QOTD: Can One Define the Specifics of Supercar?

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
qotd can one define the specifics of supercar

In yesterday’s Buy/Drive/Burn post, we presented three coupes that are sporty, agile, and have over 500 horsepower. Yet each of them fell short of qualifying for supercar status. But why? In today’s QOTD, we’ll spend some time determining the characteristics which separate regular sports cars from supercars.

As expected, some of the comments on the Buy/Drive/Burn post yesterday touched on today’s topic. Perfect timing. There are a few metrics which generally come to the forefront when considering vehicles for inclusion in the genre of supercar. Let’s have a list.

  • Engine placement
  • Cylinder counts
  • Cost/attainability
  • Performance figures
  • Branding

While certainly not inclusive, the above list is a good start. Some argue there’s no supercar status if an engine resides anywhere but between the axles. That puts the Nissan GT-R and all versions of the Porsche 911 out of the running immediately. I saw talk that eight or more cylinders are necessary before any consideration of supercar status, again knocking the GT-R and the Acura NSX down into “regular coupe” status. Long ago, a managing editor somewhere said a supercar had to be above a certain price point, and even if other metrics were satisfied, a low price meant it was too attainable, and not a supercar.

Certainly, performance figures are part of supercar consideration, but what level of performance is required? If the GT-R is faster around a specific track than a Lamborghini Huracan, does that matter? The performance bar for supercar is ever escalating toward the upper limits of what’s technically possible. Perhaps the first generation Acura NSX was a supercar, but the new one just isn’t. Or maybe the new version is just a bad supercar, but it still makes the list.

Finally, let’s consider branding. Does the logo on the front and rear matter when it comes to a supercar? Back to the comparison before — GT-R versus Huracan. Obviously, Lamborghini is a supercar manufacturer, while Nissan and Acura are not. Should that matter, or does it matter? Is an exotic badge really necessary, or is it just some snobbery?

I’ll be watching the comments today; maybe someone will create a definition with which I agree. Feel free to add any metrics I might’ve missed. Off to you.

[Images: Porsche, Nissan]

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3 of 31 comments
  • Tele Vision Tele Vision on Sep 19, 2018

    It's a moving target, I think. Koenigseggs? Yes. Ruf's new and old Yellow Birds? Yes. The original Countach? Sure, but at 5.4 seconds to 100 Km/h and a top speed of 179 MPH there are many German sedans that could murderlate the ole' girl everywhere it went. To my mind it's still a supercar, though.

  • PwrdbyM PwrdbyM on Sep 20, 2018

    To determine a sports car (supercar) you ask this question: Would you like to take this XXX on a 6hr road trip to Denver? If the answer is hell no!, then it's a sports car.

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