The 2000s marked the beginning of the end for analog sports cars as subsequent models started adding more and more tech, which came with a weight penalty. Even though the extra power managed to partially offset the added bulk, some of the magic was lost forever.
While engine outputs from 20 years ago pale in comparison to today’s horsepower craze, some value that raw mechanical feeling more than anything else.
A few of the greatest hits from that era include the BMW M3 CSL (E46), Ferrari 360 Challenge Stradale, and the Porsche 911 GT3 RS (996) featured here. The trio is a relevant example of when less is really more, especially in the case of these lightweight specials offering sublime handling and an excellent connection to the road.
Sure, there’s no Android Auto, no large touchscreen, no illuminated M logo in the front seats, but do you really need these in a sports car? Times have changed, and so have the customers, with people wanting a sports car with the amenities of a luxury vehicle and the practicality of a family hatchback. Automakers are trying to fit everything in their products to tick as many boxes as possible.
Where does that leave the purists? They’re now only a fraction of the customer base, hence why most companies nowadays strive to offer all-in-one models. Thankfully, there are still exceptions, which is why the Mazda MX-5 remains a strong seller despite not having too much power.
Porsche still has GT3s and BMW will dust off the CSL badge soon, so not all hope is lost. However, we have to face the truth and admit the EV era will dilute the essence of a back-to-basics sports car furthermore despite being objectively faster and more powerful.
We can all agree it’s not all about numbers, and these three cars are relevant examples.
[Source: Supercar Driver / YouTube]