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Supercar is a term used most often to describe an expensive high end car. It has been defined specifically as "a very expensive, fast or powerful car". Stated in more general terms: "it must be very fast, with sporting handling to match", "it should be sleek and eye-catching" and its price should be "one in a rarefied atmosphere of its own".
The supercar can take many forms including limited production specials from an "elite" automaker, standard looking cars made by mainstream companies that hide massive power and performance, as well as models that appeal to "hardcore enthusiasts" from "manufacturers on the fringe of the car industry".
"Supercar" is also a label custom car retrofitters reserve for their showcase, one-of-a-kind project vehicles; typically these are very extensively-modified collectible muscle cars, sports cars or grand touring automobiles updated to the very latest "streetable" racing technology.
Occasionally, the term Hypercar is used for cars that might be considered beyond the definition of "Supercar". This is even more difficult to define.
An advertisement for the Ensign Six, a 6.7 L (410 cu in) high-performance car similar to the Bentley Speed Six, appeared in The Times for 11 November 1920 with the phrase "If you are interested in a supercar, you cannot afford to ignore the claims of the Ensign 6." The Oxford English Dictionary also cites the use of the word in an advertisement for an unnamed car in The Motor dated 3 November 1920, "The Supreme development of the British super-car." and defines the phrase as suggesting "a car superior to all others".
In the United States, the term "supercar" predates the classification of muscle car to describe the "dragstrip bred" affordable mid-size cars of the 1960s and early 1970s that were equipped with large, powerful V8 engines and rear wheel drive. The combination of a potent engine in a lightweight car began with the 1957 Rambler Rebel that was described as a "veritable supercar". "In 1966 the sixties supercar became an official industry trend" as the four domestic automakers "needed to cash in on the supercar market" with eye-catching, heart-stopping cars. Among the numerous examples of the use of the supercar description include the May 1965 issue of the American magazine Car Life, in a road test of the Pontiac GTO, and how "Hurst puts American Motors into the Supercar club with the 390 Rogue" (the SC/Rambler) to fight in "the Supercar street racer gang" market segment. The "SC" in the model name stood for "SuperCar". The supercar market segment included regular production models in different muscle market segments (such as the "economy supercar"), as well as limited edition, documented dealer-converted vehicles.
During the late 20th century, the term supercar was used to describe "a very expensive, fast or powerful car with a centrally located engine", and stated in more general terms: "it must be very fast, with sporting handling to match", "it should be sleek and eye-catching" and its price should be "one in a rarefied atmosphere of its own".
On Bedford Autodrome, tested by Evo Magazine, the R8 was faster than the Lamborghini Gallardo.
The R8 was awarded Best Handling Car and Fastest Car In The World of 2007 by Autocar magazine.
It was awarded SportsCar of the year by German magazine Autobild.
Playboy magazine awarded it Car of The Year for 2008.
The Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) named the R8 Canadian Car of the Year, and, in addition, gave it the Best New Prestige Car and Best New Design awards for model year 2008.
Fifth Gear named the R8 both the Best fast car and the Car of the Year 2007.
Automobile Magazine awarded the R8 the 2008 Automobile of the Year.
The Audi R8 was named 2008 "MSN Car of the Year", with 42% of the votes, beating the Ferrari F430 into 2nd with 13%, and the BMW M3 into 3rd with 11%.
The JB car pages awarded the Audi R8 its maximum rating of 5 stars.
In the 2008 World Car of the Year awards, the R8 was awarded World Performance Car of the Year and World Design Car of the Year.
European Car magazine rated the R8 as Car of the Year.
Motor Klassik readers named the Audi R8 the "Classic Car of the Future 2009" in the Sports Car category.
The Ferrari California is a grand touring sports car. It is a two door "2+2" hard top convertible. The California is powered by front-mid mounted gasoline direct injection 4.3 L (260 cu in) V8 with 460 PS (338 kW; 454 hp). The car revives the "California" name used for the late-1950s Ferrari 250 GT.