What does it mean and why you should want one

You may have seen it perched in the back of a handsome two-door coupe like a late-model S550 Ford Mustang: the letters “GT.” However, you might not know that the term GT, or “grand tourer”, is a flexible definition extending to a number of cars around the world. So what makes a car a GT and not a sports car or something else, like the Jaguar XK?

What does GT mean?

GT stands for “gran turismo”, an Italian term meaning “grand touring”. You could instantly think of long drives on jaw-dropping slivers of sidewalk when you hear it. Frankly, you wouldn’t be wrong. MotorTrend says the original definition was “between a sports car and a luxury car.” However, across countries, cultures and brands, the words “grand tourer” have evolved into a broader term covering many cars.

2011 Aston Martin V8 Vantage | National Automobile Museum, Heritage Images, Getty Images

For many fans of the style, grand tourers are powerful two-door coupes with enough comfort and storage to cover miles and cross continents. However, like the fluid term “sports car,” GT is being added to four-door sedans, small sports cars, and even electric vehicles (EVs) like the Audi e-tron GT.

What is a grand tourer used for?

Even with the flexibility of the term, it’s easy to see the purpose of a GT. First, GT cars must be a comfortable, even luxurious way to do everything from jaunts to road trips. In addition, a GT must include an element of sportiness; it must have a powerful engine or a sufficient power-to-weight ratio to make a splash.

” src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/AaWj-0t3xOE?feature=oembed” frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; automatic reading; clipboard-write; encrypted media; gyroscope; picture in picture” allow full screen>

Everywhere, publications and enthusiasts have embraced the flexibility of terminology. For example, Autocar celebrates the four-door Porsche Panamera and even the Tesla Model S as some of the best grand tourers on the market. However, even with cars like these, the criteria of speed, luxury and comfort remain; the GT car is a good way to cover the distance.

What are modern GT cars?

If you want a classic example of a GT car, you should look at powerful and luxurious coupes. For example, the Maserati GranTurismo, Jaguar XK and Aston Martin DBS are timeless examples of modern GT cars; they contain powerful engines, luggage space and luxury car-like comfort.

The Jaguar XK is an excellent example of a GT or grand touring car.
2006 Jaguar XK | National Automobile Museum, Heritage Images, Getty Images

Of course, if you want a more affordable example under this same formula, you should look at the 2015 and newer Ford Mustang. The Callum-esque styling cues of the S550-generation Mustang scream budget Aston Martin. However, beyond the ubiquity of the Ford pony car, it fits the classic formula; it has a powerful Coyote V8 engine up front, optional heated and ventilated leather seats and enough storage space to take a trip.

” src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/UHqwHhz7VwY?feature=oembed” frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; automatic reading; clipboard-write; encrypted media; gyroscope; picture in picture” allow full screen >

Should you buy a grand tourer?

A grand tourer is the only vehicle option if you want a vehicle to feel like Daniel Craig pulls over in the movie Casino Royale. Frequent travelers combine speed, luxury and the desire to travel. Of course, depending on where you live, you might want a weather-capable all-wheel-drive setup. If this is your case, check out something like the Audi A5 Coupé.

Frankly, with the flexibility of the term, you might already have a GT car. Scroll down to the next article to learn more about great touring cars like the Maserati GranTurismo or the Jaguar XK!

RELATED: 2024 Maserati GranTurismo: Don’t Hit It Until You’ve Tridented It