Based on modern car design philosophies and design imperatives, answering this question is somewhat akin to asking if red paint is better than blue or green paint. Paint colors aside, though; modern consumer preferences, legally mandated safety features, clever marketing strategies, and sometimes-biased interpretations by some motoring journalists have blurred the lines between many daily drivers and vehicles that could be described as sports cars.
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At the risk of clouding the already muddy distinctions between sports cars and other high-performance cars, it must be stated that while supercars and hypercars are typically easy to define and characterize, the differences between modern sports cars and most daily drivers are not always that easy to define. This is difficult because many, if not most, sports cars can be (and often are) used as daily drivers.
Therefore, if we want to answer the question “what makes a car a sports car?” with any degree of objectivity, we need to remove modern considerations from the question and take a short detour to a time when there was no doubt about what made sports cars different from ordinary cars.