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Supercar is a term used most often to describe an extremely high-end “exotic” the car, whose performance is superior to that of his contemporaries. Has explicitly designated as a “very accurate, fast and powerful car.” Stated in more general terms: “must be very fast, with sporting handling to match”, “should be smooth and eye-catching” and its value should be “in a rarefied atmosphere of its own.”

In on-line Oxford Dictionary is simply described as “high performance sports car.”

However, proper application of the term is subjective and disputed, especially among enthusiasts. These vehicles are often called out of the ordinary and marketed by carmakers to be perceived by the public as unusual. The supercar can take many forms, including limited production offers an “elite” car, car model looking from mainstream companies hide huge power and performance, and models aimed at “enthusiasts hardcore” from “the margins of manufacturers of automotive ”.

History of the term supercar

An advertisement for the Six Ensign, 6,7 L in high-performance car similar to the Six Speed ​​Bentley appeared in The Times on November 11, 1920 with the phrase
“If you’re interested in a supercar, you can not afford to ignore the demands of Ensign 6.”

The Oxford English Dictionary also indicates the use of the word in an advertisement for an unnamed car engine dated November 3, 1920, “The development of the Supreme of the British super-car.” And set the phrases “a superior car to all others.”

A book published by the Research Institute of America in 1944, to preview the economic and industrial changes to occur after the Second World War, used the term “supercar” (emphasis added) to describe the future of cars incorporate advanced design and technology such as flat floorpans and automatic transmissions.

The term supercar was not popular until much later and said to come from the revival of the British motor journalist LJK Setright writes about the Lamborghini Miura in the Central African Republic in mid-1960.The magazine was originally launched in 1962 as a small car and Mini owner, and argues that “coined the term”.

In the United States, the term “supercar” is preceded by the classification of muscle car to describe the «dragstrip race” affordable mid-size cars of the 1960′s and early 1970′s which were equipped with large, powerful V8 engines and drive the rear wheels.

The combination of a powerful engine in a lightweight car started with the Rebel 1957 Rambler described as “a real supercar.”

In 1966 the Sixties supercar became an official trend of the industry, including four domestic automakers to cash in on the supercar market with eye-catching, heart-stopping cars.

Among the many examples of the use of the description supercar includes the May 1965 issue of American Life magazine Car, a road test of the Pontiac GTO, and that “Hurst puts American Motors Supercar club in the Rogue 390» (the SC / Rambler) to fight the «Supercar street gang Racer» part of the market. “SC” in the model name stood for “supercar”.

The supercar segment included regular production models in different segments of the muscles (such as “economy supercar”), as well as limited edition, documented merchant-turned vehicles.

The term supercar was later to mean “GT” or large type touring car. From the 1970 and 1980 the phrase was in regular use, if not precisely defined.

During the late 20th century, the term supercar was used to describe “a very expensive, fast or powerful car with a centrally located engine”, and stated in more general terms: “must be very fast, with sporting handling to match “,” should be smooth and eye-catching “and its value should be” in a rarefied atmosphere of its own. ”

The term supercar has been applied to technologically advanced vehicles that use alternative sources of fuel, powerplants, aerodynamics and lightweight materials to develop 80 mpg-US (2.9 L/100 km? 96 mpg-imp) family-size sedan. ”Supercar” was the unofficial description of the U.S. Department of Commerce R & D Partnership for a New Generation Vehicle (PNGV). The program was created to support the domestic U.S. automakers (GM, Ford and Chrysler) to develop prototypes of a safe, clean, affordable vehicle the size of the Ford Taurus, but delivery 3 times the fuel efficiency.

Supercar Development

Sports cars began to appear in the late ’40s with the introduction of cars ‘sporting’ way now famous Marques, like Ferrari, Jaguar, Lotus and Porsche. In those days, the ethos of the sports car was a car designed not only for the road, but competition in motorsport as well.

In 1954 one of the all time classic, the Mercedes 300SL Gull Wing arrived, which many people believe is the first supercar. Fuel is injected 3-liter engine produced over 240bhp giving a claimed top speed of 165 miles / hour (266 km / h).

In 1957, the Chevrolet Corvette was able to hit 60 miles / hour in less than 6 seconds, while the Z102 a little known manufacturer Pegaso was rumored to be good for 160 miles / hour (257 km / h).

As it dawned ’60 Aston Martin and the two Ferrari offers 150 miles / hour plus vehicles in the shape of DB4GT Zagato and 400 Superamerica models, respectively, but Jaguar was surprised the world with its introduction in 1961 of the legendary E-type. Ferrari then created a limited number of what is now the most valuable classical world, the timeless 160 miles / hour 250 GTO.

Lamborghini entered the fray in 1964 with the 350GT, joined by the ISO Grifo and the original TVR Griffith.

Ford also like racing success and to this end he tried to buy Ferrari in the early ’60s. Ferrari said no! The Ford did not take kindly to this and so vowed to make out-Ferrari with his racing car, so that in 1965 the GT40 was born. To meet regulations, Ford had to make a series of “on the go” versions of the GT40. In late ’60 Ford went on to make seven Mark III GT40 Playground – “soft” for road use (with a mere 310bhp!).

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1965 saw another supercar arrive, the brutal AC Cobra. American Racer Caroll Shelby decided to shoe-horn 427 cu in (hence the name) Ford V8 in a lightweight British sports car, the AC Ace. The result was a stunning performance drive – 160 miles / hour, 0-60 mile / h in 4,2 sec and 0-100 miles / hour at 10 (data speed record will stand for over 20 years).

1966 was an eventful year with the introduction of 165 miles / h Ferrari 275GTB, the 7-liter Corvette Sting Ray and the first 4-wheel drive road car, the Jensen FF. But overshadowing all was the beautiful Lamborghini Miura. The Miura was the first production car to feature mid-mounted engine and thus its appearance was completely different in every way a car that had come before. Performance from the V12 was less radical, more than 170 miles / hour (274 km / h) was possible for those brave enough to try it!

Just a few months after the start of the Miura, Maserati introduced the Ghibli. More Gran Turismo by supercar, the Ghibli offered 160 miles / hour performance with a luxurious environment (still had air con, rare at that time). This same year saw another Giugiaro style Italian supercar, the De Tomaso Mangusta, together with the Swiss made Monteverdi 375.

1968 saw the birth of a legend. Lamborghini had moved the goalposts so the Miura Ferrari hit back with the 365 GTB “Daytona”. Although still used in front of the device “old style” engine with 175 miles / hour and 60 miles / hour in 5.5 sec, the Daytona was a game performance Modena competitor.

Four years after the Mangusta, De Tomaso began what would be the biggest car sales by far, the Pantera. A deliberate Italian body housed the ubiquitous Ford V8. The Pantera is characterized by the “wedge” style that would become the trademark look of the supercar throughout the 70′s, bought at the forefront of leading stylists such Gandini Bertone and Giugiaro Ital Design and reflected on the 1971 Maserati Bora. Porsche proved to be the exception to this rule is in great demand after the lightweight 911 RS 2.7 of 1972.

In the early 70′s supercar was sent reeling from the oil crisis. With gasoline prices quadrupled, natural gas-devouring performance cars are suddenly not an attractive proposition – even more so when a knee-jerk reaction of the U.S. established a ridiculous speed limit of 55 miles / hour! Fortunately there are still enough people out there who could do without the thrill of a powerful engine, so that the car was safe return.

Ironically, to tackle the fuel crisis, 1974 saw the introduction of two of the most powerful and important supercars today, the beautiful Ferrari 365 BB and the “King of Supercars» stunning Lamborghini Countach LP400. Following the new trend supercar, the Ferrari has decided that the BB should be inside the engine (for the first time the flagship of the Ferrari). Performance was on par with the outgoing Daytona, 175 miles / hour and 60 miles / h 5.5sec, but the handling was greatly improved. Eternal opponent BB the Countach could be described accurately as the most impressive figure to ever hit the road. Bertone lines covering a powerful V12 gives 170 miles / hour plus performance. The Countach will continue in all its incarnations, to be the definitive supercar for another 15 years.

1975 was another important year in the supercar world with the introduction of the original Porsche 911 Turbo. Despite the fact that BMW gave us the first Turbo car road two years earlier in 2002, was the Porsche, which would become known for its innovative technology. The 12 year old design of the 911 turbo was raised to the use of aerodynamic spoilers, the first car on a road that has these characteristics most common style.

The 1977 Panther 6 was undoubtedly one of the strangest new entrants supercar Hall of Fame. Whether it can be classified as a production car is questionable as only two were, nonetheless this 8.2-liter twin-turbo charged 6-wheeler might be the first road car to be in a position 200 miles / hour ( although this was never proved).

As the ’70s drew to a close we were greeted by two new supercars by distinct titles, and both offer a different approach to high performance. The Aston Martin V8 Vantage used the time proven big engine, big power trip. At 170 miles / hour had a good claim to the title of fastest production car in the world.Meanwhile the BMW M1 crossed the path of technology. Designed to be the most efficient supercar of the day, remains only in the car with the engine of the BMW way. As a footnote, 1979 can be seen from the first 200 miles / hour car in the world street in the form of Koenig Ferrari Boxer. Not a production car in the narrow sense, but a milestone nonetheless.

In 1980 began with the entrance Lotus »in the Premier League with the Turbo Esprit. Although respectable top speed was around 150 miles / hour, was speeding and behavior defined as a supercar.

The early ’80s also saw one of the most stunning cars ever to emerge from Britain, the outrageous 192 miles / hour Aston Martin Bulldog. Despite the fact that only one was ever on the look and performance alone is worth it’s place in history supercar. The mid ’80s also saw new competitors and the ongoing battle for supremacy between Ferrari and Lamborghini with the introduction of 180 miles / hour Testarossa and 455bhp upgrade Lamborghini Countach QV.

The 80s, however, will stay for two things – the economic boom that sent elite car values ​​soared, and probably as a consequence, the birth of hypercar! It all began with the appearance of the B class races.To be eligible to compete, manufacturers had to produce at least 200 road going version of their competition cars. While it may be short-lived, group B gave us a tremendous selection of road cars that moved into a new performance level, the first of which was the beautiful Ferrari 288 GTO.

Twin-turbo V8 for the GTO endowed with genuine 190 miles / hour performance and a 00-60 year less than 5 seconds (the first road car to achieve this by 1965 AC Cobra). Racing Materials and technology played a big role in the synthesis of GTO, as did the next line hypercar exciting Porsche 959. The 959 was a technological “achievement”. 6 speed gearbox and 4 wheel drive powered by a Porsche 197 miles / hour acceleration at 60mph in 3.9sec – the first car under 4sec, breaking 20-year record of the Cobra.

Ferrari took the challenge of 959 and the 40th year of age in 1987, giving us the first real road car capable of 200 miles / hour, the F40. A real racer for the street, the F40 is now selecting experts as the greatest drivers car ever made. Top speed was 201 miles / hour with time from 0 to 60 miles / h in 3.9sec and even more impressive 100 miles / h from standstill in 7.8sec (beating 959 by a second).

The decade of the 80 signed four new members of the club 150 miles / hour, 928S4 and 944 Turbo from Porsche, the 190 miles / hour from Zagato Aston Martin, while Ford came out with a junior-supercar for the masses Sierra RS Cosworth, offering incredible value for money at around £ 20K (if you could afford the insurance!). On top of all this, however, was awesome Ruf CTR ‘Goldfinch’ fastest car in the world with 213 miles / hour verified!

1989 saw the first Japanese supercars in the form of the Nissan 300ZX, followed closely by the first incarnation of the cult favorite Skyline GTR.

1990 was an important year for it marked the end of the reign of the definitive supercar, the Lamborghini Countach. All is not lost though as his successor, the 202 miles / hour Diablo, will be one of the most awesome experiences you can have on four wheels! In a busy year also saw the re-emergence as a force of TVR supercar with beautiful roadster Griffith, the Honda was also the fray with superb handling and completely reliable NSX – a large car your grandmother would lead the Chevrolet presents the 180 miles / hour Corvette ZR1.

The biggest controversy of the year, however, was the beginning of the Lotus Carlton. We were greeted with headlines predicting Armageddon at the hands of this 175 miles / hour five positions. This did not happen!

The flowering period of the 80 were now well and truly up, skyrocketing prices supercar was now settling down to a Saner level – which was bad news for speculators and the Jaguar XJ220. Court cases followed as people realized $ 400,000 “investment” had become Fools Gold. It’s a shame that this is such a great car will remember.

On a lighter note, the same year saw the re-birth of a famous name from the past with the introduction of 1991, the quad-turbo Bugatti EB110, when the fastest car in the world with 218 miles / hour.

America finally gave us an opponent with the Corvette with the beastly 8 liters offers Dodge Viper 165 miles / hour and 0-60 miles / hour in less than 5sec. However, the performance goals were to move again because in 1993 it’s one of the fastest supercars of all time, the McLaren F1.

The performance of McLaren read like those of a car Le Mans. 240 miles / hour, 0-60 mile / h in 3.2sec and 0-100 mile / h in just 6.3sec (this would be a fast time at 60mph in a “normal” sports car). Only 100 were made at $ 634,000 you can probably see why. But part of F1 history is secure. In today’s climate of fear and speed ever tighter environmental restrictions that may never see the like again.

If 1993 bought us the fastest car ever since 1994 may have brought us one of the best, the Ferrari F355.The 355 was a complete car. Very fast, superb handling and gorgeous body Pininfarina – all in a package that could be used every day. This year also saw the launch of two four-seat supercars, both capable of breezing their tenants, with 170 miles / hour in the skin over the fine investing – the Ferrari 456, and motorsport developed BMW M5.

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