Who invented the sport sedan? — The Carmudgeon Show — Ep. 16


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Who invented the sport sedan? — The Carmudgeon Show — Ep. 16
Here’s a hint: it ain’t BMW. Derek and Jason postulate that Alfa Romeo invented the sport sedan at about the same time that BMW was making things like the Isetta bubble-car.
This episode is an information-packed, hour-long discussion about the origin of the sports sedan — and what that term even means. There’s a difference between a sedan that’s fast in a straight line (Mercedes 6.3, 6.9, Maserati Quattroporte I) and a sedan that handles like a sports car (Alfa Giulietta). Giulietta really started the trend — even though sporting Jaguars like the Mk1 and Mk2 were already being regularly raced. But Alfa continued with the Giulia Super before BMW stumbled on the 2002 by accident — though it was a two-door sedan. But then BMW started to perfect the recipe with the E12 M535i - where it put its biggest engine in a sporty sedan, and then cemented success with the E28 M5. So while Alfa Romeo invented the sport sedan with the Giulietta, BMW perfected it with the M5.
Today, every serious car company makes a sporty variant of its cars, but only some really qualify as sport sedans: the Maserati Quattroporte V, the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, Aston Martin Rapide, the Mercedes 190E 2.3-16, the BMW M3 and M5. The Cadillac CTS-V was a true sport sedan, albeit 50 years late to the party, as was the Chevrolet SS, the true successor to the E39 M5, which is perhaps the best sports sedan of all time. Has Japan ever made a true sports sedan? Nissan thought so with the Maxima 4DSC, but Lexus made a true contender with the IS300 and with today’s ISF and GSF. Infiniti nailed the second-generation M45. VW’s had the Jetta GLI since the original Mk1. But the sport sedan that both Carmudgeons lust after is the Opel / Vauxhall Lotus Carlton.
The Carmudgeon Show is a comedic, information-filled conversation with Jason Cammisa and Derek Tam-Scott, two car enthusiasts who are curmudgeonly beyond their years. Proving you don’t have to be old to be grumpy, they spend each episode talking about what’s wrong with various parts of the automotive universe. Despite their best efforts to keep it negative, they usually wind up laughing, happy, and extolling their love for cars. Which just makes them angrier and more bitter.
Jason Cammisa is an automotive journalist, social-media figure, and TV host with over 250 million views on YouTube alone. Jason’s deeply technical understanding, made possible by a lifelong obsession with cars, allows him to fully digest what’s going on within an automobile — and then put it into simple terms for others to understand. Also, a Master’s Degree in Law trained him to be impossible to argue with.
Derek Tam-Scott still tries. He’s a young automotive expert with old-man taste in cars, and a Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering — which means he knows how to be civil to Jason. Or at least he tries. With a decade and a half’s experience buying, selling, driving and brokering classic and exotic cars, he’s experienced the world’s most iconic cars. And hated most of them.
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