Since the first sports car was introduced in the early 1900s, people all over the world have been fascinated with these amazing machines. Properly comparing them, however, can be quite a difficult task if you are not aware of what to look for. Whether you are buying one, or just trying to figure out which one is your favorite, this article will help point you in the right direction. Every sports car is different, so all of the following characteristics should be examined before making your decision:
- Power to weight ratio
- Drive train setup
The power to weight ratio will be the most defining aspect of the vehicle’s design. A powerful engine is a great thing, but when it is combined with a heavy chassis, the performance figures of the vehicle tend to be on the lower side of the spectrum. The car with the highest power to weight ratio will generally accelerate the best, and vice versa.
The handling of the vehicle is another important aspect that should be examined to compare sports cars. Suspension design can make, or break a vehicle in competition. This characteristic will be affected by things like vehicle weight, chassis design and engine placement. You can make a judgement on this by driving it yourself, or looking up slalom and skid pad results that car manufacturers, or review magazines have performed.
The next thing to take into consideration is the drive train setup. Is the vehicle rear wheel drive, front wheel drive, or all wheel drive? This characteristic will greatly affect every aspect of the vehicle. Rear wheel drive cars are arguably the most fun because sliding the tail end out is easier and is usually a blast. However, this aspect makes it the most challenging of the three in rainy or icy conditions. Front wheel drive cars do better in poor road conditions, but because the steering is also done at the front wheels, the maximum engine output that is applied to the vehicle is limited because of tire traction issues. All wheel drive cars will perform the best in adverse road conditions, which is why rally cars are usually set up this way. All wheel drive vehicles will accelerate faster when compared to a vehicle with a similar power to weight ratio due to its’ ability to transmit power evenly to all 4 wheels.
Ok, now you can head out into the world, and start comparing sports cars. Whether your are buying one, or arguing with you peers, knowing these characteristics of each vehicle will help you decide which one is the best.