The concept of sports car racing is fairly evident from the very name. It is a sport in which racers hit the tracks and race each other in cars. The sports cars are small in size, and have tremendous power and speed. They are designed for high performance, but need to be dealt with a nimble hand. Furthermore, they offer great maneuverability.
They may be spartan or luxurious, but are all meant to be priced possessions of those who have a penchant for this type of cars. Of course, there is nothing about these cars that an automobile lover would not fall head over heels for. Some excellent sports cars have been developed all over the world, and those in America are particularly sought after. Let us take a look at the 10 Most Popular American Sports Cars.
10 Most Popular American Sports Cars
10. Ford GT40
High performance American-British endurance sports car Ford GT40 won the 24 Hours of Le Mans four consecutive times. The variants from Mk I to Mk III was built and designed in England, while the Mk IV is manufactured in the United States and is powered by American-built engines. Henry Ford II himself attended the Le Mans 1966 where GT40 Mk II achieved the first overall Le Mans victory for an American manufacturer. The GT40 Mk IV also won the race in 1967. The GT in the name of GT40 stands for Grand Touring where the 40 represents its overall height of 40 inches to offer large displacement Ford V8 engines. It is also rumored that the project name of this car was actually GT40 and it was “only a nickname.” The contemporary Ford GT is now considered as the modern homage to the classic GT40.
9. Panoz Esperante
The Esperante sports car is manufactured by an American car manufacturer Panoz. It is known as an aftermarket upgrade brand and currently has 5 variants i.e. the base model, the GT, the GTLM, the GTS and the JRD. This car was designed by Don Panoz, Simon Marshall, Nick Alcock and Tom Milner Sr. The engine of this car is sourced from the Modular V8 family of The Ford Motor Company which is typically used in Mustang sports cars and the GT supercars. Panoz Esperante is packed with a 4.6 L Supercharged Modular V8 engine and, has 5-speed and 6 -speed manual transmission besides 4-speed Automatic. The racing variant of this car is known as the Esperante GT-LM which was actually developed for the GT2 category of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. 2009-spec Panoz Esperante GTLM will take part in Super GT GT300 class in 2015 season.
8. Shelby Mustang
American sports car Shelby Mustang is actually a high-performance variant of the Ford Mustang and is manufactured by Shelby American Automotive since 1965. The “Shelby” nameplate was reintroduced for the new high performance versions of the fifth generation Ford Mustang in 2007 which began being produced at its assembly plants by Ford. The recent 2014 model of Shelby Mustang called “Shelby GT500” has several color options to choose from and is packed with a 5.4 L V8 supercharged engine to give optimum performance. Shelby recently also confirmed that the updated GT350 will arrive at the market with all-new 5.2 L Flat Plane Crank V8 engine capable of delivering 500 horsepower in 2016 as their flagship automobile.
7. Dodge Viper
American sports automobile Dodge Viper is manufactured by the Dodge division of Fiat Chrysler. It was originally started to be manufactured in New Mack Assembly of two-seat sports car in 1991 and later moved to the current facility at Conner Avenue Assembly in October 1995. Ralph Gilles declared in 2011 that the all-new fifth-generation Viper would debut at the New York Auto Show in April 2012. The phase II SR Vipers were also started to be exported to European countries where it was sold as Chryslers. The Dodge Viper was included in the 10th position of the “Most American Cars” in 2014 which means more than 75% of its parts are produced in the United States. The state-of-the-art “Time Attack” is a limited edition option package for the SRT Viper estimated to cost $16,000. This car won the John Lingenfelter Memorial Trophy.
6. Chevrolet Camaro
American sports car Chevrolet Camaro is manufactured as a pony car by the Chevrolet division of General Motors. It was originally designed as a rival of the Ford Mustang and went on sale on September 29, 1966. Camaro shared the platform and major components with the Pontiac Firebird which was also introduced to the public in 1967. Recently the production of the all-new fifth-generation Camaro started on March 16, 2009, after it gets a complete redesign with a new platform for the 2010 fifth-gen model. The production of the 2007 Camaro Convertible was also approved on August 10, 2006. Chevrolet Camaro won the World Car Design of the Year award at the World Car of the Year Awards on April 1, 2010. Recently the market production of 2011 Camaro Convertibles started in January 2011.
5. Ford Focus ST
American compact Sports Car Ford Focus is manufactured by the Ford Motor Company since 1998, and was marketed to Europe in July 1998 and in North America during 1999. It was introduced as a replacement of Ford Escort in Europe and America, and as of Ford Laser in Asia and Australasia. This car became the world’s best-selling automobile while surpassing the Toyota Corolla in the first half of 2012. It was named one of the 50 greatest cars of the past fifty years by British magazine CAR. Ford Focus is the most common car in Great Britain as of March 2014 with its 1.5 million users in European nations. Pope Francis is also known to use a Ford Focus. Ford Focus ST won the 2014 Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour in its class and had success in the 2013 Chinese Touring Car Championship.
4. Saleen S7
American Sports Car Saleen S7 is a hand-built high-performance limited-production sports car which is produced jointly by Steve Saleen and Hidden Creek Industries. Phil Frank is the body and interior designer and Ray Mallock Ltd is the chassis engineer of this car. The car was actually developed as a concept and direction car and eventually became America’s first production supercar. Saleen S7 made its debut with all-aluminum 427 engine capable of producing 550 HP at 6400 rpm on August 19, 2000 at the Monterey Historic Races. This car was then altered with a powerful twin-turbo engine capable of delivering 750 horsepower and 399 km/hour top speed in 2005. The Oreca finish-assembled S7-R won the final of the Larbre Compétition in 2010 and became the only LMGT1 class winner at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
3. Dodge Challenger
American Sports Car Dodge Challenger is marketed by the Dodge division of Chrysler, and was first produced as the Dodge Silver Challenger from 1958 to 1959. While using the Chrysler E platform, the first generation Dodge Challenger pony car was produced during 1969 to 1974. The second generation Challenger is actually an engineered Mitsubishi Galant Lambda which was produced from 1978 to 1983. The third generation Challenger was introduced as a rival of the fifth generation Ford Mustang and the fifth generation Chevrolet Camaro in early 2008. The “Mopar ’10 Challenger R/T” is a limited edition variant of the 2010 Challenger R/T with several color options to choose from. The all-new 2015 Dodge Challenger is packed with supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI engine capable of producing an enormous 707 hp.
2. Chevrolet Corvette
American Sports Car Chevrolet Corvette is manufactured by the Chevrolet division of General Motors, and has been manufactured through seven generations. The very first model of this car was designed as a concept show car by Harley Earl and was introduced at the GM Motorama in 1953. The Corvette was originally manufactured at Flint, Michigan and St. Louis, Missouri, but currently produced in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Chevrolet Corvette is the official sports car of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. This car has been used 12 times as the Indianapolis 500 pace car. The all-new Corvette 2014 edition is packed with LT1 6.2 L V8 engine capable of delivering 460 BHP. Recently Chevrolet has announced their upcoming 2015 C7 Z06 Corvette which will have a 650 BPH supercharged LT4 aluminum 6.2L V-8 engine.
1. Ford Mustang
American Sports Car Ford Mustang is manufactured by the Ford Motor Company and the designers of the car are John Najjar Ferzely, Philip T. Clark and Joe Oros. The Mustang is based on the platform of the second generation Ford Falcon. This car is regarded for creating the “pony car” class of American Sports Cars with sports car like coupes with long hoods and short rear decks. The first production Mustang was actually evolved from the 1963 Mustang II prototype and was published in 1964. Recently, the all-new sixth generation Mustang was unveiled with the project codename S-550 on December 5, 2013. Ford Mustang became the first automobile ever to win the Tiffany Gold Medal for excellence in American design in 1965. This car achieved the Motor Trend Car of the Year award twice in 1974 and 1994.
These American sports cars are among the most coveted cars in the world, and people are crazy about these cars. Sports cars can be very expensive, as well, and due to their low mileage, driving these cars around can be a fairly deal, as well. Yet, these do not deter the car-lovers from hoping to acquire them.