As cars evolved, so did the terminology used to describe them. Frequently, words were misinterpreted and redefined, passed on from one generation to another before cementing their place in the lexicon of automobiles.
Even more frequently, manufacturers pushed the boundaries of definitions to make products sound more appealing. What follows are nine terms you’ve probably been using incorrectly your entire life. It’s a hard habit to break, so let’s get started.
5. Muscle car
A muscle car is a family car that happens to have enough power to alter the Earth’s rotation. Think about cars like the Mustang, Camaro, and Challenger; as Pony cars (read: not muscle cars), they’re three excellent examples of exactly why everyone gets this one wrong. Now, an old school GTO, or a modern Chevy SS or Charger Hellcat? Those are muscle cars.
Are you talking about a competition that involves organized wheel-to-wheel battles? No? Then you’re talking about any number of things, like a track day, or a time trial, maybe even a rally. Those can all be fantastic forms of motorsport, but they’re not racing, which adds an element of high-speed chess.