Despite Poor Sales, Some Companies Are Still Building Sports Cars

It’s not exactly a secret that the sales of sports cars has steadily dwindled over the past 3 decades. Porsche sold more crossovers last year in the States than they did cars, and American buyers, while still sort of interested in looking at sports cars, simply aren’t investing in them anymore for personal use. Why not?

“Sports cars were always a niche market,” says one auto analyst from Orange County, “and the market has shifted toward bigger vehicles and away from cars like Nissan 370z, which is a great sports car, a true sports car, which is one of the major reasons why there’s less interest in it.”

Part of the problem that sports cars seem to be having on the open market these days is that the very things that make them great at being sports cars make them terrible vehicles for most other things.

“Practically speaking, unless you’re driving to work on a track, sports cars aren’t really the most pragmatic vehicle to get you from point A to point B,” he continued. “Consider the engine. Sports car engines achieve those numbers we all hear about, like going from 0 to 60 in 4.5 seconds by a system of forced injection into the engine. They need to be able to do that because they’re lightweight and have smaller but still very powerful engines. The curb weight of a Nissan 370z is around 3200 pounds while the curb weight of your average subcompact car is only around 2500-2700 pounds. Now compare their fuel efficiency. A sports car has a dreadful fuel economy, especially in the city. You’re talking about the same fuel economy as a fullsize SUV or a heavy duty pickup truck. Sports cars, at least traditional sports cars, can only seat two passengers. So the question is really, who is still buying them and why are companies making them?”

“For many auto manufacturers, having a sports car in their lineup is more about the company’s image than it is about how many sales they’ll see,” he said. “Ford still makes the Mustang and Shelby, while Chevy is still making the Corvette and the Camaro. Sales get lower every year, but you still talk to folks who dream about owning one and point them out to their friends when they see one. But 2017 finds us in an age of pragmatism and you’re not going to see these vehicles being driven to work or purchased for that purpose usually. They’re just not practical, and with luxury crossovers on the rise, complete with powerful V8 engines and all wheel drive, the options for American drivers has gotten much more vast. You no longer have to sacrifice luxury for utility, so the dream of buying a sports car stays a dream.”

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