Wednesday, 04 July 2018 11:54

The rise, particularly in the last decade, of YouTube and Top Gear viewer 'Sports Car Geniuses' has been prolific.

As car lovers, we’re always out to show the next person in the room that we know a little bit more about the latest hero car than they do. We have a fondness for knowing some unique quirk about the cars, too. Being the only person in your workplace that knows that 2018 Mustang has 30 different colours to choose from on its LCD instrument cluster or that the Honda Civic Type-R is the fastest front-wheel-drive production vehicle to have lapped the Nürburgring at the time of its release lets those around you know that you’re more obsessed than a ‘run-of-the-mill’ fan.

Here’s the problem with being a Sports Car fan. We watch hundreds of hours of reviews, we are the first to share or comment on a post about them and we even talk about how we would be the first to buy a Dodge Demon “if only I didn’t have to import it”. However, the correlation between Sports Car purchases in Australia and Sports Car enthusiasm is completely inverse. Even if you factor in performance EV’s. Consider all the Tesla fans who say they would buy the Model 3, but haven’t even logged on to the pre-order page. (Whilst not strictly marketed as a sports car, you could argue that with potential 0-100km/h times of under 5 seconds, it places it in the Sports Car family)

The fact is, the Top 5 Sports Cars only made up 2% of the combined Top 5 Sports, SUV, Ute and Passenger Vehicle Sales in May 2018 (based on VFACTS data)

Myth 1: Affordability and 'Lack of Practicality'

The first justification that comes to mind is that they are too expensive, right? Well, you’d be wrong there. Because there is an abundance of sporty vehicles that are priced at $50k and below. Just look at the Hot-Hatch sector. There have never been more options available for enthusiasts. Most offer seating for four adults, four-door access, high levels of safety and tech, iso-fix points for child restraints, generally good fuel economy and flexible cargo space. So even if you need a daily driver, there really is no reason why an ‘enthusiast’ wouldn’t be able to buy one. From a Polo GTi to an SS-V wagon, most people would be able to tick the box for something that’s practical and appeals to their sporting heart.

Myth 2: SUV’s

“But I need an SUV!”. If you’re a true enthusiast and you’re complaining that you want the practicality of an SUV and the affordability of a large size sedan, you’re really missing the point. A true Sports Car enthusiast knows that there is always some amount of compromise, however small or large.

Enthusiast vs Know-It-All:

So it begs the question. Are you a Sports Car Enthusiast or Just a Sports Car know-it-all? There’s no shame in either. You can be a petrol head and still drive a mid-size SUV, but you can’t complain when the major manufacturers stop bringing the full suite of Sports Cars into Australia.

We all howled when the last HSV rolled off the production line and we demand that FCA import a factory-endorsed right-hand-drive Dodge Challenger in Australia to take on the Camaro and Mustang. Would you really buy one, though? Really? If the honest answer is no – then you’ve answered your own question.

Saving the Sports Car in Australia:

The truth is; if you really care about the future of the Sports Car in Australia. Buy one. If only once. You may find that it’s not practical, you may not like the ride comfort but there’s also the chance that it will have you smiling from cheek-to-cheek every single time that you turn the key or push the start button.

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