What Does GT Mean In Cars?

2022-10-08 17:13:35 By : Ms. Shangye Cosmetic tools

There is an enormous variety of cars out there. Some you use for racing or rallying, others are more luxurious, and some offer exceptional towing capabilities or off-road performance. 

This variety is also represented in technical terms. There are SUVs, sports cars, and light- or heavy-duty pickups. However, the mysterious letters “GT” stand out, and to this day, many struggle to pinpoint exactly what it means. 

In this article, we will discuss what GT means. We will delve into history, explain the meaning of GT by today’s standards, and compare sports and grand touring vehicles to drive the point home. 

The term GT is an acronym for “Grand Touring” vehicles, but it has always had a loose definition. It was a term derived in Italy and initially translated to a fast, comfortable coupe or roadster large enough to accommodate a driver and a passenger. These vehicles had sufficient room for luggage and emphasized refined high-speed cruising rather than racetrack performance. 

Many Italian automakers like Ferrari or Alfa Romeo produced GT versions for many models. Cars like the 1951 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT embodied the term perfectly. They had smooth V-6 power, responsive handling, and a well-made, stylish cabin to rack up the miles comfortably.

However, after some time, GT found its way to America. Manufacturers had their definition in mind, and Ford started to show it with the first-generation 1965 Mustang. The vehicle offered a high-performance V-8 engine, an upgraded suspension, unique wheels, dual exhaust, and distinctive side stripes.

Ford’s success tempted other manufacturers and led to GT being tossed around and applied to seemingly any type of car. Even pickups in America have been manufactured in GT versions. 

Generally, GT denotes a level of sportiness ranging from slightly average to a proper race car. While GT became synonymous with sports cars, it is simply indicative of a mildly sporty trim for some. Sometimes it may refer to some well-known supercars. 

However, there are differences even between sports and GT cars. Perhaps they are minor but a much-needed distinguishment between the two.

GT cars emphasize both comfort and performance rather than speed. They find the perfect balance between these two aspects and do not sacrifice them to achieve high speeds. Their features generally boil down to this:

On the other hand, actual sports cars are tuned for performance at high speeds and are always low to the ground. The key characteristics are efficiency, speed, and handling with no deviation. However, there are even more granular definitions because the term “sports car” compares with GT in terms of broadness. 

For instance, Ferrari Portofino and Chevrolet Corvette are sports cars because they emphasize performance. But, a Corvette could never keep up with a Ferrari on a track. That is why enthusiasts coined the terms “supercar” and “hypercar” to denote the difference. 

If we narrow down characteristics, you could say that sports cars offer less in terms of engineering and features. Something like a Ford Mustang would be more about the race track than cruising around. The bottom line is that it will depend on the manufacturer.

Look at the car, its characteristics, and the options it offers, and decide what kind of car you buy yourself. Keep in mind - definitions are blurred whenever you see something classified as a sports car or GT vehicle. There are no apparent differences, and the words come attached for marketing purposes. 

Real insights from real owners

© 2022 J.D.Power. All rights reserved.

© 2019 J.D.Power. All rights reserved.