What, exactly, is a supercar? It used to be obvious. It was a car whose engine was in its middle and whose cylinders numbered at least eight, but ideally 12. It had just two seats, a power output starting no lower than a four and a top speed of at least 180mph.
It was wide, it was low, it was impractical, you couldn’t see out of it properly and you had a poster of it on your wall.
It was also expensive and exclusive, so it was probably red. Certainly, Audi didn’t make one.
Today, though, Audi does. Even the least powerful R8 of all, the original V8, met the performance criteria – only you could see out of it and it was no harder to drive than a TT. The supercar, of late, has been democratised.
Which is fine, unless you want to precisely define what one is, and I do. At this mag, we keep a series of ‘Top Fives’ updated – our favourite cars in each market segment. Knowing what qualifies, then, is handy.
A dictionary is no help. The Oxford dictionary thinks it’s “a high-performance sports car”, which would mean an Ariel Atom is a supercar, which clearly it isn’t (even in V8 form).