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Sports Car vs Supercar

Two cars in one picture, different model and design.

Sports cars and supercars have always seemed to be the same thing, at least to my untrained eye. But when I overheard two youngsters arguing about which is best while I was out picking up my coffee, I realized there are actually many differences between these two vehicle types. 

If you’ve been wondering about what precisely the differences between sports cars and supercars are, I’ve got you covered. I scoured the internet to find comparisons that I could understand and then I analyzed the data.

Here’s what I discovered, all laid out in an easy-to-understand format. Enjoy!

Related: Sports Car vs Sedan

What Is a Sports Car?

Side view look of BMW Z4 Roadster car in a yellow color at car show.

A sports car is basically an upgraded normal car with higher output, improved handling, and a more dynamic design. For example, you can find many BMW sports cars that are better versions of existing models.

Sports cars can be quite pricey but offer drivers a much more rewarding and engaging experience. You can drive a sports car every day if you want to. They run well on normal streets and have power levels that can handle daily driving.

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Just note that these cars don’t have a lot of space, so they’re not ideal for families. These cars are usually pricier than their tamer siblings and offer a more rewarding and engaging driving experience.

However, not all sports cars are very fast or very expensive. There are models that aren’t as speedy and are relatively affordable, such as the Toyota GT 86.

Interestingly, supercars have sports car ‘DNA’ in them, so all supercars are sports cars. But not all sports cars are supercars as they don’t meet the requirements for supercars.

Sports cars are designed with a focus on performance driving. They have powerful engines and their bodies are sleek and aerodynamic. Typically, sports cars are nimble and light, and they’re ideal for thrilling high-speed driving.

Generally, sports cars come with specific features that make their braking and handling a lot better than that of other cars. They also tend to have larger brakes and stiffer suspensions.

You’ll also find that sports cars come with a manual transmission, so the drivers can have more control over the car. However, automatic dual-clutch transmissions are becoming increasingly popular.

One drawback of sports cars is that they can be very fuel-hungry and have poor fuel economies. Typically, they don’t offer a lot in the seating and luggage capacity departments.

Examples of Sports Cars

What Is a Supercar?

Brand new Audi R8 V10 Spyder in light green colorway in display at the Geneva International Auto Show.

When you compare a sports car with a supercar, there will be one very obvious element that stands out immediately: the looks. Supercars are much more dramatic when it comes to visuals. They have aggressive lines, are made of expensive materials, boast huge air intakes, and generally have low ground clearance. 

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Supercars are made to look super, and they do!

While sports cars are upgrades of specific models, supercars are unique models, and they’re not the upgraded version of anything.

Supercars are able to produce a lot more motor power than sports cars can, and they come with special setups that improve not only their performance but their handling as well.

Because supercars are so…well, super, they are more expensive than standard car models and sports cars. Most of them have more than 500 horsepower, which is quite impressive even if you aren’t as knowledgeable on what horsepower means.

Supercars are basically enhanced sports cars designed to be more powerful and much faster. You won’t find them as easily either, as they are made in limited quantities. Although you can use some supercars on the road, many of them are exclusively for track or racing use only. They’re just too fast!

Maintaining a supercar is quite costly, which is why these vehicles are seen as a way of flaunting wealth and success.

Examples of Supercars

  • Aston Martin Vantage
  • Audi R8
  • Lamborghini Huracan
  • Acura NSX
  • Ferrari SF90 Stradale
  • McClaren 570S
  • Ford GT

Features of a Sports Car

Brand new Mercedes AMG GTR Coupe Roadster in green colorway in display at the Autosalon Motor Show in Brussels, Belgium.

We’re now going to compare the main features of sports cars and supercars to get an understanding of why they’re so different. We’ll look at the top traits of each car first, and then we’ll do a more in-depth but brief comparison of their two most important features: handling and performance.

Main Sports Car Traits

  • Not as expensive
  • Impressive power-to-weight ratio
  • Horsepower isn’t as high
  • Two-door designs
  • Good shifting and agility
  • Awesome build quality
  • Stiff suspension
  • Large brakes
  • Easy to drive
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Features of a Supercar

Great red and black supercars parked next to each other in the rain.

Main Supercar Traits

  • Production is limited
  • Very expensive
  • Costly maintenance
  • Difficult to drive
  • Very high horsepower
  • Made with expensive materials
  • Dynamic design
  • Low ground clearance
  • Not for everyday driving

Now, let’s look at the handling and performance of supercars and sports cars and how they compare.

Handling

Sports cars offer drivers a fun and easy experience when it comes to handling. They are more agile though their potential won’t be tapped into on regular roads. Still, you’ll enjoy driving a sports car because it’s so easy to handle. 

Supercars, on the other hand, are harder to handle, mostly because of their high horsepower output. These cars are made to offer good handling, but require very good driving skills, which is why ordinary folks find them harder to handle.

Performance

Elegant and fancy looking Acure NSX Type S in red colorway.

Sports cars are upgraded from normal, standard vehicles and their performance is one of the reasons they’re considered to be better. They offer drivers a dynamic experience while still being suitable for daily driving.

The sports car’s acceleration is superior when compared to standard cars, and the overall driving experience is more gratifying because of the great performance.

Supercars are high performers, but with a more luxurious twist. They have more power and come with more advanced technology to improve their performance. Supercars can perform really well, but sadly, that performance isn’t often experienced because normal roads aren’t suitable for the kind of driving you should be doing with a supercar.

Cost Difference

As mentioned before, there is a big difference in the price tags of supercars and sports cars. Supercars are more exclusive, which means they’re a lot more expensive. 

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You can expect to pay anything between $3 million and $8 million for a new supercar. Sometimes it can be less, and sometimes, even more, depending on the model and when the car was made.

Sports cars are available at a wide range of prices. You can buy a new model for anything between $31 000 and $170 000. It all depends on the model and the year it was made, of course.

Benefits of Supercars

As you can imagine, there are many benefits to driving a supercar. Here are the main reasons people love them:

Great Speed and Performance

Black Ford Mustang GT is parked by the infinite long road in the middle of a death valley.

The biggest reason supercars are so adored is their amazing speed abilities and performance. Standard cars and sports cars can’t really compare in this category. 

The thrill of driving a supercar at its highest speeds is unrivaled. Unfortunately, though, you’ll have to go to a track to experience the awesome performance and speed of a supercar – normal roads aren’t suitable, and trying to drive at max speed on them will lead to accidents.

Can Appreciate In Value

Most cars’ value goes down over time, but supercars are the exception. Their value can go up as time goes by, making them a pretty smart financial investment.

Should you feel that you no longer want to keep your supercar, you are likely to get back all the money you put in, perhaps even more. Just make sure you take good care of your supercar.

So Luxurious!

On a street in the heart of the city, a McClaren 720S sports vehicle is parked.

The luxury that supercars are made with is amazing. As a result, it can be quite exciting to get behind the wheel and feel like you belong in a spy film. Having such luxury when you drive around is an unbeatable and priceless feeling for sure!

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Also, if you’re into turning heads wherever you go, a supercar will definitely help you with that! People can’t help but stop and stare when they see supercars, after all.

Feels Like a Big Life Achievement

Owning an exclusive and luxurious car like a supercar is something that most people can only dream about, sadly. If you are fortunate enough to own one, it can feel like you’ve unlocked a major life achievement.

Benefits of Sports Cars

Sports cars come with many benefits as well and are in most cases more popular than supercars.

Good Investment

Ford Mustang in black, on display throughout the city.

Just like supercars, sports cars tend not to decrease in value over time, but rather become more valuable. This is because of their beautiful and superior designs and because they’re made by popular car brands.

If you take good care of your sports car, it will appreciate in value. Some sports cars even become collector’s items, making them even more valuable.

Wonderful Driving Experience

A sports car can make you fall in love with driving again, especially if you have to drive long distances quite often. Driving through the busy traffic to and from work becomes less tedious when you’re doing it in a sports car!

Also, if you drive a convertible sports car, you can let the roof down and enjoy the wind in your hair. What could be more epic than that?

Choice of Designs and Styles

Ford Mustang driving at high speed on an asphalt road in three dimensions.

Sports cars are available in so many styles and designs that you will likely have a tough time choosing. The various body shapes, appearances, and designs like convertible, coupe, etc, will make choosing your sports car quite a unique experience.

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You can even choose a two-seater with doors that open upward or get your sports car in your favorite color with a matte-painted finish that looks amazing. There really are many options to choose from, making buying a sports car a lot of fun.

Can Be Personalized

Many new sports cars let you choose how you want to personalize them. This includes selecting your preference of fabric used on the seats, the interior rim, and so much more. You can truly have a sports car that matches your personality.

Even if you buy a used sports car, you can still upgrade and personalize it with creative paint jobs and other special features.

You Can Start Sports Racing!

Background of a sleek, quick sports automobile near some sand.

Another benefit of owning a sports car is that you can actually start to take part in sports car racing. It can become a new hobby or even a passion if you really enjoy it. This opportunity opens up many doors and you can meet other sports car owners who are enjoying their cars as much as you enjoy yours.

Easy To Resell

In comparison with standard cars, sports cars are a lot easier to resell. If you, for some reason, don’t want your sports car anymore, you won’t find it difficult to sell. And because sports cars’ value appreciates over time, you won’t lose all the money you spent on your sports car.

Sports Car vs Supercar: Which Is Best?

Side shot agle of red sports car at the dark parking lot.

That question depends on your taste in cars and what you want to do with your car. If you want something luxurious with amazing horsepower, you should get a supercar. If you rather want a fast but easy-to-handle car, a sports car is better for you.

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I, for one, will forever dream about owning a supercar and racing around big tracks like they do in the movies!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Best Sports Car Brands?

The best sports car brands include:

  • Porsche
  • Jaguar F‑Type
  • Alfa Romeo
  • Aston Martin
  • Ford Mustang
  • Bayerische Motoren Werke AG

What Is a Hypercar?

A hypercar is a special car designed with superior performance and speed. They are highly exclusive and are considered even better, faster, and more attractive than sports cars or supercars.

Is a Bugatti a Supercar or a Hypercar?

The Bugatti Veyron Super Sport is considered a hypercar because it is capable of 1200 horsepower, which is a lot more than you’ll get from supercars or sports cars. These cars are superior to supercars and sports cars in many ways but are also very expensive.