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Can Sports Cars Tow?

The Auto Sunday is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Can sports cars tow? Can a Lambo pull a trailer behind it cross-country? Is it possible to live the mobile life with a Bugatti Veyron? Is this the reason why the Porsche Cayenne was made in the first place?

The answer is NO. You can still do it, but sports cars aren’t designed to tow anything behind them. It just isn’t safe for you and others using the road.

The torque needed to pull a large object behind your sports car would damage your transmission. You won’t be able to hit your top speed. In motion, at the rate of acceleration you’re going, stopping your sports car will cause too much stress on the chassis engine and brakes.

So, do you really want to do that to your expensive sports car?

Does your sports car have this? No? Then it isn’t meant to tow anything.

But Can I Tow A Trailer Behind My Car?

Yes you can. Conventional cars have been used in the past to tow small trailers. You can tow a trailer if your full-sized sedan (or larger car) is rated for it. For compact and subcompacts, well, you might be pushing it a little too much.

To learn more about your towing capacity, refer to your owner’s manual. Or check the door sill on the driver’s side of the car.

What Is Towing Capacity?

To put it in very simple terms, this is how heavy you can safely tow behind you. Exceeding this, even by just an ounce, can seriously put you and everyone around you in danger.

Your towing capacity is determined by your vehicle’s manufacturer and they take into account everything including your GVWR, GAWR, GTW and more.

Here’s what all those acronyms mean:

GVWR

Gross Vehicle Weight Rating

This is the manufacturer’s prescribed maximum loaded weight of your vehicle. This takes into account the weight of the car, passengers and cargo. Basically, this is the weight of the car plus you and everything else that you load into it.

GCWR

Gross Combined Weight Rating           

This is the maximum towing weight of a vehicle. GCWR is the maximum combined weight of your vehicle with a trailer attached. This is prescribed by the vehicle manufacturer based on the strength of the frame, suspension, axles and others of either vehicle.

This pertains to the combined weight of both the tow vehicle and the trailer together. This includes all cargo loaded into both vehicles.

sports car towing another vehicle
One of the rarest sights you’ll ever see: A sports car pulling another vehicle behind it.

GAWR

Gross Axle Weight Rating       

GAWR is the maximum weight that can be placed on the vehicle’s front or rear axles. Each axle has its own individual rating. This is prescribed by the manufacturer. Check the ratings on your owner’s manual. To understand this better, FR and RR stand for Front Rating and Rear Rating respectively.

Going beyond the GAWR is going to put unnecessary stress on your vehicle’s axles.

GTW  

Gross Trailer Weight 

GTW stands for Gross Trailer Weight. This is the total prescribed weight of your trailer plus cargo. You can find out more about this by checking the markings on the trailer. To get an accurate reading, weigh your trailer first before putting all the equipment in and weighing it again.

TW

Tongue Weight

TW stands for tongue weight and the total weight at the coupling point. This is the downward force exerted on the rear end of the tow vehicle by the trailer. This affects the level of control you have on your trailer based on the weight of the cargo affecting the portion where it joins with the tow vehicle.

Curb Weight

Curb weight is the total vehicle weight of the vehicle as it sits parked at the dealership. This is basically your car empty of all cargo and passengers but with the fluids in it to make it run properly. Curb weight changes based on the amount of fluids present.

You could also say that this is the total weight of an empty vehicle.

Dry Weight

Dry weight is vehicle weight without fluids. That means no gas, no oil, no water, just all the metal parts, dry as a bone. This also means no passengers and no cargo in the vehicle. This is the lightest your vehicle will ever be.

Payload

Payload is the weight of your cargo inside the vehicle plus the passengers.

These are some things you need to consider before towing anything behind your car whether it’s a sports car or not. Take these to heart and make sure you base your calculations properly using the data above.

The 6 Worst Towing Mistakes

We’ve seen the news. Pileups on the freeway caused by a runaway trailer. Costly property damage due to an overturned camper. Boats, bikes, underwear (?) littered across the road because you forgot to take the necessary precautions. That can be very embarrassing not to mention costly on your end.

So, here are a few reminders to make your trip more enjoyable and worry-free. 

Not Knowing Your Ratings

You are seriously putting yourself at risk if you decide to tow anything behind your car without putting in the right calculations or at least knowing your ratings.

Overloading your vehicle and trailer can lead to brake failure, broken suspension, overheating, or blown-out tires.

We’ve given you a list of terminologies up top. If you’re still unsure, you can always refer to your car’s manual. You can also find your vehicle’s specs on the driver’s side door sill. For your trailer, you can find it right next to the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) plate.

Always take note of your vehicle’s GVWR, GCWR, GAWR, Towing capacity and tongue weight. Forgetting these things can lead to disastrous results, not to mention very expensive fines, penalties and worse lawsuits.

You can always take your car and trailer to a weigh station to find out if you’re still within the limit.

Be Mindful Of Local State Regulations

Different states have different towing requirements and you must comply with each. Some have more demanding standards while others are a bit more lax.

Speed, height, width and number of towed vehicles also apply.

For good measure, find the one with the most demands and use that as the standard to reduce the risk of bringing a ticket home as a souvenir.

If In Doubt, Check The Brakes Multiple Times!

Towing a trailer behind your vehicle changes its total weight making it a longer process to stop or reduce your speed. It is for this reason that trailers weighing over 1,500 lbs have a separate braking system.

There are two types of trailer brakes. Electronic brakes (can be remotely controlled) and Surge brakes  (momentum activated hydraulic brakes). Of the two, electronic brakes are more widely accepted across all states.

These brakes help improve control of the trailer and stops the trailer should it get separated from the tow vehicle.

Make sure the wires powering your trailer is connected properly to your tow vehicle. Don’t let the wires drag on the road. Provide enough slack, so it doesn’t get disconnected when making turns. Ensure your trailer’s lights, brake lights, taillights, turn signals and reflectors are intact and working.

Disorganized Cargo And Imbalanced Load

Distribute your cargo evenly within the trailer. Place the bulk of the weight nearest to the tow vehicle for easy control. Secure the cargo, so it doesn’t shift and affect your center of gravity.

You don’t want to have a trailer that’s off its balance when traveling down the highway even at moderate speeds.

Forgetting You’ve Got A Trailer Behind You

This does happen. Sometimes complacency takes place and you forget you’ve got a trailer behind you leading to driver errors. Turning too fast, braking too late, accelerating too abruptly, these are just examples of drier errors that happen while towing a trailer.

Therefore, always be mindful of your vehicle’s changed dynamics due to the added weight of the trailer behind you.

Check Your Tire Pressure

Added weight to the tires will lead to gradual deflation. Therefore, check your tire pressure every time you make a pit stop to ensure it is still at its optimal PSI level. Driving with an overloaded trailer is bad enough as it is you don’t want to add getting a flat tire. On the other hand, driving with underinflated tires can lead to a blow-out.

You don’t want that.

sports car on a trailer
This is the proper position for a sports car and a trailer. Not the other way around.

In Conclusion:

So, can sports cars tow anything behind them? The answer is no. You shouldn’t even try to attempt it.

You’re only putting yourself and others in harm’s way. Use a proper vehicle to tow a trailer.

Sports cars are meant to be free and unfettered by the shackles of mundane tasks like towing and hauling cargo. These cars are meant to fly. 

Let them fly. Free.

Don’t let sports cars tow.

Related Questions:

Is My Sports Car Pretty Much Useless?

No. Sports cars are designed for recreational activities. In that area, it exceeds expectations. It was never designed to do other things that most conventional cars are expected to perform. Once you’ve got your head wrapped around that, then you’ll realize that sports cars are useful in their own way.

Will Towing Heavy Objects Affect The Transmission On My Sports Car?

Yes. You run the risk of totally damaging your entire transmission system. This can make you lose compression. Aside from the transmission system, your brakes are also going to take a lot of abuse. We haven’t even started discussing your poor engine and chassis. So, don’t let sports cars tow.

How Much Trouble Can I Get If I Tow A Trailer And Something Untoward Happens?

A lot of trouble. Even a single ticket can cost you a lot of money and time. If you cause any property destruction or traffic accidents, you’re looking at hefty fines and possibly a lawsuit. You’re lucky, if only one person will file a case against you. If you’re unlucky, you’re facing a class suit.

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