Comparing a Muscle Car Vs a Sports Car: Engine, Torque, and Price

January 27, 2012

Muscle car vs. sports car--they often are lumped together, but in fact are different. Most members of the population use sports car and muscle car somewhat interchangeably, but they are in fact different vehicles entirely. To figure out which one would work best for you, read the guide below, comparing muscle cars and sports cars.

Engines

One of the biggest differences between a sports car and a muscle car is the engine. Muscle cars have big, powerful V-8s or better that give them the "muscle" in their name. Sports cars, on the other hand, have smaller engines that might still be powerful, but often because they are accompanied by forced induction. In short, muscle car engines are powerful and sports car engines are quick.

Bodies

Muscle cars are associated with bold curves that just make the cars look like their power is trying to bulge out of the seams. Sports cars aren't quite so rippling. Instead, sports cars are usually made up of sleek likes that aren't as muscle-like as their powerful counterparts.

Torque

The power of the massive muscle car engines yields much higher torque than the small engines in sports cars. While sports cars may still be fast off the line, that is because of their quick engines, not their torque pull. It is this torque that will drive a muscle car well in the lead if you are looking at a straight line race. Most muscle cars actually have more rear wheel torque than they have rear wheel horsepower, making for quite a force on the strip.

Handling

For the most part, sports cars were made to excel around the corners, which is not a great place for most muscle cars. If you are looking for something that will whip around at whim, you'll need to look for the light, airy quality of a sports car. There are of course muscle cars with superior handling, but that was not what they were made for. They were meant to dig and drive.

Potential

The power potential is far better with muscle cars because they have bigger engines. If you want something naturally aspirated, you will do better with a muscle car than you will with a sports car. Most sports cars already have a supercharger or turbo on them to give them an extra push. If you invest in the same option for a muscle car, the former would quickly lose to the latter. The fact is that if you want to actually build a car, you have to choose muscle over sports.

Price

The price difference between sports cars and muscle cars all depends on the make and model. Comparable versions of both, however, usually end up with a higher price tag on the muscle car, just because of the engine. Thus if you are on a budget, you may want to stick with a sports car until you can afford a muscle car.

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