High performance vehicle


High performance vehicle

Typically describes a vehicle (generally a car) that has been designed with specific performance capabilities, above and beyond those of normal vehicles. Enhancements such as higher engine output (power), enhanced braking and suspension systems, are all hallmarks of high-performance vehicles. A high-performance vehicle generally exceeds the standards and capabilities of more common vehicles, for the purpose of enhancing the driving experience, or increasing the performance of the vehicle for competition. The trade off is usually cost, and maintainability: High performance vehicles typically cost significantly more than standard ones, and because of the more complex mechanical components, are generally regarded as requiring more maintenance and care.

Manufacturers

Manufacturers known for their High Performance vehicles include:

*Alfa Romeo
*Audi
*Aston Martin
*BMW
*Bugatti
*Caterham
*Ferrari
*Jaguar
*Lamborghini
*Lotus
*Maserati
*Mercedes-Benz
*Morgan
*Porsche
*Ruf
*TVRMany other, more accessible manufacturers, often carry high-performance versions of their standard cars. Examples include Chevrolet's SS models, Chrysler Group's SRT models, Ford's SVT models, and Volkswagen's R-line models.

Many automobile manufacturers also present High Performance Concept cars, though many of these often ambitious vehicles never make production. The Australian Project Group Goy Advanced Automobile is currently showcasing High Performance Concept Vehicles which it intends to put in to production by 2012.

Use of the term "High Performance"

Although the term "High Performance" is largely subjective, and often a tool used by marketing departments of manufacturers, "high performance" cars generally accelerate to 100km/h (62mph) in under 6 seconds, and have a topspeed of around, or over 250km/h (155mph). Towards the higher end of the spectrum, a "supercar" is generally expected to accelerate to 100km/h in around or less than 4 seconds and have a top speed in excess of 300km/h.

Generally, high levels of power is associated with "high performance" vehicles but there are many differing philosophies amongst manufacturers. Many believe in outright power levels to propel the car to its performance potential, shown for example, by the Bentley continental GT with 411KW of power, but a weight, vastly above average, of 2300kg. This can be contrasted with the Lotus Elise that has only 141KW but weighs only 886kg. Despite the different philosophies in place to achieve "high performance" levels, both cars have very similar acceleration times. It must be kept in mind that high performance vehicles usually entail better handling characteristics and are therefore not solely about power output and acceleration times.


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