A supercar is a more powerful and exotic form of a sports car. In the U.S., supercars started to appear in the forms of muscle cars during the 1960s – that’s how these cars were called during that time. But today the term has become so loose that nearly every sports car with an above-average look or performance can be called a supercar. There are quite many supercar models today, coming from different automobile brands worldwide; some even come from places you rarely hear about, like Croatia and Dubai.
Many people believe that the Lamborghini Miura manufactured between 1966 and 1973 is the world’s first supercar. The term supercar began to be used frequently in the 1970s and 1980s, although it still had not precisely defined. One definition that was popular until the 1990s was for mid-engine sports cars with two seats and at least eight cylinders or a V12 powerhouse. They should have an output of at least 400 bhp and a maximum speed of at least 180 mph or 290 kph.
Different interpretations said that the vehicle has to be super fast, balanced by sporting handling, in addition to being sleek and super attractive, as well as having a price tag that is not easily reachable. Most of the time, it should also have limited production numbers as an important characteristic. However, people’s interpretations of what called a supercar have always been subjective and a matter of personal opinion.
The classical era saw the term supercar in a way that was rather unique when compared to now. For example, during the 1960s, what we know today as muscle cars were classified as supercars. Furthermore, people quite often spelled the term with a capital S. In 1966, supercars began to rise and become a new industry trend.
Even a year before that, in the American magazine Car Life released in May 1965, “supercar” was mentioned multiple times. In a different magazine – Car & Driver, released in 1968, it includes news about a new supercar market segment. The classic muscle car AMC S/C Rambler produced during 1969 also bore a “SuperCar” label in its “S/C” abbreviation.
The fall of the muscle car in the 1970s marked a new era for supercars, where they started to come out in the shape of a Ferrari or Lamborghini. The term is also applied for limited-production cars built by small automakers for aficionados, and standard-looking automobiles tuned for an insane level of performance.