What does the acronym GT mean on cars?


Nov 13, 2023
Hey guys, this is my first post and just today I was writing about GTs and suddenly I started researching what they are, so I hope you like what I found. First of all, an apology for my "terrible English", unfortunately it is not my native language. So, lets start....

A Gran Turismo car, or GT, refers to a specific style of sports car that combines comfort and performance. The term GT comes from the Italian 'gran turismo,' which translates to 'grand touring' in English. These cars are designed for high-speed driving over long distances, offering a mix of performance attributes and luxury. Typically, GT cars feature a two-door coupe format with a front engine, rear-wheel drive, and a seating configuration for two people or 2+2, which means two front seats and two rear seats.

The concept of GT cars originated in Europe in the mid-20th century. These vehicles are typically capable of maintaining high performance consistently over long distances. Additionally, they often blend sporty elements with luxury features, allowing drivers to enjoy extended trips with comfort and style. The first car to carry the GT denomination was the 1929 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Gran Turismo, setting the standard for future models in this category.


  1. Ferrari 250 GT
  2. Jaguar E-Type
  3. Aston Martin DB5


  1. Ferrari Roma
  2. Bentley Continental GT
  3. Lexus LC500
  4. Aston Martin DB12
  5. Bentley Flying Spur
  6. Alfa Romeo GT
  7. Maserati 3200 GT
  8. McLaren GT
  9. Nissan GT-R
  10. Ferrari F12berlinetta
  11. Mercedes-AMG GT
  12. BMW Series 6
  13. Jaguar XK
  14. Maserati GranTurismo
  15. Mercedes-Benz CL
  16. Aston Martin DB9
  17. Bentley Brooklands
  18. Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupé
  19. Aston Martin DBS
  20. Ford Shelby Mustang GT500
  21. Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S
  22. Maserati Gran Turismo S
  23. Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano
  24. BMW M635 CSI
  25. Lamborghini Espada
  26. BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe
  27. Ferrari Monza

And well, these are the sources I used to prepare this text.

Your post is generally true for European street car manufacturers. American and Asian street car manufacturers have muddied the waters somewhat. As you wrote, European GT cars are usually larger models with high horsepower - and some American manufacturers also follow that formula. But Americans and Asians also apply "GT" to smaller car models - often, they may offer a base version of a car and then a "GT" version that may have a bit beefier suspension and some more horsepower... although some "GT" packages were hardly more than cosmetic changes.

In racing, there are sports car / road racing organizations that sometimes use that moniker. It's more popular overseas - here is a link to an article that discusses several of them: https://jalopnik.com/understanding-gt-sports-car-racing-a-class-by-class-gu-5949938

In American oval track and drag racing "GT" doesn't really apply, beyond some car models themselves using "GT" as part of a brand name. Since "GT" cars traditionally were first manufactured for the street, technically any car with a complete or partial tube chassis is not a "GT". For some "Street Stock" and "4 Cylinder" small track classes I have seen rules that address the use of "GT" model cars or their parts.
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