Yes, good looks, a well-crafted interior, and useful comfort and convenience features are on our list of things to appreciate as well. With the Alfa Romeo 4C you get a mid-mounted high-winding turbocharged engine, a lightweight carbon fiber tub, sublime handling, resolute braking, and one of the most distinctive exterior treatments seen on the road anywhere in quite some time. Power comes from a 1. A six-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission routes power to the rear wheels.
All of the visual attributes of a Lamborghini coupled with a comfortably luxurious interior treatment, all-wheel drive, a down-to-earth driving experience, and a decidedly un-Lamborghini-like price tag. Offered with a choice of either a horsepower, 4. Transmission choices include a six-speed manual, or a seven-speed double clutch automated manual gearbox.
The Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is world class—period. Interior quality also suffered, as Ford tried to keep production costs low, while a lack of drivability meant the Mustang failed in its attempt at being a sports car at all. A four speed automatic coming standard certainly didn't help. A sharper redesign breaks up the production run of the fourth gen Mustang, and both GT and Bullitt editions did eventually offer more powerful drivetrains, but the unimpressive coupe was the start of a long and embarrassing chapter for one of America's classic muscle car models, all the way through until the release of the sixth generation in Another of Ford's mishaps during the low years of the s and s was the reintroduction of the five years' defunct Thunderbird.
A sad attempt at retro styling defined the new coupe and convertible forms of the eleventh generation T-Bird, and much like the GTO, even a V8 under the hood couldn't compensate for radical departures in concept and development of the new model. Where the Thunderbird began life as a solid muscle car, the bloated coupe that Ford unveiled in can only be described as a bland touring car.
Weighing in at over 3, pounds despite a relatively small body, with soft springs and shocks that left it feeling more like driving a boat than a sports car, the new Thunderbird also only came with an automatic transmission.
Sales declined every years of the four year production period, leading Ford to shelve the Thunderbird after the model year. Unlike the Mustang, which thankfully received a massive upgrade in years past, no future plans for a Thunderbird appear to be on the table. Chevrolet couldn't sit idly by while Pontiac and Ford were busy pumping out disappointing Mustangs and Thunderbirds, and their s-era Camaro proved almost as confusing on its own. A rounded and pointy exterior, with two tone paint jobs, would foretell the disappointing GTO of later years.
Even the more aggressively styled cousin of the Camaro, Pontiac's Trans Am, which shared the platform, only more powerfully resembled a bird's beak in profile.
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Consumer confidence in Chevy crumbled with the fourth generation Camaro, as disappointing performance paired to confusing style left the buying public unable to meld the new version with their image of a classic American muscle car. The Camaro's sales would disappoint Chevy in turn, and by one of the icons of American sports cars would be shelved, pending a complete overhaul for the release of the new Camaro, which represented a return to the Camaro's performance-focused heritage and powerful styling, the overall result being one of the best model revitalizations the auto world has seen to date.
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Where many models, from the Mustang to the GTO and the Corvette, began as purposeful powerhouses built from the ground up to achieve one goal, most eventually suffered from redesigns that increased size and weight, while simultaneously decreasing power and performance. The redesign of Dodge's Charger is a perfect example of the bloating and stretching that turned muscle cars into slow boats that dominated the late 70s and early 80s. By its fourth generation, the Charger had somehow increased in length by over a foot, while enormous pillars behind the driver's seat lent it a feeling of a camper shell rather than a sports car.
One of the strongest reactions that Dodge mistakenly failed to consider during the era was that their own racing team, unable to compete with such an overweight body, was forced to continue using the previous generation as the basis for their competition builds.
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The public's reaction was similar, and slow sales led to the fourth generation Charger being discontinued after only three years on the market. The s provided American manufacturers with an opportunity to utilize improved technology and lighter weight materials in their cars, which theoretically should have led to better performance and superior design. Chevrolet's newly redesigned C4 Corvette epitomized the confused era's products. With a sleek yet angular exterior, liquid crystal displays on the dash, and a new glass hatchback design, the Corvette should have been a contender amongst its contemporaries.
A series of V8 engines under the long hood should have helped, but instead were often paired to automatic transmissions or manuals with electronic overdrive - part of Chevy's efforts to meet increasingly stringent efficiency standards. Higher prices and disappointment in the lack of a sports car feel led to a redesign in Pontiac had their own quintessentially s attempt at a sports car, as well, in the form of the Fiero.
With a mid-mounted engine, retracting headlights, and plastic body panels, the Fiero's features should have made up the parts for a successful performance automobile, but unfortunately the Fiero left drivers disappointed. Thanks to its layout and high percentage of Fiero-specific parts, reliability suffered, while safety concerns bubbled among the public, as well. Competition from Toyota's mid-engined, similarly angular MR2 proved fierce, and the Fiero's small engine bay meant that a V8 was out of the picture.
Instead, engine options included a 2.
The four cylinder option was a high efficiency, low RPM engine that offered up to 50 miles per gallon on the highway, the complete opposite of the Toyota MR2's peppy, high-revving engine which also came with an optional turbocharger. Pontiac was unable to bring improvements to the Fiero fast enough, and despite a variety of options packages becoming available over the five years of production, the Fiero was never able to fully shake the impression that it suffered from a lack of focus, being neither a sporty coupe nor a capable highway tourer.
And with an angular stainless steel body, gullwing doors, and a futuristic interior, the car delivers everything needed for a perfect movie role. Sadly, though, the DeLorean doesn't deliver many of the critical features that make for a perfect sports car. The recipe seems to begin well, with a fiberglass body structure surrounding a backbone-style steel chassis, with a rear-mounted V6 engine power the rear wheels.
But the overall package just couldn't deliver, despite a lengthy development process that included a design overhaul by Colin Chapman of Lotus fame. The 2. The automatic transmission was even worse, slowing the car down to over 10 seconds for a run. The DMC did prove popular and iconic, but it fails to qualify as a true sports car.
GM's semi-experimental brand Saturn was an attempt by one of the world's largest automotive conglomerates to compete with the new era of Japanese products that began to infiltrate the American market in the s and s. Founded in , marketing for Saturn tried to differentiate its products from the heavy and slow cars produced by most of GM's other subsidiary companies. Small, lightweight, and cheap offerings like the S-Series and L-Series represented most of Saturn's sales offerings, but by the s Saturn needed a rejuvenation.
That boost came in the form of the Saturn Sky, an attempt at delivering a sports car into the market dominated by Acura's Integra and Honda's Civic Si.
The Sky shared a platform with the Pontiac Solstice, another underwhelming performer, but at least it came in a high-end turbo variant that created up to horsepower. A manual transmission was even optional. Not all sports cars are built with the pure intention of creating a high performance automobile. Case in point is the Chevy Cobalt SS, an attempt to add a bit of power and panache to Chevrolet's lowest end commuter coupe.
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We use third-party advertising companies to serve ads when you visit our Web site. It invented a brand and reinvented a genre. The A4 was so good it saved the company. Also, the first true rival of the BMW 3 Series. This downsized Cherokee started the compact SUV craze and remains one of the best off-roaders Jeep ever built. With its limo-style doors, impregnable quality and silent operation, it set a new standard for the family sedan. All that changed with this car. It was an instant mph legend that redefined Ferrari.
The cleanly designed suicide-door Lincoln sedan and convertible was the perfect antidote for the big-fin '50s. An icon of design, style and statement. It was fast, cheap, good-looking, rugged and easy to modify. A hot-rodding legend.
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And the world was saved. It's incredibly small, but it casts a giant shadow over the world of automotive engineering. And it was World Rally Champion in , and Unique in every way. It was a great two-seat, high-mileage commuter and an even better autocross machine.
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Led the way to the sport compact craze. It was Vpowered, ludicrously impractical, stupidly fast and impossible to see out of. It also pioneered Lamborghini doors. Quick, shockingly smooth, perfectly tailored and able to kick ass in Technicolor. Some say the best-looking car ever made. Not just sensual, but provocative in a slutty-yet-sophisticated way. Early 3. It made Japanese sports cars respectable and essentially solidified Datsun in the U. Honda's VTEC variable valve timing system would be universally adopted. Honda at its peak. It's the prototype for dozens of hot hatches yet to come.