Man and super-man, car and super-car. In both cases, the latter is elevated beyond the ordinary, possessed of capabilities the everyday can only dream of. When it comes to cars, the common thing to do is outline their performance as it compared to cars of the day – more powerful than six Honda Civics and that sort of thing.
As a result, supercars can both capture the imagination, and at the same time seem totally irrelevant. They're not racing cars, that's a separate type of automobile, fitted with slick tires, unforgiving interiors, and fire-suppression systems. So what's the point?
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Well, generally speaking, the supercar is simply the pointy end of the passenger car industry, out there on the bleeding edge of technology and performance. They lead the way for the cars you can eventually buy in a showroom, and as such, it's useful to study them. Yes, they're the best of the breed, but despite the sky-high prices, the supercar is more than just poster material. They're a little glimpse of the future in earth-bound four-wheeled form. Here's how the current crop of cars came to be.