2019 is nearly over — and with it, the decade sometimes known as the Twenty-Teens. As we enter the new, hopefully-roaring Twenties, it’s time to reflect on the decade gone by in the automotive world.
It was a time of profound change…well, outside of Toyota’s SUV and truck lineup. We saw the last vestiges of the gasoline-swilling, naturally aspirated past begin to be eclipsed by the harbingers of a vibrant electric future. And we met a whole bunch of cars that we’re sure will be greatly appreciated once that battery-powered tomorrow finally gets here.
Here, then, are 11 cars from the 2010s that have a great chance to become future classics.
BMW 1M (2011-12)
For a fleeting moment in the early Twenty-Teens, BMW traveled back in time. The 1M was a stubby, chuckable, rear-wheel-drive coupe with a 335 horsepower inline-six engine and a six-speed manual, a direct homage to the cars it made decades earlier.. BMW’s “limited run” wound up being more than twice as many cars as they’d first intended.
Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio (2015-Present)
Ferrari will never make a V6 sport sedan, but this stylish Alfa with a 505-horsepower powerplant is as close as the world will ever come to it. Its handling is majestic. Its engine roar sounds sublime. It’d be great if it were reliable…but then it wouldn’t be an Alfa.
Cadillac CTS-V Wagon (2010-14)
GM went bankrupt during the economic crisis, which was also right around the time Americans were converting from sedans and vans to SUVs and crossovers. Cadillac, bless their hearts, felt this was the optimal time for a 500-plus horsepower station wagon with a manual transmission.
Ferrari 458 Speciale
Ferrari has always produced special cars, and will continue to for a while. But the 597-hp 458 Speciale will always be the last, and perhaps greatest, of the mid-engine, naturally-aspirated V8 machines.
Porsche Cayman GT4 (2015)
Some might argue the Cayman/Boxster 718 is Porsche’s best all-around car, which is saying something. It’s hard to find a purer version than the 2015 GT4 edition, with its naturally aspirated 3.8-liter flat-six, six-speed manual, and a curb weight below 3,000 pounds.
Mazda RX-8 (2003-12)
Mazda may have a new rotary engine sportscar coming, but as of now, the RX-8 remains the last of the breed. The tiny 1.3-liter engine put out a stonking 232 horsepower…unfortunately, with terrible fuel efficiency.
Audi TT RS (2012-13)
Audi produced a fine TT RS for the third generation of the car. But the second generation was where the Bauhaus beauty received the classic Audi 2.5-liter inline-five and a six-speed manual transmission.
Ford F-150 Raptor (2017-Present)
The Raptor redefined the full-size pickup market in the 2010s. The newer version was even more badass, with a powerful twin-turbo V6 putting out 450 hp and 510 lb-ft and a weight loss of about 500 pounds thanks to light-weight aluminum construction.
Jaguar I-Pace (2018-Present)
It’s hard to pick just one Ian Callum-penned Jaguar. But the I-Pace is the most revolutionary. It dominated the automotive industry awards in 2019, ultimately grabbing the crowns for World Car of the Year, Best Design and Best Green Car. It’s maybe the first true example of a storied manufacturer translating its essence into an EV.
Mercedes-AMG E 63 S (2017-present)
The AMG E63 S is the star athlete of Mercedes sedans. It has 603 hp and 627 lb-ft of torque, and accelerates from 0-60 mph in 3.3 seconds. It has a Drift Mode, allowing it to transition seamlessly from stately all-wheel-drive dad car to absolute tire shredder. Oh, and did we mention you can get it as a wagon?
Volkswagen GTI (2016-Present)
Volkswagen produced one of the best handling driver’s cars on the road, period, with the seventh-generation GTI — and they did it for a starting price under $30,000. The eighth-generation coming in 2021 has a high bar to reach.
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