The world's best-selling sports car is not, as some would believe the Mazda MX-5. With around one million sales since it was introduced in 1989, it sits in third place. Though it is the globe's most-bought roadster (convertible sports car). In second is the Chevrolet Corvette with over 1.75 million finding homes since 1953, and it could be regarded as top-seller when it comes to two-seater sport cars.
However, overall king-of-the-hill by a long shot, and qualifying as a four-seater sports car, is the legendary Mustang. Ford has shifted well over 10 million of these since 1964. Last year it was crowned America's best-selling sports car for the last half century and a global league topper for a fifth consecutive year!
It shouldn't come as any surprise then that when FindAndFundMyCar.com recently researched and compiled a top five list of the world's favourite sports cars, the Mustang once again rightfully claimed its throne. What came as an utter shock was the car in second place.
Before revealing that, here's the methodology used: the top 34 sports cars listed on Wikipedia were run through Google search and using analytical software, it's alleged it was possible to establish which cars had the most search interest by country, from this they extrapolated the top five. The Mustang was top in 29 countries with nearly a million searches.
You may have noticed the use of the word 'alleged', because I'm little doubtful as to the accuracy of the results when it comes to certain nations. For example number two appeared to be top in 34 countries like Egypt, Jordon, Pakistan, Russia and the United Arab Emirates. The last of which I know from personal experience to be obsessed with American musclecars and European hypercars.
So what was second? The BMW i8! Yup the early petrol-hybrid attempt at creating a junior supercar produced from 2014 to 2020. I remember attending the international launch, and whilst it was innovative and attractive, it failed to meet expectations with a mere 235bhp and lacking the see-through doors of the concept.
In third place was the Audi R8 supercar that shares much of its drivetrain with the contemporary editions of the Lamborghini Gallardo and Huracan. It received 899,000 searches coming top in several South American states such Argentina, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay and Panama.
At number four was the Dodge Challenger, an evocative old-school beast of a thing, it was close on the heels of the sophisticated German with 797,000 searches and most popular in several Middle East countries such as Qatar, Bahrain and Iraq, as well as beating off the Mustang in the United States itself.
The Toyota Supra rounded out the top five, with peak popularity in places such as Bulgaria, Finland, and Indonesia though not Japan, where the BMW M3 was actually the most searched for car. Interestingly the top 'sporty car' searches in Canada and Australia were for the Kia Stinger, a Korean upstart challenger to established German legends such as the BMW M5 which, by the way, came top in South Africa.
So what of the United Kingdom? What was the most searched for sports car here? An Aston Martin? The Jaguar F-Type? Perhaps a Lotus? Nope. It was the all-action Hollywood automotive action star, the Ford Mustang again - which of course is now officially sold here. Incidentally in the Republic of Ireland, it's the Porsche Taycan, which also tops searches in China. Very strangely the Corvette did not appear on the list at all.
Back to the Mustang however, and if a gambling man, I would have put money on it being the most Instagrammed car ever, followed by the Porsche 911. In fact, according to research by Quidco Compare last year, the most Instagrammed car is something of a supercar-slaying, niche, dare I say, cult icon, known mostly only to petrolhead aficionados for its shattering performance: the Audi RS6 Avant estate car! Yup a family wagon rules social media with over 5 million posts!
How about an actual sexy supercar in second then? Nope, that goes to the magnificent Range Rover and at third is the humble Honda Civic, though perhaps not so timid in Type-R and numerous modified guises. Don't forget they were among the stars of the very first Fast and Furious movie.
Though let's not end without attempting to restore some order here. The top 'sports car' on Instagram is indeed the Ford Mustang with just over 3 million posts, followed by the Nissan GT-R and Audi R8. Strangely it's another top-three no-show for the Porsche 911 or any Italian exotica. So if you have any of these, you'd better start Instagramming hard.
There is however, one inescapable conclusion form all of the above, if you want to buy an awesomely cool sports car that everyone will love you for - get a Ford Mustang.