Types of Sports Cars

Many people, especially youngsters have a great fascination for sports cars. These machines have a lot of power and torque, and most importantly are lower to the ground, contributing to proper aerodynamics against the wind. Moreover, they are generally available in either two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. Two-wheel drive ones are usually used for road racing or drifting, whereas AWD sports cars are used for rally racing. Just like any other cars, they are also divided into certain groups. These groups are more or less the same as in standard types of cars. A general classification of sports cars is shown below.

Types of Sports Cars

Hatchbacks
A hatchback can be a small or a mid-sized car which has two or four passenger doors and a raise-open door at the back. Hatchbacks are also known as three-door or five-door cars, keeping the back raise-open door in mind. These cars generally come at a low price and are known for better gas mileage and usability for a small family. Sport hatches are faster than big sports cars on roads with sharp turns, which is why they are more agile. Hatchbacks can be seen in any type of car racing, but are primarily found in road rally championships. For example, one of the best hatchbacks is the Ford Fiesta. Its 1.6-liter 16-valve Duratec I4 engine produces 120-hp with a mileage of 29/40 MPG in city/highway. Along with an acceptable mileage, the price of this hatch starts from a $15,500, which is pretty affordable. A good feature in the Fiesta is the AdvanceTrac electronic stability control which helps in proper control when a wheel slippage occurs. Other good hatchbacks are:

– Subaru Impreza WRX
– Volkswagen GTI
– Audi A3
– MAZDASPEED3
– Volvo C30 T5

Sports Sedans
Car enthusiasts believe that sedans are a fuller type of race cars than hatchbacks. Sedans generally have four doors, and a trunk at the back for luggage. This makes them suitable to be used as passenger cars as well as sports cars when needed. Most race cars come in this category, since racers consider this type to be more stable and well-balanced. These cars have a sporty look, and are fitted with a powerful engine. Some even have luxury facilities for the comfort of passengers. These cars are generally more expensive than standard sedans. A good example of a sports sedan is the Infiniti G37 Sport 6MT. This one from Infinity comes with a 3.7-liter 24-valve V6 engine that delivers a nice 328 hp. A 6-speed manual transmission gearbox and rear-wheel drive contributes to the excitement the car offers. This fast car also does not compromise with safety, as a result comes with the Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), Traction Control System (TCS), EBD, Brake Assist, ABS, and other safety functionalities. A mileage of 17/25 MPG in city and highway might not seem good on this vehicle though. The base cost of this sports sedan starts from $40,000 approximately. Other good sports sedans are:

– Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan
– Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution
– BMW M5
– Aston Martin Rapide
– Volvo S60

Coupes
Coupes are traditionally referred to as cars with just two doors and two seats, and a fixed roof. Generally, these types of cars are sporty variants of sedans. In addition, they also have a lower height than their four-door counterparts. Due to just two elongated doors, they have a sleek body styling factor. These cars are ideal for two passengers, and additional cargo. Coupes do not compromise with power, as they have the same power that is found in sports sedans. Modified coupes can be found in all types of auto racing. The M3 Coupe is one of the best performance coupes available in its class. You can really enjoy 414 hp power generated from the 4.0-liter 32-valve V-8 engine. Owing to on-road safety, BMW has incorporated the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), ABS, and Dynamic Brake Control technologies in the M3. An interesting feature of this coupe is the Electronic Damping Control (EDC) which enables the shock absorbers adapt according to the driving condition and speed. This rear-wheel drive car is priced at around $59,000. Other good coupes are:

– Hyundai Genesis Coupe
– Dodge Challenger
– Ford Mustang
– Mitsubishi Eclipse
– Nissan 370Z

Convertibles
As the name portrays, convertibles are those which can convert from closed to open cars and back. This simply means that the roof can be put up or down, according to the preference of the driver. These kinds of cars can either come in coupes, hatchbacks, or sedans. They can be available in soft-top or hard-top models. Soft-top means the roof is made out of some sort of textile material; whereas in hard-tops, the roof consists of steel or carbon fiber material. The engine of convertibles is the same as other performance cars. A majority of popular sedans and coupes are offered in convertible variants for style-conscious consumers. The Volkswagen Eos is an ideal example of a convertible. This hardtop convertible is embedded with a 200-hp 2.0-liter TSI engine that gives a mileage of 22/29 in city/highway. The Komfort variant, which is the base model in the line, is priced at about $34,000. Just like other advanced cars, this too has its share of safety features such as the ESC, Engine Braking Assist (EBA), Hill Hold Control, etc. Other good convertibles are:

– Audi TT Roadster
– BMW M3 Convertible
– Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet
– Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG
– Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Convertible

Custom Built
This is a totally different category of sports cars. Custom built cars are mainly manufactured for the purpose of professional racing, drag racing, or street racing. They are modified by company mechanics or private auto-technicians. These cars have additional components added, which makes these vehicles real fast, yet controllable. Any ordinary car can be turned into a performance car with the help of hi-tech parts. These sports cars can even be customized with attractive paint jobs and accessories, which make them unique.

Sports Cars Manufacturers and Series

It cannot be concluded that one particular company is the best manufacturer of sports cars. Every company has its line up of these machines which are incorporated with trademarked technologies. For example, in rally sports; brands like Subaru, Mitsubishi, and Citroen are considered the best. However, in stock car racing Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, Lamborghini, Porsche, BMW, Aston Martin, Ford, etc. are more prominent. Likewise, each brand has its own specialty in sports cars.

Since all wheels from Subaru possess an AWD, any model from the brand can be used for racing, with just minor modifications. Mercedes-Benz has AMG as its operating arm for high-performance versions of their standard cars. Similarly, owing to car racing requirements, BMW offers the M series for street and track races. On the other hand, Lexus has the IS F and LFA as sports cars from their factory. Brands like Ferrari and Lamborghini are dedicated to serve rich enthusiasts interested in high-speed racing machines.

This is some generic information on the different types of sports cars. The manufacture and use of these machines also depends on the race type; whether an off-road rally, street racing, or on-track auto racing. In order to get a sports car, you also need to keep your budget high, as these automobiles can be pricey.

All Wheel Drive Sports Cars

All wheel drive or four wheel drive (four by four) is used in four wheelers, mostly in off-road or sports utility vehicles. If we take a look at the term ‘all wheel drive’, you can get an idea of all wheels being controlled by the engine. The All Wheel Drive (AWD) technology in cars has proven to be extremely useful in maintaining traction on the road, proper grip on roads covered with snow, and good balance on slippery surfaces. Since the AWD technology is very helpful in proper handling, it is generally incorporated in sports cars manufactured today.

Many people have a misconception regarding AWDs and 4 wheel drives. It is commonly considered that AWD technology is the same as 4 wheel drive. Remember that both are different in terms of the individual wheel controls and power supplied to the axles. The 4 wheel drive technology can only be used in automobiles with four wheels; whereas, AWD may be used in trucks, carriers and other vehicles which have multiple axles and many wheels. In an AWD system, there is a center differential which provides power to front and rear axles separately. On the other hand, in a car with a 4WD system, the front to the rear axles are locked with a transfer case.

2011 Audi R8 Spyder

Well, granted this car, priced at $128,950, isn’t for everyone. But it definitely deserves attention from everyone. This 6-speed demon is one of the best sports cars around that’s intended for all weathers, including snow. You get to choose between a 430-bhp V8 or 525-bhp V10 and it comes with the standard Quattro all-wheel-drive-system.

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution

The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution is probably the best all wheel drive sports car around. The AWD system of this car reacts to the driver’s power and handling requirements significantly. It is backed up by a powerful 2 liter 291-horsepower turbocharged engine. It comes at a base price of $35,290. You also have the base Mitsubishi Lancer that comes with its 152-bhp 4-cylinder engine at $16,090.

2012 Acura TL SH-AWD

This luxury sports sedan has a 305 horsepower, V6 engine which is powerful and responsive. The ‘SH’ in the name is short for ‘super handling’, which is true owing to the car’s AWD technology. It also has a voice-activated audio system that lets you select songs by speaking to the system. What the car does seem to lack, is efficiency and on-board components that you get in other cars in the AWD category. Starts at a base price of $39,155.

Mazda CX-9

Although this car has a 3.7-liter V6 engine (compared to the V8 on other cars), it still gives substantial acceleration and efficient handling with the AWD. It is incorporated with an ‘active torque split’ AWD system that is controlled by the computer. It’s the most affordable midsize SUV and still ends up looking great. Starts at a base price of $28,336.

2012 Subaru Impreza

A perfect example of why smaller numbers aren’t always weaker. The car is downgraded to 148 horsepower from its previous 170, but is still faster due to the new variable automatic transmission. The body is lightweight and durable. It is a great choice if you’re looking for an all wheel drive with all-weather driving capability. Its only problem is its fine tuned suspension, that may put off some people who won’t be comfortable driving the Impreza in tough conditions. Tagged at a base price of $17,495.

2011 Buick LaCrosse

In two words – comfort and silence. This is one all wheel drive vehicle that comes with both, power and stability. It also comes in a front wheel drive version, with the all wheel drive boasting of a 280-bhp V6 and a base price of $27,990.

Other All-Wheel-Drive Sports Cars and SUVs

Here are more all wheel drive cars for you to choose from.
– Audi S4
– Volkswagen R32
– Audi S6
– Infiniti G37x AWD
– Volvo V50 T5 AWD
– Subaru Impreza WRX Sti
– Mercedes-Benz C300 Sport AWD
– BMW X6
– Porsche Cayenne Turbo
– Audi Q5
– BMW 335i xDrive
– Mercedes-Benz GLK350 4Matic
– Toyota Land Cruiser
– Infiniti EX35 w/Journey AWD
– Ford Flex
– BMW 328i xDrive Sports Wagon
– Cadillac CTS w/AWD

Knowing the detailed working of the all wheel drive technology can be interesting. Considering the benefits of using AWD systems in vehicles, car manufacturers have started offering optional AWD models to consumers. However, you also have to pay extra for buying an AWD car. Nowadays, along with AWD, cars also have other effective handling systems such as power steering and anti-lock braking systems.

Best Affordable Sports Cars

It is generally believed that sports cars come at a price that is beyond the means of common people. But there are some companies who have come up with high-performance sports cars at an inexpensive price, to make a good reputation in the car market. Companies like Subaru, Dodge, and Ford are renowned to produce the best-in-class performance models, albeit at affordable prices. Most of these sports cars can be used for street and rally racing.

Top 10 Affordable Sports Cars

1. 2015 Chevrolet Camaro Coupe 1LS
This is one car that has been present in the auto world for many years now. Previous generations of the Camaro represent the muscle car legacy of Chevrolet. This car is most suitable for road racing, owing to power and style. The 2015 1LS version of the coupe is available at a base price of just about USD 24,000. Its 3.6-liter V6 engine with 323 hp surely gives a remarkable performance. Moreover, the six-speed manual transmission adds to the thrill of controlling the car as you like.

2. 2014 Dodge Charger SE
The Dodge Charger is another muscle car which is being used from years. It is one of the best muscle cars from the Dodge marque in the car market. The SE variant of the Charger is priced at approximately USD 27,000 which is affordable for many sports cars enthusiasts. Along with a good price, a mileage of 18 MPG in city and 27 MPG on highway makes it a good package. This trim level comes powered with a 3.6-liter V6 24-Valve VVT engine with a performance of 292 hp. Its Electronic Stability Program (ESP) is pretty efficient, which is why it is rated at a good safety level by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

3. 2015 Ford Mustang V6
You can say that the Ford Mustang is a complete package of manly looks, style, power, acceleration, and even mileage. Its base V6 variant is priced even lesser than the Camaro, at about USD 24,000. Besides, a mileage of 19/31 city/highway makes it an ideal car for everyday use. There is a 3.7-liter V6 engine with 300 hp and a 6-speed manual transmission gearbox. It also boasts of the AdvanceTrac with Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system.

4. 2012 Mitsubishi Eclipse GS
Mitsubishi Eclipse does not at all look like a muscle car. Instead, it gives out an appearance of a true contemporary sports car. It is considered to be the hottest inexpensive sports coupe in the market. Its base price point of only about USD 21,000 is the main attraction. The GS is incorporated with a 2.4-liter 162-hp 4-cylinder MIVEC engine paired with 4-speed Sportronic automatic transmission. If you want to drive it on rough roads, you can depend on its Active Stability Control with Traction Control (ASC), ABS, EBD, and a lowered sport-tuned suspension.

5. 2015 Dodge Challenger SXT
This is another car from Dodge which has a conventional muscle car look. Its exterior styling is more like the cars from the ’70s and ’80s. At a starting price of USD 27,000, the SXT variant is not at all a bad deal. This car is powered by a 3.6-Liter V6 24-Valve VVT Engine , generating a decent 305 hp of power. Considering the retro style, power, and most importantly the price; this car definitely ‘challenges’ other vehicles in its class. Moreover, the brand has also focused a lot on safety features; as a result All-Speed Traction Control and Electronic Stability Control are included as a standard.

6. 2014 Subaru Impreza WRX
It seems that Subaru’s engineers really know how to make sports cars for off-roading purpose. This can be said by the fact that all Subaru vehicles (US Models) come with the Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive trademark. This is probably the best AWD sports car for rally championships on tough roads and terrains. The WRX is available in a four-door sedan or a five-door hatch. It has a 2.5-liter turbocharged SUBARU BOXER 4-cylinder engine which renders 265-hp. The configuration also consists of a 5-speed manual transmission gearbox, Brake Assist System, and Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) which includes Traction Control System (TCS).

7. 2014 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 2.0T
Hyundai is renowned all over the world to produce small and compact cars. However, they have also made their presence felt in the performance car market with the Hyundai Genesis Coupe. This variant has a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder DOHC engine that supplies 210 hp. It is fitted with a 6-speed manual transmission gearbox. With a mileage of 21 and 30 MPG on city and highway roads, it is also considered as an economical coupe. The 2.0T variant of the Genesis starts at a base price of about USD 27,000.

8. 2015 Nissan 370Z Coupe
This is a sports car that shares much of its exterior with that of the Eclipse from Mitsubishi. It has a massive 3.7-liter DOHC 24-valve V6 engine which contributes to a power of 332 hp, and a 6-speed manual transmission gearbox. Its body is lower and wider, which makes it an appropriate choice for a sports car. The car best responds to aerodynamics, owing to its comprehensive underbody airflow management system, and has a sturdy suspension. Nissan uses the Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) for road safety of this car. The 370Z is priced at around $31,000.

9. 2014 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution GSR
The Mitsubishi Lancer Evo GSR does make its place as one of the top 10 most affordable sports cars. Be it rally or street racing, the Evo takes the road pretty nicely. It is believed to be a typical sports machine that is incorporated with a 291-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter DOHC MIVEC engine. Adding to the thrill is the trademarked Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) AWD system and a 5-speed manual transmission gearbox. This valued sports car is offered at about USD 35,000 as the base price. When it comes to safety, Mitsubishi incorporates the Active Stability Control (ASC) working with Sports ABS and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD).

10. 2015 Porsche Boxster
The Porsche Boxster is more expensive than any other car in the list costing USD 51,000 upwards. This mid-engine rear-wheel drive car has a 2.9-liter 6-cylinder engine which delivers 265 – 330 hp. A 6-speed manual gearbox comes with the base trim package. Technologies such as Porsche Stability Management (PSM) and Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) give the driver a safe and smooth drive. In addition to all these, this car is lightweight which aids in proper handling and reduced fuel consumption.

These are the ten best affordable sports cars of 2015. Engine upgrades and paint job customizations matter a lot when it comes to making a standard car a true sports automobile. Earlier generations of most of these cars have become quite reputed for serving the sports car market for decades. Good examples can be the Mustang, Camaro, and Charger. I hope the above list of affordable sports cars would help you in choosing the best car.