“Supercar” is also a label custom car retrofitters reserve for their showcase, one-of-a-kind project vehicles, typically these are very extensively modified collectible muscle cars, sports cars or grand touring automobiles updated to the very latest “streetable” racing technology.
In the United States, the term “supercar” predates the classification of muscle car to describe the “dragstrip bred” affordable mid-size cars of the 1960s and early 1970s that were equipped with large, powerful V8 engines and rear wheel drive.The combination of a potent engine in a lightweight car began with the 1957 Rambler Rebel that was described as a “veritable supercar”. “In 1966 the sixties supercar became an official industry trend” as the four domestic automakers “needed to cash in on the supercar market” with eye-catching, heart-stopping cars.
Among the numerous examples of the use of the supercar description include the May 1965 issue of the American magazine Car Life, in a road test of the Pontiac GTO, and how “Hurst puts American Motors into the Supercar club with the 390 Rogue” (the SC/Rambler) to fight in “the Supercar street racer gang” market segment. The “SC” in the model name stood for “SuperCar”.
The supercar market segment included regular production models in different muscle market segments (such as the “economy supercar” ), as well as limited edition, documented dealer-converted vehicles.The word supercar later became to mean a “GT” or grand touring type of car. By the 1970s and 1980s the phrase was in regular use, if not precisely defined.
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”.
The supercar term has also been applied to technologically advanced vehicles using new fuel sources, powerplants, aerodynamics, and lightweight materials to develop an 80 mpg -US (2.9 L/100 km; 96 mpg -imp ) family-sized sedan.
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