Lotus Carlton

A sports sedan — also known as "sports saloon" — is a subjective term for a sedan/saloon car which is designed to have sporting performance or handling characteristics.


1964 Renault R8 Gordini sports sedan

The term was originally introduced in the 1930s and early examples include the Sports Saloon versions of the Rover 14[1][2] and Rover 16.[3][4]

From the 1960s, the term sports sedan was increasingly applied by manufacturers to special versions of their vehicles that allowed them to enter production cars in motor races. These cars contained modifications not normally permitted by the regulations which therefore required cars to be homologated typically by selling them in minimum numbers to the public. Some of the earlier examples were the Alfa Romeo 1900, Renault R8 Gordini (1964), Triumph Dolomite and Lotus Cortina.

In the twentieth century, sports sedans used a manual transmission and rear-wheel drive. However as other transmission types and drivetrain layouts have become more widespread for sedans in general, these have also been used by sports sedans.

North American usage

2016 Cadillac CTS-V

The term "sport sedan" was initially used in North America for luxury import sedans (i.e. BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz). These cars gave higher priority to handling than the domestic luxury sedans (i.e. Cadillac and Lincoln), which were more focused on comfort. However, since the 2000s, the domestic brands have begun producing sports sedan models such as the Cadillac CTS and Lincoln LS.[5][6][7]

Another term sometimes used is to describe sports sedans in the US is muscle car, but that normally relates to V8-powered two-door coupe American cars.[8]



  1. ^ "Rover Speed 14". www.classicandsportscar.com. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  2. ^ "1936 Rover 14 Sports Saloon P2 - Superb, Restored cond. For Sale". www.carandclassic.co.uk. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  3. ^ "1947 Rover Sixteen Sports Saloon". www.bonhams.com. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  4. ^ "1938 Rover P2 16 Sports Saloon". www.classicandsportscar.ltd.uk. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  5. ^ "2004 Lincoln LS review". www.autoblog.com. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  6. ^ "2017 Cadillac CTS V-Sport: Continuously Chasing The World's Best Sport Sedans". www.forbes.com. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  7. ^ "2018 Cadillac CTS". www.caranddriver.com. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  8. ^ Mueller, Mike (1997). Motor City Muscle: The High-Powered History of the American Muscle Car. MBI Publishing. p. 13. ISBN 978-0-7603-0196-8
  9. ^ a b "Battle of the super-saloons: BMW M5 vs. Vauxhall VXR8". Autocar. 25 April 2014. Retrieved 31 August 2014.
  10. ^ a b "Mercedes S63 AMG vs Jaguar XJR: super-saloon battle". Auto Express. 21 January 2014. Retrieved 31 August 2014.
  11. ^ http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-categories/super-saloons
  12. ^ "The Super-Saloon". City AM. April 2014. Retrieved 31 August 2014.
  13. ^ Autoexpress April 2003 "Of all the cars transformed by Rover's engineers, this motor is perhaps the most remarkable, as it turned the originally rather dowdy 45 into a fire-breathing super saloon"http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/car-reviews/36794/mg-rover-45
  14. ^ Fleet news Sept 2003 "Ford V8 power for MG's new 260 super saloon"http://www.fleetnews.co.uk/news/2003/9/25/ford-v8-power-for-mg-s-new-zt-260-super-saloon/14960/
  15. ^ Autoexpress "GM gave the engineers at Hethel a Carlton GSi 3000 and asked them to transform it into a fire-breathing super saloon - which they did. The result was the legendary Lotus Carlton, the first four-door to crack the 170mph"http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/vauxhall/vectra/15524/vauxhall-vectra

External links

Media related to Sports sedans at Wikimedia Commons