In my way of thinking, a sports car is a two seat, 2 door, mimimal storage space car that is built for performance first, utility second. It is made for "Sport"The sports car can carry "maybe" enough luggage for the weekend and in the old das, was lucky to even have side curtains. (Corvette, 911*, Boxster, Lotus, MX5 etc)
A hot rodded small sedan is not a "sports car"
4 doors, large trunk, Economy car roots. It is made for utility but "souped up" version is available
Calling the sedan a sports car would mean that the Chrysler 300 SRT8 is a sports car because it is fast?
How about back in the 80's when Dodge put the turbo motor in the Omni, is that a sports car? :giggle
* While just about everyone considers the 911 a "Sports car" it is technicly a "GT" car because of the "alledged" back seat. So where do you draw the line?
The lines have really blurred over the years but I highly doubt that things are so fuzzy that a 4 Door Chevy Cobalt with a supercharger is a Sports car :giggle
Same thing with the term "Muscle car" A Mustang or a Camaro is NOT a Muscle Car!
A M/C is a intermediate sized car with the biggest engine from the Full size line.
The new GTO is a Muscle car but thats about it. But, the pony cars (so named because of the Mustang) have been pretty much accepted as "Muscle" for so long that it is what it is.
Please don't kill the messenger :scared :giggle
But yeah, so what if the car has two extra doors, a luggage compt. that fits at least 2 bodies, and most importantly a base model that is anything but sporty? The M-B 190 Evo was built to comply with race homologation for the DTM contender. The same thing goes for the Mitsu Evo and the Subie Impreza, both arch-rivals in the WRC.
The sports car 'purists' are forgetting that sedans, coupes, hatchbacks, droptops are cars, too, and if one is athletically built to outperform, why can't it be called sports car?
The term, "family sedan" sounds too safe when referring to these fierce pocket rockets. If they are so safe, why are they more expensive to insure than the base models? I pay literally a couple of bucks more than my friend in his S2000 (I have a clean driving record. I swear! :lol )
As for the SRT-8, M5, E55 AMG, etc., I wouldn't refer to them as sports cars. Why? Because they aren't as agile as the lighter 2.0L+ engined cars. They are blindingly fast in acceleration but they can't go round a track without massive under/oversteer. If they score a great lap time, it is thanks to their straightline speed, where time lost was recovered. They will never appear in an auto-X event. Sure, they could be put on a diet but why go through the expensive trouble?
Anyway, the cars I'm 'defending' deserve to be considered Sports cars just like any car in this category.
BTW - Jeff is right about the 911 being a GT as is the Aston Martin DB9, which isn't an exotic.
If a WRX is a sports car, what does that make the Corvette, Vipers and Porsche models of the world.
I believe the easiest way to recognize a cars class is to see how the insurance company rates them. I don't own a WRX, but I am almost certain that insurance companies don't rate the WRX as a 'sports car'.
If I was to guess the WRX class, it would be that of a sports sedan, however, I am not sure that is completely accurate as its classified by the automotive industry as a 'sport compact' car.
I'm not sure if I understand your point on this as I have never seen a 4 door sedan of any type classified as a 'sports car' and there have been plenty of them that could easily fit the mold. Impala SS, Taurus SHO, M5, WRX to name a few, but the reality of it is, they are not 'sports cars' but indeed 'sports sedans'. And there is a difference.
Convertibles can be classified as 'sports cars', the C5 was originally designed based off a convertible. That is why the 1997 Corvette was first introduced as a convertible.
The Vette a is faster Sports car, the Viper an Exotic and a 911 a GT. :giggle
I completely understand what you're saying. I'm only suggesting why not take that 'sports car' term, which I believe isn't being used properly anymore, and expand it a bit. Sports cars are constantly evolving and so should the definition.
The thing is, how is a BMW 318i convertible (you said convertibles are sports cars) going to be a sports car and not the more capable WRX??
As for insurance, cars aren't classified by specific car category to determine premium prices. From what I've seen, we only look at cars, trucks and vans. Ultimately the car's value will be one of the major determining factors. A customer and major player behind Texas A&M pays a pretty good price for his 575M. Credit is pretty big, too . :giggle
As an example, the magazine "Sports Compact Car" (http://www.sportcompactcarweb.com/) basically is a magazine for modern compact cars, but they can't really be classified as sport compact by your definition.
I think we are arguing semantics here, but Sports car I think is a term that's is being used very loosely now, as Gian has mentioned.