In the United Kingdom, the term super saloon is used instead of sports sedan. However, super saloon can also be used to describe a racing car that is based on a road-going family car, for example the New Zealand Super Saloon car racing series.
From the 1960s, the term sports sedan was increasingly applied by manufacturers to special versions of their vehicles that allowed them to enter production cars in motor races. These cars contained modifications not normally permitted by the regulations which therefore required cars to be homologated typically by selling them in minimum numbers to the public. Some of the earlier examples were the Alfa Romeo 1900, Renault R8 Gordini (1964), Triumph Dolomite and Lotus Cortina.
In the twentieth century, sports sedans used a manual transmission and rear-wheel drive. However as other transmission types and drivetrain layouts have become more widespread for sedans in general, these have also been used by sports sedans.
The term "sport sedan" was initially used in North America for luxury import sedans (i.e. BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz). These cars gave higher priority to handling than the domestic luxury sedans (i.e. Cadillac and Lincoln), which were more focussed on comfort. However, since the 2000s, the domestic brands have begun producing sports sedan models such as the Cadillac CTS and Lincoln LS.
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