Top 10 Cars of the Decade
Top 10 Cars of the Decade
As we come to the end of another decade it’s important to look back on humanity's achievements over the years. 2010 has been a hell of a decade, vaping hit the ground running and hasn't stopped yet, Video Games exploded into an international phenomenon with more approachable titles and consoles than ever, and just the other day we saw a president get impeached for the 3rd time in history. But today we’re taking a step back from vaping and vape news to cover something even more dear to this writer's heart. That’s right, today we’re looking at the top 10 cars of the decade!
10. Toyota Supra
The Toyota Supra was the dream car of street racers everywhere, as seen in the popular movie series Fast and Furious. From its 4th generation debut in 1993 to the end of the original production in 2002 this was an icon in the car world. Part of the reason for the Supra’s success in the 4th generation was due to the amazing 2JZ engine. Car guys found out pretty quickly on the early Supras that you could pretty easily pump up the boost pressure coming from the turbos and churn out 500+ hp without loosing out on reliability. The reason being that the 2JZ engine was made to last, built out of cast iron block and coming with a forged steel crankshaft, making it great for aftermarket tuning.
Now it seems the Supra is back but only time will tell whether or not the new Supra turns out to be the same tuner friendly platform. This latest version borrows an engine from BMW but gives a nod to the original Supra in its design. This one barely made its way onto my top 10 list mostly because, from looking at the specs, this car is a Supra in name only.
9. Alfa Romeo 4C
A gorgeous reimagining of the classic Alfa Romeo style paired with a modern chassis and powerplant. Alfa Romeo was once a name synonymous with class and poise, a car manufacturer that focused on beauty and styling, with performance and reliability treated as afterthoughts. Obviously, in a world filled with auto recalls and lawsuits against manufacturers, that devil-may-care attitude that Alfa traditionally lived by isn’t really a viable option anymore. So what do we have with the 4C? Well it’s a gorgeous vehicle by any measure, and thanks to stricter manufacturing regulations and requirements it actually works too!
8. BMW i8
The cheapest supercar around and the first production car with FRICKIN LASER BEAM headlights. I remember when the i8 first came out and was instantly ridiculed because of its gas/electric hybrid powertrain, people said there’s no way you can have a hybrid supercar and be successful. But the i8 proved all of the naysayers wrong with its 0-60 time of 4.4 seconds and solid sales figures.
7. Tesla Roadster
The first electric car to travel more than 200 miles on a single charge and also the first car to be launched into space! Hopefully, that’s a record that won’t be broken anytime soon. Elon Musk has inspired an almost cult-like following for the Tesla vehicles and this was the car that started it all, the roadster proved once and for all that all-electric vehicles could be a viable replacement for internal combustion engines.
6. Cadillac CTS-V Wagon
First shown in 2010 at the New York International Auto Show, the near 600hp CTS-V Wagon debuted to much celebration from Minivan and SUV driving dads everywhere. Finally, there was a sports car that you could pick the kids up from practice in the afternoon and then hit the drag strip with and win some pink slips at night.
The CTS-V is an achievement in ridiculousness and definitely deserves a spot as one of the top cars of this past decade. Any station wagon that can hit 0-60 mph is 4 seconds flat with a top speed of 200mph is something special. Not to mention they were manufactured in such low amounts that they’re actually pretty rare. When I say rare I mean RARE, in fact, there have been less than 1,200 CTS-V Wagons sold since they first launched in 2011. How rare is 1,200 cars in 9 years? Well, Lamborghini has sold more than 7,000 vehicles in the US over that same timespan. So as it turns out, you’re more likely to see a Lambo driving around than you are to see a CTS-V Wagon!
5. Jeep Gladiator Pickup
The most iconic 4x4 since the 40s just got a much-requested update. Ever since it’s invention and implementation as the workhorse of the American army in World War 2 the Jeep has been recognized worldwide as one of the best offroad vehicles money can buy. I actually learned how to drive manual in an old 90’s Jeep Rubicon and I loved every second of bouncing around in the cab while working a 2ft shifter like a semi driver. After WW2 ended Jeep came out with the Jeep Station Wagon, the Jeepster convertible, and last but not least the Jeep Truck. Most of those faded into obscurity, but now, the Jeep Truck is making a comeback!
The Jeep Gladiator is the answer to years of jeep fans begging for a truck bed on the back of their 4x4s. This is one of the few times in history that an auto-manufacturer has listened to the customers and come up with a design that makes them happy.
4. Ford Focus RS
From Ken Block’s Gymkhana videos to the suburbs, the Ford Focus RS shows us how hot hatchbacks got hot again. Praised by young folk and envied by the old, the RS is the answer to rising gas prices and slow but efficient compact cars. Powered by an upgraded version of the 2.3L I-4 engine found in the Eco Mustang, the Focus RS develops 350hp and 350lb of torque. Couple that with the new “Drift” mode setting, which allows drivers to focus up to 70% of the torque output to the rear wheels, and then up to 100 percent of that output to either side to enable torque vectoring. Not to mention the drift mode also works with stability control, so you can pull out of a drift relatively easily.
I think this is an important entry on the list because the Focus RS shows us a glimpse into the future. With gas-guzzling muscle cars on the way out and hybrids/electric vehicles becoming more popular it’s refreshing to see a car like the Focus RS squeezing as much horsepower as it can out of the 4 cylinder power plant. I think compact cars packed to the brim with turbos and horsepower is a good replacement to the huge and inefficient V8 engines of old.
3. Dodge Viper ACR
Like many young boys around the world I too grew up with a dodge Viper poster on my wall, and for me it was undeniably the pinnacle of American sports cars. Corvettes were always (and still are) something for old men with golf clubs and kids with car dealership owning daddies, the Viper was the car for rebel who made it on his own. That bad boy persona was only amplified when they made the original Vipers illegal in America because they were so unsafe (No speed limiters or airbags) which just made their infamy and cool-factor even greater.
That’s one of the beautiful things about the Viper, it was designed to be as fast as possible with no thought given to safety features. If you drove a Viper fast you had to be a damn good driver to keep it under control, these cars were known to slip out at high speeds and killed many a driver who thought they knew what they were doing. This last hurrah of a dying breed, the Viper ACR, was a hail marry effort from Dodge to create a track thrashing Viper and send the car out with a bang.
2. Koenigsegg Agera RS
The world’s NEW fastest car at 277.9 mph, Koenigsegg reminds us that no matter how many billions of dollars VW spends on R&D for Bugatti they’re no match for a couple of mad lads from Sweden. I was very tempted to let Bugatti take this spot, but we can’t have a list of the top 10 and not include the world’s fastest car. I think Bugatti still has a place on honor among the top contenders for reinspiring another generation of car lovers with its ridiculous 250+ mph top speed and its insane engine specs. But as Guinness world records will verify, the Agera RS hit 273mph on its top speed runs compared to the Bugatti’s 268mph.
Just by looking at the engine specs you can tell the Swedes have something up their sleeves with the Agera RS. I mean it’s powered by a 5.0 L V8 with twin turbos and it makes almost 1200hp! Compare that to the 8.0 L V16 with 4 turbos (W16 really since it’s just 4 4-cylinder engines bolted together) that Bugatti has to use to make that same horsepower rating.
1. Dodge Challenger HellCat + Jeep Grand Cherokee HellCat
Bringing the muscle back to muscle cars with 707hp and more torque than anyone can handle. This one is a two-parter because the HellCat engine is really the star of the decade in my opinion. I can’t think of any other time a manufacturer developed an engine for both a sports car and an all-terrain SUV. Not to mention that the AWD system put in the Trackhawk had to be built from the ground up because no one had a ready-made AWD transmission capable of handling 700hp. Plus, you can get all of this, the 700+ hp, the computerized launch control, on the fly ECU and engine tweaking, basically a dragstrip ready monster all for under $100,000.
I actually got to drive one of the first HellCats off the trucks in NY back when I was working in the car industry and it was unlike anything I’ve ever driven. You’re sitting there, in a comfortable Nappa leather seat with plenty of visibility and all the regular controls you’d expect in a basic sedan, but when you put your foot down you feel the surge of raw power. With the back tires scrambling for traction and a wide grin on my face, as I gripped the steering wheel with white knuckles I knew then and there that this was a special vehicle. The Challenger HellCat puts American muscle cars back in the spotlight and harkens back to the muscle car designs of yesteryear. Finally, red-blooded Americans could get a V8 straight-line car for a relatively affordable price tag.
What do you think of our list? What was your favorite car of the decade? We'd love to see your thoughts in the comments below!