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Clearly if it were easy to produce attractive looking cars for cheap, there would be a lot more 'modern' and good looking cars on the road. While beauty certainly is in the eye of the beholder in many respects, I would rather have a car that looks more like a Porsche than a Prius.

So why don't most automotive companies manufacture cars that look as good as a sports car? Specifically what is the major cost driver for the production of a sports car's body?

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  • $\begingroup$ The reason i have heard is that :There is a exception to certain safety standards if your production run is smaller than XYZ. More specifically the standard relates to the crumple zone size and direction. So mass produced cars have no choice. $\endgroup$ – joojaa Aug 17 '18 at 5:08
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    $\begingroup$ Try sitting two adults and a small child in the back seat of a sports car for a 100-mile drive, and you have the reason! A car that "looks good" is no use if the customer can't use it for what they want to do. That's why more people buy vehicles that look like SUVs than vehicles that look like racing cars. $\endgroup$ – alephzero Aug 17 '18 at 7:13
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    $\begingroup$ I would say "demand". Companies only produce what benefits them financially in the longer term and if all cars were pretty as a sports car, there would be no definitive ugly car... like the Ford Ka(k). Porsche tried to build a sorry looking sports 4×4... it did not work well. The Cayenne looked like a Porsche on stilts initially and sales were positively unattractive until it was redesigned to look more like a 4×4. $\endgroup$ – Rhodie Aug 21 '18 at 2:50
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The main issue is practicality.

The vast majority of car buyers have certain expectations in terms of comfort, features and interior space which are pretty much essential in their choice of vehicle.

If you want to be able to carry 4 peopel in reasonable compfort and have the ability to carry a sensible amount of luggage then that imposes certain constraints on the overall layout.

The classic sports car is 2 seater, front engine, rear wheel drive with a low centre of mass and relatively short wheelbase ie it is designed for handling and performance first. These are the features whcih define its overall silhouette and body shape but also seriously impinge on interior space compared to say a fwd hatchback.

There are actually a few pretty decent sports cars produced in reasonable volume, things like the MR2 and MX5. These aren't particularly expensive but they still have the basic practical issues of any sports car.

So the problem is not cost as such but finding a large enough market to justify volume production for something which is inherently a niche product.

Equally even for customers who are prepared to pay a bit of a premium many will go for a high performance hatchback or a more luxuriously equipped saloon or estate.

Indeed if anything the market is skewed towards cars which look more bulky with high seating positions.

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  • $\begingroup$ Have you seen the Smart sportster? It was based upon the Lotus Elise which is much larger but still only sports enough space for two packs of Camel cigarettes and a matchbox with a driverif you're lucky. $\endgroup$ – Rhodie Nov 23 '18 at 0:41
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Your question is why don't most automotive companies manufacture cars that look as good as a sports car? Specifically what is the major cost driver for the production of a sports car's body?

Well to answer this we have to look at certain aspects in fact many aspects, like: 1) Material that is being used, sports car have a huge engine at the very least and are very well aerodynamically built. Plus generally major automotive companies prefer Aluminium or other blends of steel with plastic because they need to think about the cost. Sports cars presently prefer carbon fiber blends which itself is very costly when compared to normal chassis building materials. So the material is one very major constraint. 2) Design, when designing a normal passenger car you have priorities which restrict the flexibility of the design. For instance in passenger car you need to think about is space, road clearance and boot space where as in sports car you are more concerned about aerodynamic behaviour, decreasing the weight of the chassis so their priorities are different hence the design and look is different. Also sports cars are more sleek and have low ride height, having a low height is a passenger vehicle will make them use a higher blend of plastic which when used with steel weakens the material and will be difficult to obtain with their current manufacturing tools. So this is one of the major reasons why design differs. 3) If you build a passenger vehicle with sports car features like low ride height, low ground clearance, lesser boot space and better aerodynamic structure. The down force on the tires will increase and eventually make its users go for high end Michelin or Pirelli tires and will be an added cost. Less boot space might act as obstructing factor for the customers as passengers vehicles are meant to have a certain boot space which makes it convenient for the passengers.And decrease in ground clearance might become problematic on normal streets on certain countries and could cause damage to the vehicle. 4) Lastly the time and effort put into to build a sports car is far more than any normal passenger vehicle which is also one of the main reason there is a cost difference between them. So manufacturing a passenger car with sports car design and features will have high price tag and the company would incur losses.

So above mentioned can be one of the many reasons automotive company do not manufacture normal or passenger cars who look as good as sports car. Hope I was able to answer your doubt.

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    $\begingroup$ Not all sports cars have huge engines... some only had 1.8 litres... $\endgroup$ – Solar Mike Dec 23 '18 at 20:17

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