What do you value most when looking for information about a car: design or performance? Depending on how you answer this question, you will have already taken the first step in figuring out what the main difference between a sports car and a sports car is. The nomenclatures even look the same, but the similarities stop there.
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To better understand what it takes to classify a car as a sports car or sports car, FreeGameGuide spoke with an expert on the subject: Batistinha is a pilot, trainer and owner of BTS Performance, which for over 40 years has been a reference in the sports and supersports market in Sao Paulo.
“A sports car actually has a recalibrated suspension, firmer shocks. The height to the ground is lower, the engine has more power, and it has aerodynamic ornaments”, explained the preparer, listing the first points to bring the discussion to a close.
Confusion has been around for a while
According to Batistinha, there is a clear episode in which a sports car was confused with a sports car in Brazil involving a Ford car, a sales success in the 1980s and 1990s. “I consider the case of the Escort XR3 classic. It was exactly the normal mechanics, only with aerodynamic decoration”, he recalled.
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“The suspension was a little different, but you can’t call it a sports car. He was sporty, even because, outside [do Brasil], the XR3 had a much more powerful engine”, added the specialist.
For those who don’t remember, the Escort XR3 paraded through Brazilian streets between 1983 and 1992 and was considered the sporty version of the hatch (although it was sporty). The XR3’s engine at the time of its release was 1.6 at 83 horsepower. The new versions adopted the 1.8 engine and the power increased to up to 115 hp.
way beyond the visual
As stated by the BTS specialist, the differences between a sports car and a sports car go far beyond the look. The sports car, in a very simple way, can be defined as a “normal” model, but with a different “clothing”. “There are a lot of normal cars that the automakers end up with a different track and wheel and call them a sports model, but that’s not quite the case,” warned Batistinha.
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One of the brands in Brazil that currently has a sporty model, which is sometimes confused with sporty, is Renault, manufacturer of the Sandero RS. And the French automaker itself is keen to point out the differences between one type of car and another on its official website.
“Unlike sports, sports do not receive mechanical changes. What differentiates it from the common versions are the props that are offered to it. That’s why it serves those customers who don’t want more powerful cars, but want a different look”, he explained. “To guarantee a sporty appearance, the sportive is assembled with standard stickers, spoilers or side skirts and special grilles”, completed the brand, which cited the Sandero GT Line as a representative of this segment.
According to Renault analysts, the sportive suits very well those customers who value the sporty appearance, but who want to have more fuel economy at the end of the month. “It’s a great option for those who travel primarily through urban stretches. The sports car, on the other hand, can meet both the aesthetic desire and the desire for speed and performance”, he exemplified.
Sandero RS vs Onix RS: what are the differences?
Now that we’ve explained the main differences between a sporty model and a sporty one, let’s focus on a particular fight. It involves two cars of different brands, but with the same “last name”. We are talking about the aforementioned Sandero RS, by Renault, and the Onix RS, by Chevrolet.
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The acronym RS is an abbreviation of the expression Racing Spirit which, in good Portuguese, means Racing Spirit. And the Renault Sandero RS has configurations to justify the surname: according to the French brand, the version exchanged the SCe 1.6 engine for the same 2.0 that equips the Duster. This gave the RS power of up to 150 horsepower at 5,750 rpm when fueled with ethanol.
The springs, stabilizer bars and dampers were also specially designed, that is, they are different from those found in the conventional model. The 6-speed manual transmission ensures short ratios and the 4-wheel disc brake is much larger than the conventional “to guarantee power and stability”, says the brand.
The Renault sports car also has aesthetic differences in the side members, wheels, steering wheel, pedals and seats. “Although fuel costs may be a little higher, it is ideal for those who share between the city and the highway”, pondered the French automaker.
And the Chevrolet model?
The Onix RS, meanwhile, despite also carrying the Racing Spirit, seems to do this in name only. Launched to position itself between the LTZ and Premier versions, the Onix RS doesn’t have any mechanical improvement that justifies the adoption of the sports label. Even the gearshift, which could be manual, to give more “agility” to the car, was kept in the automatic, 6-speed version, equal to the one adopted in the “brothers” of the line.
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This is the typical case of a car that was sported to try to win over a wider range of fans purely because of its distinctive look. It uses the same 1.0 turbo three-cylinder engine as the Premier variant, with 116 horsepower and 16.8 kgfm of maximum torque when fueled with ethanol – 16.3 kgfm if the fuel used is gasoline.
The design, in turn, is actually more eye-catching than the other versions. The Onix RS features exclusive bumpers, piano black 16-rim wheels, side skirt, rear wing and honeycomb front grille. The 195/55 tires and the headlights with a black mask complement the look of the car that was born with a sporting name, but is actually sporty.
So: did you understand the main differences between a sports car and a sports car? So the next time you’re looking for one to buy, make sure you’re only interested in the design or the visual + performance ensemble. And, of course, get ready to spend more if you opt for the full package. A sports car, in fact, costs up to twice as much as a sports car.
With information: Renault