To have the strength and durability of steel but with the light weight of fiber glass was the intended mind set with the creation of carbon fiber. Carbon fiber is the best component for a sports car racing body frame because it is very light weight yet stronger than steel, although it is extremely expensive to buy a car composed with or mostly of carbon fiber. There are actually only two cars produced that are made with a carbon fiber chassis and body frame. They are the Lamborghini Diablo 6.0 GTR and the Porsche Carrera GT; both costing around $300,000 or more. But carbon fiber parts are available for almost any sports car. For instance if you had broken your steel or fiber glass hood you might think of replacing it with a carbon fiber hood. Also carbon fiber has recently been an interior option in late sports cars. In the new Jaguars, Mercedes’, Porsches, etc… you have the choice of three different woods or carbon fiber as your interior options to impress people with.
Since the Model T cars have become much faster. “The T-bucket had a top speed of 38 miles per hour” (Eiresin,94) when it originally came out. But for today’s cars they are much more powerful with sports cars of today having top speeds at over 240 miles per hour. The original Model T had a rear wheel drive with the engine located in the front of the car which would give the car a slow acceleration factor, yet also because of its small engine. But the Porsche Carrera GT has a mid engine V10, which (Johnson, 213) happens to be the first of its time. With the mid engine technique the Porsche V10 is places under the car and towards the rear of the car mostly. Also the mid engine technology distributes an equal amount of torque and horsepower to each wheel and base of the car. The Porsche Carrera GT also has suction under the car so that if you took a sharp turn at 100 mile per hour instead of spinning out or flipping the suction ducts actually pull the car closer to the pavement so that the car can more efficiently hug the road. The suction ducts are part of the Porsche Carrera GT’s aerodynamics factors, it also has many hood, overhead, and side scoops to bring more air, horsepower, and torque into the engine.
Although traditionally theV8 is the fastest and most powerful of all other engines others are not to be underestimated. In every Porsche lies its German handmade V6 engine but the new Carrera will have a handmade German V10. The Porsche Carrera GT’s massive V10 produce over 650 horsepower and 640 lbs of torque, giving it acceleration from “zero to sixty in 3.4 seconds” (Daniels, 117) with a top speed ranging from about 210-225 mph. When the Model T came out it didn’t have many options to choose from. Now however options are parts that make the car. Popular options for sports cars can include what kind of leather is used, color of the interior, choice of engine, wood, carbon fiber, transmission, brakes, exhaust, spoiler, and wheels. Wheels have become extremely popular and expensive in the recent ten years. Most sports cars come with 18 inch rims but can be upgraded to 20 or even 21 inch wheels. When the first Model T came out its rims were steel plates with screws in it to hold on the tires. By the forties a company named Cragar came out with racing wheels that were put on most muscle cars of the time. Cragar the company no longer exists and have been replaced with names like Neeper and AMG. “AMG makes wheels out of magnesium” (Samson, 88) that puts them at a price of about $2,000 a wheel plus tires. AMG is a performance and body package for all Mercedes cars; AMG gives them a unique look with a full aero body and AMG engine enhancements. Although AMG is an option and not on all Mercedes’ but does make them look a little bit original. Companies such as Renntech, Hennessey, and Lingenfelter are some of the biggest names in the sports car business specializing in engine upgrades but offer many other types of upgrades such as TVs, entertainment centers, and handling enhancements.
From the twenties to the early eighties companies such as Renntech, Lingenfelter, and Hennessey didn’t exist and if you wanted some kind of customization or upgrade it would cost tons to have a mechanic do it or customize it yourself. The company Renntech specializes in Mercedes although their options aren’t available from the factory like AMG. For example, if you bought a Mercedes CLK 430 which is a $47,000 car and called Renntech they could have your “CLK 430 looking much more aggressive, handles like a Porsche and have performance like a Ferrari 550 Maranello” (Becker, 123). All that to your brand new car for an additional $110,000 on top of your original $47,000 purchase. Tires are another very evolved component of cars. When tires were first used they were a very thin and cheap rubber, it didn’t have air in them either, just all rubber. By the forties air was put into the tires and white-walls were being produced. White-walls have a white strip around the edges of the tires and mostly put on Cadillacs. As for today’s sports cars, Mickey Thompson is the leader in the racing tires business. Mickey Thompsons are available in a wide range variety depending on what type of racing you’re doing. Slicks are a popular choice for sports cars because they don’t sit and burn, they catch traction.
Although slicks are mostly used in 0-120 mph straight away races, if you want to hit speed at over 210 mph and still be able to handle you’ll need a set of “Z” rated tired. Run-flat tires are also a new evolution in the auto industry. Run-flat tires allow you to go 50 miles at 50 mph with a flat tire so you can ensure your safety. But without spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on many expensive and overpriced upgrades.
A very new and cheap way to get more horsepower, torque, and much faster acceleration at the push of a button is now available. This is called nitrous oxide, it is technically for race use only, but can be installed to any car for no more than $600. Nitrous oxide uses high compression ratios to increase horsepower and when the button is oushed you get an increased boost of anywhere from 50-250 horsepower. Superchargers are also a popular choice but don’t give the power as intensely as nitrous oxide and its price range is about $2,000-$5,000 for one. Superchargers however give the car an additional halph of its base horsepower and helps to improve better gas mileage for daily driven cars. Over the past 80 years we have had many automotive advances in both technology and power.
Sports cars of today’s society evolved from the 1920’s Model T.