What's the difference? Part 1: Exotic Car vs Supercar

Likely, everyone has heard the term "Exotic Car". Usually, it's in reference to anything with a price tag above $100,000, and from outside the US. In my opinion, this isn't really true. According to Mirriam-Webster.com, Exotic means "Introduced from another country: Not native to the place where found.". Now, using that definition, anything not originating from whatever country you are from is considered "Exotic". This would mean that everything not made in America is "Exotic." And I'm sorry, but there is no way I'll except the fact that a Honda Civic is an exotic.

Using the definition from Wikipedia, Exotic Car reroutes to "Supercar". So, it would appear that much of the confusion comes from advertising. "Exotic Car" is a term used in advertising, to refer to anything expensive and fast.

So, what is a Supercar? This is another term that has been up for debate since the term was first used.
From Wikipedia:

supercar is a high-performance sports car or grand tourer. The term is used in marketing by automakers for unusual, high-end vehicles, and has been used to refer to at least four different sorts of cars:
  • Limited-production specials from an "elite" automaker[3]
  • Standard-looking cars modified for power and performance[3]
  • Models that appeal to enthusiasts, from smaller manufacturers[3]
  • One-of-a-kind "showcase" project vehicles built by custom car retrofitters (usually extensively modified collectible muscle cars or grand tourers updated to the latest "streetable" racing technology)
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: "it must be very fast, with sporting handling to match", "it should be sleek and eye-catching" and its price should be "one in a rarefied atmosphere of its own"
 So, from this, we see that some High-Performance Sports Cars and GT cars are considered supercars. Granted, most people just group all Sports cars that cost more than $100,000 into the Supercar category, but I don't agree. Sure, most Ferrari's fall into the Supercar category, but specific models, like the current California, isn't a supercar, despite it's Ferrari shape and shared engine with the Alfa Romeo 8c. It's not a Supercar, but rather, a Grand Touring Convertible, much like the standard Bentley Continental GT/C. Looking at some American manufacturers, the Chevrolet Corvette in standard trim is simply a GT car. The current Z06, in my opinion, Is a supercar. Starting at $80,000, and capable of hitting 0-60 in less than 3 seconds, it ticks most, if not all of the boxes. The only slight issue with classifying the Z06 as a Supercar is that it's made by one of the largest automakers in the world, and that it's engine lives in front of the cabin. But, it does tick the box for "Standard-looking cars modified for power and performance". I'll let you all determine that.

Other cars that, while classified as Supercars, are, in my opinion, not supercars, are the Base Nissan GTR, the Porsche 911 (excluding every trim level above, and including the GT3) and the base Ariel Atom.

Keep reading to see my opinions on Hypercars vs. Supercars, Sports Vs Supercars, Sports cars vs. Normal cars, and more.



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