I am sure that everyone, or 99% of those who are reading this, have ever dreamed of driving a sports car. Who has never imagined aboard a brand-new car when he was a child?
Fortunately, as in any other segment (within its limitations), there is a wide variety of sports cars on the market. There are two, four, and up to five seats, with relatively acceptable luggage and others designed for a pharmacy bag. Some bet on the sensations rather than the benefits, others more for the pure and hard power, and the most inaccessible for most mortals make a hodgepodge of everything with the highest quality.
Some will argue that its intentions can define a sports car. If the above designed to maximize performance above practicality, they say it is a sports car. However, this definition based on intention provides little guidance in determining whether a car is sporty or not. Others will maintain that the distinction between a sports car and any other type of vehicle lies in how the suspension is and its handling.
Road and Track, one of the most prestigious US publications in the sector, summarizes the debate on the definition of what a sports car is with a simple observation: “Ask five people the exact definition of a sports car, and you will probably get five different answers. ” As we see, there is no clear definition of what a sports car is, but we can approach it.
Because the fact that a car is fast does not mean at all that it is sporty. A is fast, but it is not sporty. There are other very important factors apart from the engine that has to take into account. If you continue reading, I will tell you what makes a sportsman special in a broken down way.
The mechanical and structural group
As just mentioned, in addition to speed and power, the feelings behind the wheel also come into play. It is as well as the price, engine position, technology used, aesthetics, target clientele, transmission, and the output. There will always be exceptions, but we can classify the characteristics that make a vehicle a sports car in the following points:
Is a large engine really necessary for a car to be sporty? It doesn’t have to. Returning to the previous example, a Rolls-Royce Phantom has a 6.7 V12 block of 460 hp and 720 Nm. It does 0 to 100 km / h in 5.9 seconds and reaches 240 km / h. However, a car that rubs six meters in length and exceeds 2.5 tons of mass is not suitable for “going around curves.”
On the other side of the ring, we have something that, a priori, may seem like a small thing. The Lotus Elise S is a two-seater less than four meters with a 1.8 supercharged, turbocharged engine of 220 hp and 250 Nm. It reaches 234 km / h but is capable of reaching 100 km / h from a standstill in 4.6 seconds. The key? Weightless than a ton. And not only that, but it is also closer to the ground, and its polar moment of inertia (explained a few lines below) is very small compared to that of the English ship.
The engines of sports cars designed to offer benefits above fuel economy and conveniently reinforced to withstand the extra stress they subjected. Because if you have a sports car, you will not permanently wear it below 3,000 laps, right? The sound must also be suggestive since it has more excitement than a four-cylinder diesel.
Like the engine, the transmission must also be conveniently prepared to withstand “abuse,” whether automatic or manual. The latter are less and less present, with few high-end sports cars still offering it, such as Porsche and Aston Martin in respectively. Some can even do the heel-toe automatically so that the
Once the gearbox manages the motor force, the thermal energy transformed into the kinetics and an FWD), the rear ( RWD ), or the four ( AWD / 4WD ).
Normally we associate sports with a propulsion car. It is indeed the classic configuration, but if the manufacturer improves the parameters described in this block, almost any car can offer sports behavior, even a simple one.
- Sports front-wheel drive. A configuration that, a priori, does not seem too exciting. However, since the 80s, many manufacturers have turned more modest cars to offer a spirited ride without costing an eye. And they have not always been urban cars like him, he or he. During the 90’s we could see memorable sports coupes like the Toyota Celica, the Opel Calibra, or the Fiat Coupé.
- Sports all-wheel drive. If there has been something motivated by the use of all-wheel drive as a sports application, it has been the world rally. Names like Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution or Audi Quattro have proven it. Even Lamborghini does nothing else in its supercars since the Murciélago (2002) than to equip them with an all-wheel-drive system, although something had to do with its acquisition in 1998 by the VAG Group.
The structure of a sports car is usually not the same as that of any other vehicle that swarms our carts. Manufacturers bother to design a skeleton that is light and rigid, all to offer dynamic behavior than expected.
For this reason, any sports car is closer to the ground than any other type of car. Besides, the less ground clearance there is, and the more centered the weights (between both axes), the more poise on the asphalt.
As a consequence, the suspension travel is less than that of normal tourism, and, therefore, the car is more uncomfortable when roads in poor condition or bumpy roads approached. The lower height is not favorable when it comes to overhangs or access to some car parks, although some companies offer an option that raises the height of the front axle a few millimeters to avoid rubbing it.
The routes of sports vehicles, as a general rule, tend to be wider concerning the vehicles from which they derive (if they derive from one). A more width, more stability. Also, a shorter wheelbase (battle), make the car very manageable in sharp turns, but also more nervous when tickling.
At the ends of both axles are the wheels and brakes, another pair of very important components in sports. The tires, the more surface they have with the ground, the more grip they will generate. This result usually uses a soft and wider compound rubber on the drive shaft. It is the most effective way to move quickly on dry asphalt. Still, they also spent earlier, they are less efficient in saving fuel, and in the rain, they are more likely to generate to accommodate a braking system at the height of the performance of the car. What is the use of driving at 300 km / h if you cannot stop within a few meters? A sports car must have large brake discs, preferably ventilated and perforated, with generous clamps as well.
They offered as an option in many high-end vehicles, but their assembly only makes sense when the car is going to drive at a high pace often. Unlike steel discs, carbo ceramics need to be at high temperatures to function properly. In situations of rain or circulation at low speeds, they do not provide any advantage, quite the opposite.
The proper handling of the vehicle is prevalent in any car that is considered sporty. Getting an appropriate address that involves the driver more depends on different variables:
- Gearing. The km77 glossary defines it as the relationship between steering wheel rotation and the change of wheel direction. The greater the de multiplication, the smaller the effort to turn the steering wheel, at the cost of needing more travel to achieve the same effect and, consequently, the reactions of the car are more difficult to perceive and correct.
- Level of assistance. Over-Assisted steering also helps a sensory disconnection with the front axle. Maneuvering is much more comfortable, but it is more complicated to perceive when the tires are reaching the limit of their grip. In recent years, variable assistance systems have incorporated, which gain weight directly proportional to the speed gain.
- Sensitivity. A direction for fast driving also has to transmit to the steering wheel hoop what happens under the tires. The idea of a sports car is to offer confidence to shoot at high rates, and our touch is a good friend that we can trust. If your hands detect that something is wrong, you can always correct it faster.
Polar moment of inertia
Newton’s first law states that an object will remain at rest or with uniform rectilinear motion unless an external force acts on it. It can define the resistance offered by the car to try to turn on itself. The greater the moment, the polarity of inertia, the greater that opposition is, and the lower the agility of the car when it comes to cornering.
If the weights are well distributed, the center of gravity will locate in the center of the car. If the masses are close, I entered yes, and the car will be able to turn with less effort. Therefore it is more agile thanks to a low polar moment of inertia. Think of a hammer: How much less difficult to move it from side to side? Are they holding it near the head or from the end of that one? It is for this reason that most high-level sports cars have the engine in the central position.
Types of sports
We can distinguish between many types of sports, but roughly can be classified into three categories: sports, supercars, and hypercars. Why they placed at different points in the automobile hierarchy is because of the speed at which they can roll. But, contrary to popular belief, we repeat that absolute speed is not the only limiting factor.
- Sports. A sports car can be a highly recommended instrument. There are a balance and a touch that can dilute as the power increases; He doesn’t need more.
- They are fast enough to lose the driving license and provide exemplary driving in front of any other vehicle. But above all, as intangible premises, it must be fun and rewarding. It can be front-wheel drive, total or rear, and is usually minimally practical.
- Supercar. It presents a level of performance that is enough to scare most people. Elements such as drama and prestige go beyond the limits of a sports car, technology, and price.
- Generally, it has more than 500 hp, it is more difficult to squeeze thoroughly and is not as usable for day to day due to its low practicality. In this category, front-wheel drive is ruled out.
- Hiperdeportivo. Absolutely everything in a hypercar is extreme: the design, the features, the curve, and the price. It is a car that feels frantic, a monster dedicated to speed, something that does not make it precisely usable to go to the supermarket and make long trips.
- Mostly, the engine placed behind the seats, and they approach dangerously or exceed a thousand horses. Do not expect to find any with a clutch pedal.
Last but not least, I would like to make a brief mention of a booming segment:
- Sports SUV is two terms that collide with each other. It is like saying “sports tank,” it is an antithesis by its conception. But well, for tastes the colors, and if the manufacturer on duty wants to sell his sports SUV, he will. Stronger suspension, more direct steering, more imposing appearance, and more power. Perhaps the best examples can be found in some models, such as (who started it all) or him.
A sports car not usually characterized by being practical or excessively comfortable. It offers other qualities, aspects that are capable of transmitting sensations that go beyond the mere fact of taking us from one point to another. They are vehicles that give us the ability to drive fast with greater safety guarantees than any other vehicle while smiling at us every time we sink the right foot and take a curve.
It is true that, in these times, the “traditional sports” is no longer what it was. Customers want everything: make it fast, beautiful, comfortable, and spacious. That is why every bet is more on sports SUVs, although other concepts, such as saloons, family, and compact racing aspirations, are equally valid in the manufacturers’ portfolio.