Grand Tourer vs. Sports Car

Ferrari Roma parked on a cobblestone street

What’s the difference between a Grand Tourer and a sports car? Sports cars tend to focus primarily on performance, while Grand Tourers focus on both performance and luxury. But while GT cars have specific characteristics, “sports car” is a much broader term that can encompass wildly disparate vehicles.


What is a GT Car?

GT stands for Grand Tourer, which itself is a borrowed translation from the Italian phrase Gran Turismo. GT cars emphasize both comfort and performance rather than pushing for speed with spartan amenities or emphasizing comfort at the expense of capability. GT cars generally have the following features:

  • Seating for two or more: Most Grand Tourers have 2+2 seating configurations, offering more space than a typical supercar or hypercar.
  • Functionality: GT cars are designed to be functional in all ways, putting maximum control over the vehicle and its amenities in the hands of the driver.
  • Experience: GT cars have a chassis and suspension that are tuned not only to provide tight handling, but also to maintain the comfort of the driver and passengers in a variety of road conditions, both on the track and in real-world situations.
  • Engine: As Grand Tourers are designed to provide and maintain comfort over long distances as well as short sprints, these vehicles also feature engines that can comfortably maintain the upper limits of their performance over extended periods of time.

What is a Sports Car?

True sports cars are designed for performance at high speeds, and are always low to the ground. The key metric for a sports car will always be performance, particular its speed and its handling. High-output engines are the norm. The problem with the term “sports” car, though, is that the definition is vague and very broad.

For instance, both the Ferrari Portofino and something like the Chevrolet Corvette could both be called sports cars because they emphasize performance, even though the Corvette could never dream of keeping up with the Ferrari on a track. It’s because of this that most enthusiasts have turned to more granular definitions like supercar and hypercar. All supercars and hypercars can plausibly be called sports cars, but there are plenty of sports cars that are not worthy of being labeled as supercars or hypercars. 

Compared to Grand Tourers, garden-variety sports cars like the Ford Mustang tend to be crude in terms of their engineering and features. But those that fall into the supercar or hypercar categories, such as the Ferrari Roma, showcase the elegance that you’ll find in any Prancing Horse. 

To put it another way: because of the broadness of the term “sports car,” it’s generally better to consider the automaker above this particular designation, whether you’re looking to buy or if you’re just comparing top speeds.


Find Your Ideal Grand Tourer With Continental AutoSports Ferrari

Grand touring cars are a great choice for anybody who wants a standout daily driver that can also perform on the track. Fortunately, we can help facilitate the purchase of a new or pre-driven Ferrari, whether you’re in Indianapolis, Milwaukee, or elsewhere in the United States. We’re here to help you find the perfect Prancing Horse for your desires from our dealership in the Chicago area — to get started, contact us today.

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