A sports car is a term used to describe a class of automobile. The exact definition varies, but generally it is used to refer to a low to ground, light weight vehicle with a powerful engine. Most vehicles referred to as sports cars are rear-wheel drive, have two seats, two doors, and are designed for more precise handling, acceleration, and aesthetics. A sports car's dominant considerations can be superior road handling, braking, maneuverability, low weight, and high power, rtherthan passenger space, comfort, and fuel economy.
Sports cars can be either luxurious or spartan, but driving mechanical performance is the key attraction. Many drivers regard brand name and the subsequent racing reputation and history as important indications of sporting quality (for example, Ferrari, Porsche, Lotus), but some brands, such as Lamborghini, which do not race or build racing cars, are also highly regarded.
A car may be a sporting automobile without being a sports car. Performance modifications of regular, production cars, such as sport compacts, sports sedans, muscle cars, hot hatches and the like, generally are not considered sports cars, yet share traits common to sports cars. They are sometimes called "sports cars" for marketing purposes for increased advertising and promotional purposes. Performance cars of all configurations are grouped as Sports and Grand tourer cars, or, occasionally, as performance cars.
A sports car does not require a large, powerful engine, though many do have them. Many classic British sports cars lacked powerful engines, but were known for exceptional handling due to light weight, a well-engineered, balanced chassis, and modern suspension (for example, Lotus Seven, Austin 7 Speedy). On tight, twisting roads, such a sports car may perform more effectively than a heavier, more powerful car.
Due to North American safety regulations, many sports cars are unavailable for sale or use in the United States and Canada. In the United Kingdom, Europe, and the Middle Eastern market (e.g. UAE), a flexible attitude towards small-volume specialist manufacturers has allowed companies such as TVR, Noble, and Pagani to succeed.