Everyday cars that most people drive around town, are vehicles that allow us comfortable commuting from our homes to offices and other such point A to point B travel. Modern day road going cars offer comfort for their passengers as well as strive towards a modest fuel consumption figure. They are designed to carry a complete family of four, as well as an occasional complement of luggage. Such cars will attain fair speeds on the highways and at the same time accelerate well enough to keep up with city traffic.
Most manufacturers equip their cars with an efficient air-conditioner and music system to ensure a degree of luxury for its occupants. They design these cars keeping in mind that owners spend considerable amounts of time within the vehicle.
At the same time there does exist a smaller market for another type of a more purpose built car. These cars are built to look good as well as perform and handle well. Such cars have powerful engines and mileage is not given too much importance while designing the engine. They are focused cars that are built to be driven hard and fast and are built in smaller numbers than every day production cars. Rather than aimed at selling more in numbers these cars are made to be more exclusive and so they are often sold as limited editions. This allows their owners to enjoy the privilege of owning a unique vehicle not available to everyone. This type of a car is known as a ‘Supercar’. More often than not, a Supercar comes hand in hand with a super price tag. No expense is spared into making this the perfect rich man’s toy.
A Supercar is not built for comfort. Most of them have enough room for only two people. Since they are low to help keep the center of gravity as close to the ground as possible, getting in and out of a sports car is tough. The cabin of these cars is often cramped and devoid of many creature comforts. A sound system is often left out though to most it will never be needed thanks to more emphasis being laid on the usually loud and pleasing exhaust tone, excellent music in its own right. Some very serious supercars may even be devoid of an air-conditioner, as the compressor to run one would sap a small percentage of its engine power. A roll cage often concealed within the interior is common and this takes up a lot of cabin space.
To extract the maximum handling performance from a car one has to have a very taut suspension. These powerful machines attain very high speeds and knowing that drivers will be pushing their cars to their handling limits, stability and cornering ability are given preference over a plush and comfortable ride. Suspension spring rates and damping are adjusted so that body-roll is at a minimum and tyre traction is at its best. At the same time, Tyres are always low profile and so their short sidewalls do not afford a soft and plush cushion effect. Often the bucket seats in a Supercar are narrow and heavily contoured so as to hold the driver snugly in his place with extra lateral support and four point seats belts. Driving aids such as power steering are often left out, so as to allow the driver maximum driving pleasure and feedback. In the right hands, these cars can accelerate and decelerate so hard and corner so tightly, as to put their occupants through the occasional Gravitational force.