20 February, 2018

The Misconception Between Sports Cars and Supercars.

Read time 9-10 mins

After spending generations on the walls of admirers and the culprits in debates which lasted probably just as long, the question remains – what is your favourite supercar?

  • Lamborghini Countach?
  • Ferrari Enzo?
  • McLaren F1?
  • Jaguar XJ220?

These cars are true legends in their own right. They contributed towards pushing the boundaries of car performance and their legacy will always be a benchmark for any future challenges of the term.

However, there has been a debate regarding what constitutes a supercar and if there is even such thing as a Hypercar and the recently coined term of Megacar.

These questions have piqued the interest of car lovers, car owners, journalists, experts and now William George & Co. Before we bring you up to speed, there is a question which needs to be asked.

What Makes a Car a supercar?

This is subjective because they are adored for different reasons. Let’s go over a few with examples.

  • One reason could be their rarity. For example, there were only 106 McLaren F1 cars made with 64 of which being road versions.
  • It could be the high performance, technology and style which has been brought to life by the Shelby Mustang GT500, Porsche 918 and McLaren with their 650S.
  • Could it possibly be the location? Italy has been renowned for their supercars with the likes of Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati and Pagani to name a few being based there.
  • Could it be the ethos of the brand? Such as the Bugatti Veyron, Ferrari F40, Aston Martin Valkyrie or the Koenigsegg Agera RS.
  • Or perhaps the dream of the designer? With the creative mind of Ken Okuyama giving us the Ferrari Enzo or Frank Stephenson, the mind behind the McLaren P1, and the ever so popular 1.6L Mini and more.

If you believe that any, if not all, of these attributes, are what a supercar should be then you’re not wrong but you’re not necessarily right either. Could it be argued that sports cars are being misconstrued as supercars?

Let’s take the Ferrari 488 GTB. At £183,964, you'll have a 3.9L V8 engine twin-turbocharged which can churn out 661 BHP and a top speed between 201 and 205 mph which is a hell of a lot of power. Let’s compare it to an Enzo which has a 6L, V12 Engine with 650BHP and a top speed of 218mph costing $650,000.

These cars are over 10 years apart and yet the Enzo is faster. What is the difference?

Ferrari Enzo

The Ferrari Enzo was built using F1 technology and was the worthy successor to the iconic F40 and the F50. What these 3 cars have in common is the fact that Ferrari focused on performance and did not spare a thought for aesthetics or style. They focused on creating a pinnacle of performance.

The F40, at the time, was the most powerful, fastest and expensive Ferrari ever made. In addition, the final Ferrari to be approved by Enzo Ferrari.

The successor, the F50, had the same 4.7L V12 engine found in the Ferrari 641 which competed in the 1990 Formula 1 season.

The LaFerrari has a 6.3L V12 Engine, utilising F1 technology, and boasting 950BHP and a rumoured top speed of 217 mph and £1m price tag.

If you use this perspective, then you’ll see that the LaFerrari succeeded the Ferrari Enzo for the same reason.

Ferrari 488 GTB

The Ferrari 488 GTB is a successor to the 458 and is currently the latest of the series so far. Priced at £183,964 you will get a 3.9L twin-turbocharged V8 engine with 661 BHP.

There are noticeable differences between these two cars and what can be concluded is that the Ferrari 488 GTB and its derivatives are Sports Cars and the Ferrari Enzo and its derivatives are Supercars.

Now that we have defined our definition of what a supercar is, we can now answer the question.

What is a Supercar?

A supercar is a vehicle whose sole purpose is to push the boundaries of performance through harnessing technology which goes beyond that of a road car and a sports car.

Examples of supercars are the Koenigsegg Agera, Bugatti Veyron, Aston Martin Valkyrie, McLaren P1 and the LaFerrari. The price of these vehicles exceed £1m for some and this illustrates what they are made of.

These vehicles are the embodiment of their creator as they battle for the crown of the best car in the world. Although they are not always aesthetically pleasing, what they lack in looks they make up for in sheer power and performance where they offer the driver the ability to experience what it means to drive a car.

What is a Sports Car?

A sports car is a vehicle that blend performance, design and technology. Examples of these cars are the Ferrari 488 GTB, McLaren 650S, Lamborghini Huracán among others. Lower ranges of sports cars are Audi R8, BMW I8, Porsche 911 and more.

What is a Hypercar?

This is controversial as based on what has been discussed, there should not be one. However, similar to the French language, there is an exception to every rule.

The Koenigsegg 1 is bidding to become the first car to reach 300 mph with challenges of tyres, air resistance to name a few acting as obstacles. If it succeeds reaching 300 mph then it will be the world’s first but first what? Car to reach 300 mph? Yes. A new breed of a vehicle? Yes. A Hypercar? Possibly.

What are your thoughts?

Keep the conversation going or share it with someone who you think will enjoy it as much as you did.

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Not every sports car is a supercar
Not every sports car is a supercar
Not every sports car is a supercar
Not every sports car is a supercar
Not every sports car is a supercar
Not every sports car is a supercar
Not every sports car is a supercar
Not every sports car is a supercar
Not every sports car is a supercar