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These Popular Sports Cars Have The Worst Handling – HotCars

by Nov 4, 2022Blog0 comments

Handling is easily one of the most important features of a great sports car, but some manufacturers didn’t seem to get that memo.
When comparing sports cars, the main thing most gearheads focus on is how fast they can go or how powerful their engines are. We perfectly understand why, as those are the main factors that they can actually quantify.
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However, one key factor that we think should be on top of the lift but is often swept under the rug is handling. Sure, a 1500-hp engine sounds nice, but what's the point if no one can handle it? With that said, let's explore ten popular sports cars that would be even better if their manufacturers spent more time on the handling.
Porsche was looking to dominate all motorsports competitions it participated in the '90s, which is why it went all in and developed many advanced technologies for its race cars. Sadly, Porsche decided to quit racing at Le Mans and the GT1 Championship in the late '90s, leaving multi-million-dollar technologies that seemed like they'd go to waste.
Fortunately, Porsche decided to use some of the technologies in a crazy road-legal car, resulting in the Carrera GT. The Carrera GT was powered by a masterpiece of an engine – a 603-hp 5.7-liter V10 that Porsche had built for a Le Mans prototype. With a 0-60 of just over 3 seconds and a top speed of 208 mph, the Carrera GT was among the fastest 2000s sports cars. Unfortunately, its lack of key driving aids made it incredibly difficult to control.
The renowned Carroll Shelby gave us many automotive gems during his lifetime, and the Shelby Cobra is arguably the most iconic. The Cobra is one of the coolest collaborations between European and American automakers, as it was essentially a British roadster body with a monstrous American V8 under the hood.
There were several engine options available for the production Cobra, with the most powerful being a gigantic 7.0-liter V8 rated at over 425 hp. The Cobra 427 was insanely fast, but since it was a roadster with primitive brakes and no driving aids, only professionals could handle its immense power.
In the early '90s, Horacio Pagani fulfilled his childhood dream when he established a sports car manufacturing company in his own name. By the end of the decade, Pagani had already developed its first-ever car – the Zonda.
The Zonda stunned everyone with its design, sheer luxury, incredibly powerful Mercedes-Benz V12 engine, and eye-watering price tag. There was almost no way to tell that the Zonda was the first Pagani until you drove it. The Zonda was extremely hard to handle even for professional drivers like Lewis Hamilton, who said it was among the worst handling cars he'd ever driven. Thankfully, later versions of the Zonda got better.
The Viper sent shockwaves throughout the auto industry when it debuted in the '90s. For once, the American auto industry had produced a supercar that could compete with the Europeans in both looks and performance.
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Dodge equipped the Viper with the largest engine they had at the time – a humongous 8.0-liter V10 making over 400 hp. However, Dodge engineers forgot to add key driving aids like anti-lock brakes and traction control, creating the perfect recipe for disaster. It's no surprise that the Viper was nicknamed 'the widow maker'
Little-known British automaker Noble doesn't build many memorable cars, but gearheads will always remember the M600. The M600 was Noble's attempt at joining the supercar market, and it was almost successful.
The M600 had all the elements of a modern supercar – a superb design and a monstrous 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 cranking out 650 ponies. The Noble was so impressive that it earned great reviews from Jeremy Clarkson on a Top Gear episode. However, in an attempt to make the M600 as driver-focused as possible, Noble ended up making it dangerous as it didn't have key modern driving aids.
Japanese automakers dominated the '80s sports car market with their cheap, reliable, and fuel-efficient sports cars, and the Toyota MR2 was one of the best. The MR2 was loved for its European-rivaling design, powerful engines, and mid-engined layout that made it incredibly fun to drive.
However, the MR2 had a problem. Due to its mid-engined layout, it soon gained a reputation for snap oversteer.
Koenigsegg has a similar story to the aforementioned Pagani, as it was established in the '90s to build supercars. Koenigsegg's third model – the CCX showed that the Swedish brand meant business, as it had an in-house built engine that could compete with anything on the market at the time.
The engine in question was a revolutionary all-aluminum twin-supercharged V8 dishing out 806 hp, giving the CCX incredible performance. However, the CCX didn't have nearly enough downforce to control its power until Koenigsegg added a rear wing.
In the late '70s, Porsche needed to build a faster version of the popular 911 that could face off against the top European sports cars of the day. But since using bigger engines wasn't an option as a result of the strict emission restrictions of the day, Porsche decided to build its first-ever turbocharged 911 – the 930 Turbo.
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Porsche's idea worked like a charm, as the 930 Turbo was the fastest German production car at the time of its introduction. Sadly, since turbocharging technology was still new, the 930 has massive turbo lag that made it difficult to control at times.
Ferrari has a long history of building world-class sports cars, but even they have built a few bad cars in the past. One such car is the 348 TS – or 'baby Testarossa', as it's commonly referred to as.
The 348 TS had a superb wedge-shaped design and a 3.4-liter V8 under the hood generating just under 300 hp, giving it superb performance. However, unlike other '80s Ferraris, the 348 TS didn't handle its power well. It had a strange suspension system that made it hard to go around corners. It's no surprise that the 348 TS is among the cheapest Ferraris one can buy.
TVR may not get the same respect as the likes of Aston Martin, McLaren, and Jaguar, but it has also built some iconic British sports cars that many gearheads love. One of them is the 2000s Sagaris, which Jeremy Clarkson called 'the best TVR ever made'.
The Sagaris had a 400-hp six-cylinder engine paired with a five-speed manual transmission, giving it a 0-60 of 3.7 seconds and a top speed of 186 mph. However, the Sagaris is probably left to professional drivers as it doesn't have driving aids like electronic stability control and traction control.
Martin is a seasoned content creator who has been writing about cars for over a decade, and has been in love with them for even longer. Growing up, Martin was surrounded by gearheads who instilled a deep love and understanding for cars in him at a young age. He loves to learn and write about all the developments happening in the auto industry – especially in the EV space. When he’s not writing about cars, he likes to spend quality time with his wife, kids, and fur baby.