brakes and suspension and heck, ill even let u throw in the 6 speed gearbox and k20a and end of the day, its still inferior to the real type R. Go find out why too.
Lammy84 Aug 12 2011 02:59 AM
OH, alot of the range rovers, 3 series, A4s, E classes have above 200bhp, so i guess they are sports cars then
GTR Aug 12 2011 09:15 AM
Sweet Handling and smashing good look?
Have u been in Mars all the while?
I can easily name a few cars that are more good looking and you can see them easily on the road.

All the Alfa Romeos, Scirocco, Integra, Rx8, Mx5.... Higher end if we don't talk about price, I can easily name 20 more.

I always enjoyed reading this section but definately not biased and boring article like yours...

Good try but FAILED. Sorry if I am too harsh... Just hate mis-leading car articles.
The-Stig Aug 12 2011 04:47 PM
To put things in perspective, Koup is a "sporty" looking car. It has never been a sport car. Can't be help that any two-door coupe is classified under "sport" category. Having driven 4 japanese make cars before switching to Koup myself, I got to admit that the gap in build & quality between them is very little if not on par for some range of models. So far never regretted my decesion. biggrin.gif
Mustank Aug 12 2011 11:34 PM
i saw a 2 door car today. his plate is ep 369 laugh.gif biggrin.gif laugh.gif
Kax2 Aug 13 2011 02:53 AM
I own a FD2 civic type R, so before u embarrass yourself more. Go read up on what we are arguing about. I said HP, you said its more of the setup. So I am quoting u examples of how a "wannabe" with setups like 18 rims, brembo and camber kits can never be considered a sports car. If you bother to read carefully, I mention sports car territory. There is hell lots of difference between a BMW 320i and a 335. Setup is basically the same, but the 335 is "more" sport car than the 318, simply becos it has higher HP.
Lammy84 Aug 13 2011 06:15 PM
u own 1 in your dreams? Set up includes chasis which can never be replicated by the accessories you mentioned. Get out of forums and earn money to buy a real car. Oh, btw, pls tell me, based on your defination of 200bhp, are lotus and mazda mx5s not sports cars compared to a 220bhp base WRX? joker
Lammy84 Aug 13 2011 06:16 PM
BTW, if i take a picanto and swap in an engine to 200bhp means i own a sports car? WEWT!!!!
Kax2 Aug 14 2011 09:56 PM
Lol hearings those comments from u really showed how noob u are. When u talk about sports car you want to know it's torque and it's power to weight ratio, that why we have carbon fiber and aluminum parts. The main difference between the ctr and civic is the stiffness of it's chassis, making the ctr a great cornering machine. You can easily compensate that by addingundercarriage braces arms, the trade off would be added weight which would reduce it's
power to weight ratio. I am kax from ctr.sg forum registered since 2009. Sure you can put a 200 hp engine into a small car but would it's engine bay be big enough to contain the engine ? The only other way would be through forced induction which is basically increasing it's hp. Lotus tried to beat the power to weight ratio by putting a small engine into a smaller car. It is at best a good track car or mini sports car, which is struggling to make a serious sports car. There are couple of turbo charged civic that are faster than my ctr on sepang tracks even on corners. Reading articles on cars don't make u an expert, so stop pretending to know more than me.
Mecontle Aug 15 2011 01:07 PM
a 1.6L lotus with a 120-140 bhp can easily beat a ctr at track, so by bhp its not the only sport definition
Lammy84 Aug 15 2011 02:52 PM
"It is at best a good track car or mini sports car, which is struggling to make a serious sports car."

Ahaha you call a lotus with a 5 sec century sprint that and any car with above 200bhp a sports car. Nothing to say liao. Let u win la kid.
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