Why is it always a sports car?

When was the last time a niche manufacturer set itself up in business to make anything other than a lightweight sports car or a heavyweight supercar? Meanwhile, the stock trade of modifiers and tuners is to make cars lighter and firmer, to fit bigger engines or increase power. 

Even those who completely recreate classics – such as Singer and Eagle – usually choose sports cars like the Porsche 911 and Jaguar E-type as starting points. It’s generally about the stiffening and the steering, the body control and the keenness; the beginning and the end is both with and for those who take pleasure in driving briskly.

Which is fine. Great, even. Who doesn’t love a sports car? Who isn’t excited about Zenos Cars or the new Caterham-Alpine joint venture? I know that when a new Volkswagen Golf is launched, my thoughts immediately turn to what the GTI will be like. And which of us hasn’t heard promises as empty as those from Keating Supercars from about 30 different sources over the past decade? Fast cars get our attention.