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Sport compact

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Title: Sport compact  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: WikiProject Automobiles/Templates/Timelines, Mitsubishi Eclipse, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, Sports car, Mitsubishi GTO
Collection: Sport Compact Cars
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Sport compact

1964 Renault R8 Gordini is known as the first sportive subcompact car for a public consumption price.

A sport compact is a high-performance version of a compact car or a subcompact car. They are typically front engined, front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive coupés, sedans, or hatchbacks driven by a straight-4 gasoline engine. Performance-oriented sport compacts generally focus on improving handling and increasing performance by engine efficiency, rather than increasing engine size. Sport compacts often feature external body modifications to improve aerodynamics or house larger wheels.

Typical sport compacts include such examples as BMW M135i, Ford Escort RS Cosworth, Honda Civic Si, Mazdaspeed3, Renault Clio V6, Renault Mégane Renault Sport, Peugeot 205 GTI, Volkswagen Eos, Volkswagen Golf GTI, and in the USA Chevrolet Cobalt SS, Ford Focus SVT, Honda Prelude, Hyundai Veloster Turbo, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, Mitsubishi Eclipse, Nissan Sentra SE-R Spec V, Opel Astra GTC, Toyota Celica, Scion tC and Subaru WRX.


1996 Ford Escort RS Cosworth at the 2008 Greenwich Concours d'Elegance in Greenwich, Connecticut.

It has become fairly popular to modify or customize a sport compact, commonly referred to as tuning. This has given rise to the term "tuner" for the owners of modified sport compacts (and other vehicle classes), and by extension, their automobiles. As with trucks and other vehicle categories, there is a large market for performance-enhancing equipment designed to fit small cars. Unfortunately, "tuning" is a term that is also symbolized by cosmetic and non-performance related vehicle modifications. It is the subject of some controversy whether to recognize a compact "tuner" car that has been modified to offer lesser vehicle performance than a "sport compact".

Cosmetic tuning may include changing the interior (such as changing the shift knob and steering wheel as an example) and exterior decoration, installation of a DVD combined with a powerful sound system, adding neon headlights and other aftermarket lighting systems to name but a few. Performance tuning can include the modification of the cars' aerodynamics, adding a nitrous oxide injection system, changing wheels and tires, chip tuning, installation of a Weighted Gear Knob and a short shifter, changing filters and so on.

Restoration of a Japanese import to its JDM specifications (or J-Spec) has become a fairly popular modification for many tuners in North America. It is quite common for Japanese automakers to produce or export less powerful versions of their models to the North American market. The common exception to this is the 1993-1998 Toyota Supra which received a more powerful engine for US export due to the "Gentleman's Agreement" in Japan. Such modifications usually involve swapping engines and transmissions. Popular examples include the conversion of parts from a JDM Silvia onto a USDM Nissan 240SX, or replacing JDM Honda parts and equipment (such as from a Civic Type-R) onto a United States domestic market USDM Honda Civic. Most Hondas are particularly good examples of this because of the cost saving "parts bin" designing used at Honda. To save production costs many high-end production equipment use the same or similar mounting locations as a cheaper or lower-performance alternative. These modifications can also be cosmetic, such as the replacement of the front fascia or rear spoiler with its JDM counterpart.


Volkswagen Golf I in competition

Small cars with high power ratings can be formidable

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