• What is a high performace car?

    What is a
    high performance car?

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13 February 2020

The term ‘performance car’ isn’t strictly defined, but it has been used far and wide in the automotive industry to describe cars of different shapes and builds. But what actually makes a car considered a performance car? Common definitions say performance cars are superior in speed, built for long distances, and they have a lot of power in comparison to their weight, allowing for maximum performance.

Then what makes a performance car?

Generally, there are factors that most performance cars have in common, like their purpose, costs, design, and performance.

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Purpose of a performance car

When you think of the purpose of a car, the first thing you think of is transportation, or something that gets you from A to B. Some cars may be faster and some may be more comfortable, but the main purpose of a car is to reach a destination. With a performance car, however, there's another purpose—enjoyment. Performance cars are built to be fun to drive and to put a smile on their driver's face.

For example, if you drive the i30 N, one of Hyundai N's performance cars, you notice immediately that this car is made to be fun to drive.

Price of a performance car

The price range of performance cars can be quite different from regular cars, retailing from medium to extremely high. A regular car usually costs around $20,000 to $30,000; however, a performance car might start around $20,000 and go into the millions.

After the purchasing price of a performance car, you have to consider maintenance and operating costs. Compared to regular cars, performance cars can have higher maintenance costs for a few reasons.

One of these is car insurance. Due to the accelerated performance and high speed of performance cars, insurance can be pricier.

Another factor that contributes to higher maintenance costs is that since performance cars are used more intensively than regular cars, auto parts might need to be exchanged more frequently. High-performance car parts also tend to be pricier than regular car parts, so this in turn increases overall maintenance costs.

Some performance and sports cars even require premium gas. While that's not the case for all performance cars, this is something else that can affect overall maintenance costs.

Design and car accessories of a performance car

Another factor that makes a performance car is design. Performance cars generally share certain design features.

One of these features is car seats. Namely, the number and design of car seats. Many sports and performance cars have either 2 seats or up to 5 seats. There are of course regular cars that have 2 seats, but the 5 seats and above models are more common.

There is a distinct difference between regular car seats and performance car seats. If you have ever sat in a performance car, you know the seats feel different and that there’s an immediate sports car feel. Performance cars often have sport seats with additional bolster, designed to keep you in position while driving and cornering.

And when you look at a car's suspension, performance cars use different springs, shock absorbers, and usually a lowered suspension to provide an enhanced driving performance.

Overall, performance cars have a sportier design than regular cars with spoilers and a more aerodynamic design, and they are also available in sporty colours such as blue and red.

The sporty design of the Veloster N, for example, fits perfectly on the racetrack.

The Veloster N has an exclusive sporty N-design front fascia and grille with front air ducts for enhanced brake cooling. Another tech-focused design detail of the performance car is its exclusive LED headlamps.

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The Veloster N has an exclusive sporty N-design front fascia and grille with front air ducts for enhanced brake cooling. Another tech-focused design detail of the performance car is its exclusive LED headlamps.

Just from the profile, the Veloster N differentiates itself from the regular Veloster with exclusive N-design rocker side sills and lightweight 19-inch alloy wheels with a machined-finish dual-spoke star design. The Veloster N also sports a larger N-design rear spoiler to complete the sports car exterior design.

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Just from the profile, the Veloster N differentiates itself from the regular Veloster with exclusive N-design rocker side sills and lightweight 19-inch alloy wheels with a machined-finish dual-spoke star design. The Veloster N also sports a larger N-design rear spoiler to complete the sports car exterior design.

Performance of a performance car

Last—but certainly not least—is performance. As the name suggests, performance cars are built to perform! This shows in a more powerful engine, superior speed, agility, and overall driving experience.

While regular cars have moderately powerful engines that are easier to handle, performance and sports cars need a powerful engine to provide higher performance. In turn, the fuel consumption of performance car engines is usually higher due to the difference in power.

In terms of speed, most regular cars have a horsepower of around 150 PS. In contrast, performance cars can have a horsepower of around 250 PS and upwards.

Due to the high speed of performance cars, they need special brakes to withstand the power and heat. High-performance brakes are stronger than regular brakes and need to work effectively under harsh conditions while also having good durability.

A good example of high-performance brakes are Hyundai N’s in-house brakes, which were developed and tested at the Nürburgring to boost their power and durability. Hyundai N’s high-performance brakes evolved from brakes that are used in Hyundai’s bigger and heavier car models, which are powerful enough for the performance car models.

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But, the superiority of a performance car doesn't only show in engine power, speed, and brake power. With high-performance tires and top-notch technology, high-performance cars exceed regular cars in agility and stability and deliver a thrilling driving experience on the track. Taking a look at the specs of Hyundai's performance car i30 N, you can see that this car is built to perform on the road and the racetrack.

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But, the superiority of a performance car doesn't only show in engine power, speed, and brake power. With high-performance tires and top-notch technology, high-performance cars exceed regular cars in agility and stability and deliver a thrilling driving experience on the track. Taking a look at the specs of Hyundai's performance car i30 N, you can see that this car is built to perform on the road and the racetrack.

Hyundai’s performance car i30 N is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine that is available with two power outputs. The Standard Package of the i30 N delivers 250 PS, while the Performance Package offers maximum power with 275 PS. The performance car also delivers a maximum torque of 353 Nm and reaches a speed of 250 km/h. With the Performance Package, the car can reach an acceleration of 6.4 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h.

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Hyundai’s performance car i30 N is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine that is available with two power outputs. The Standard Package of the i30 N delivers 250 PS, while the Performance Package offers maximum power with 275 PS. The performance car also delivers a maximum torque of 353 Nm and reaches a speed of 250 km/h. With the Performance Package, the car can reach an acceleration of 6.4 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h.

More than just a simple definition

Despite looking at these factors, it becomes apparent that there really is no strict definition of a performance car. However, most performance cars share similar characteristics like purpose, price, design, and especially the performance of the car.

Performance cars are built to be fun to drive, while their price and maintenance costs are usually higher than regular cars. They have a sportier design with high-performance accessories and are highly superior in terms of speed, power, cornering ability, and general performance.

But, the definition of a performance car shouldn’t be limited to these aspects. More than anything, a performance car is a car that creates the desire to drive just by looking at it. A car that, with its speed and power, unleashes pure enjoyment.