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A grand tourer (Italian: gran turismo), (initialised GT), is a high-performance automobile designed for long-distance driving. Any such car could be considered a grand tourer, but the traditional and most common body style is the two-door coupé with either a two-seat or a 2+2 seat arrangement. The name comes from the Grand Tour.

Grand tourers differ from typical sports cars (e.g. Lotus Elise, Porsche 911) in that they are usually larger, heavier (sometimes more than 3,500 lbs), and tend to make less compromise in comfort for the sake of driving ability. For this reason, most have front-mounted engines, which leave more space for the cabin than mid-mounted engines. They also tend to have softer suspensions to provide good ride quality. However, grand tourers do have similarities with sports cars, such as their use mainly of rear- or four-wheel drive, and the term sports car may be used to describe a car with grand touring qualities. Very high-performance grand tourers, such as the Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano, Nissan GT-R and the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, may be considered to be supercars.

Contents [hide] 1 Performance Characteristics 2 Classification 3 Examples of production grand tourers 4 See also 5 External links


[edit] Performance Characteristics Because of their powerful engines, grand tourers can still compete with many sports cars in top-speed and acceleration. However, in terms of handling they are a magnitude below sports cars, because of their weight and softer suspension. Grand tourers excel at high speed, long distance travel, or races, and make more practical daily drivers than sports cars.


[edit] Classification In certain professional motorsport classifications, such as the Grand Touring categories promoted by the FIA, the GT car is defined as "an open or closed automobile which has no more than one door on each side and a minimum of two seats situated one on each side of the longitudinal centre line of the car; these two seats must be crossed by the same transversal plane. This car must be able to be used perfectly legally on the open road, and adapted for racing on circuits or closed courses."

Using the above definition, it is still valid to place sport cars such as the Corvette and the 911 in the grand touring category since they do contain many, if not all, the amenities of a grand tourer. However, this weakness in motorsport classification sometimes blurs the line of what is considered a true production grand tourer, and may lead to mis-classification. GT was also used as Race Cars.

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