sports car

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sports car

a production car designed for speed, high acceleration, and manoeuvrability, having a low body and usually adequate seating for only two persons
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Sports Car


a passenger car equipped for racing. According to the classification of the International Automobile Federation, sports cars are divided according to engine capacity into 15 classes; the maximum capacity is 6 liters, and the minimum weight of the car ranges from 450 to 800 kg, depending on the class. Sports cars are made with two and four seats and may have open or closed bodywork. They are equipped with explosion-proof fuel tanks, fire extinguishers, safety harnesses, and similar equipment. The brake system features separate lines to the front and rear brakes.

A distinction is made between road models of sports cars and special sports-racing cars. Road models are based on series-produced automobiles, and are designed for competition in rallies, hill climbs, and similar events. Compared to the production models on which they are based, they have more powerful engines (usually 30–40 percent more horsepower, sometimes up to 70–80 percent), improved handling, and greater stability. The lowered, lightened two-seat bodies of such sports cars are often called sports bodies.

Special sports-racing cars are manufactured using only a few parts and assemblies from series-produced vehicles, for example, the crankshaft, cylinder block, and cylinder head. Their engines are 2–2.5 times more powerful than series-produced engines of the same displacement because of such modifications as twin camshafts for each bank of cylinders and valves with larger diameters. Sports-racing cars are designed primarily for races on paved, circular tracks over long distances; racing cars usually compete over shorter distances.


Sabinin, A. A. Sportivnye igonochnye avtomobili. Moscow, 1962.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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