Happy Thanksgiving ladies and gentlemen! It’s a time to recollect on what we’re thankful for, but this year is a big one. It’s the last year before we reach the 2020s, so instead of showing you what we’re thankful for this year, we thought we’d go through the whole decade.
Here’s out picks of some of the greatest and most influential cars of the past decade.
2010 – Mercedes Benz SLS AMG
This car was so bad-ass when it launched in 2010 it even hid explosives in its roof. Why did it need these tools of war hanging above the driver? Well, because the SLS brought back something utterly amazing: gull wing doors.
In the event of a rollover, the explosives would go off to allow the driver to escape. At the time of its release, the SLS’s 6.2-litre V8 was the most powerful naturally aspirated engine in the world sitting at 563bhp. Jeremy Clarkson was lucky enough to shred the rear tires off of one of these in a road trip across the southern states of America.
2011 – Lexus LFA
We obviously had to include the LFA on our list. Not only the best car of 2011 probably the best car of the aughts. I’ll just get on with it.
With a howling V10 engine and a body made from carbon fiber, the LFA was a dream come true for car nuts. That howling powertrain could rev to a super bike-like 9,000rpm, was the size of a V8, and only weighed as much as a V6. The LFA was a truly incredible car, but unfortunately only 500 units were ever produced, and with this being a halo car for the company, Lexus lost money on every one it sold. But they didn’t care, because they had just built driving nirvana.
2012 – Pagani Huayra
Pagani did something no one thought it could do in 2012. It quit building the mighty Zonda. But in all seriousness, Pagani stepped up the hypercar game with the Huayra (I’m still not sure how we’re supposed to pronounce it).
Equipped with a Mercedes-AMG 6.0-litre twin-turbocharged V12 producing 720 horsepower, the Huarya could launch to 60mph in just 2.8 seconds and had a top speed of 238mph. But the best thing about the Huayra was the way it cornered. Thanks to its innovative active aerodynamics, this think would stick to the road like nothing else.
2013 – LaFerrari, Porsche 918, McLaren P1
This has to be a three way tie. You just cant pick between the LaFerrari, the McLaren P1 and the Porsche 918. What these three cars did for the entire automotive world was amazing. To put this in perspective, the first ever episode of The Grand Tour was entirely based on these three cars: the “Hypercar Holy Trinity”, as Clarkson put it.
Each of them embrace hybridity to full realise their potentials. As far as we’re concerned, these three cars laid way to the onslaught of hybrid and all-electric hypercars you read about now. And while you’d expect one to clearly come out on top, they were reviewed equally.
Each car has its own quality. the 918 for example is very planted, sterile even, with German precision. the McLaren on the other hand is a handful and bursting from the seams with brutal oversteer and a ‘I’m going to kill you, but we’re going to have fun doing it’ attitude. Each car was a game-changer.
2014 – Koenigsegg One:1
Koenigsegg pulled off what some people thought was impossible – they managed to make a car that had a one-to-one power to weight ratio. Based on the Agera and powered by the same 5.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8, they managed to produce 1,360ps of power, to a weight of 1,360kg. Koenigsegg called it a ‘megacar’.
Only six were ever made and they were all sold before production even started. This car was a gamechanger when it debuted and its famous ratio is something manufacturers still hunt for today.
2015 – Aston Martin Vulcan
The Aston Martin Vulcan is what happens when you throw the rule book out the window. First you start with a massive 7.0-litre, 820hp V12. Then you add a bodykit that produces 3,000lbs of downforce, exactly the amount as the entire weight of the car. Yes, technically this means it can drive upside down yada yada yada. More importantly it will handle on-track like a scalpel. Good thing, though, because that’s the only place you can use it. It’s not road legal. You can watch Jeremy drive it on The Grand Tour.
2016 – Bugatti Chiron
No list would be complete without a Bugatti, so obviously we had to include the Chiron, the Veyron’s successor. With insane performance figures and an even more insane body, Bugatti piloted this car to over 300mph only a few months ago.
The Chiron shares the same basic engine to the Veyron, an 8.0-litre quad-turbocharged W16. But this new revamped engine produces 1,479 horsepower. But even with the additional horsepower, Bugatti initially limited the top speed to just 261mph due to tires not being able to handle the speed. Eventually, a slight changed Chiron was announced, and as you know the rest was history.
2017 – Ford GT
After a 10-year hiatus, Ford brought back the GT. The group that designed the car did it under the nose of the big-wigs at Ford and built it to race at Le Mans, where it first made its name, fifty years ago.
Unlike the original GT40, the new GT has a V6 instead of an American V8, but it did so to save weight while cutting down emissions, too. It was successful, winning the LMGTE Pro Class on the 50th anniversary of the original Le Mans win.
2018 – Dodge Challenger Hellcat SRT Demon
Wow, that’s a mouthful, but while its name is long, its quarter-mile time isn’t. With 840bhp on tap with 100 octane gas, the Demon will run a quarter-mile in under 10 seconds, but thanks to it not coming standard with a roll cage, the NHRA doesn’t let it run on track.
The car made headlines when it was first revealed, and will still hold its own against almost every other car in the world, especially in a straight line. This car changed the way people valued fast cars, and it certainly altered what we now expect from the Dodge marque.
2019 – Aston Martin Valkyrie
The Valkyrie, like the original Holy Trinity, is a hybrid. It embraces Formula 1 technology and puts it on the road with it arguably being one of the greatest cars of the modern age. Alongside the Mercedes AMG One and the currently unnamed Porsche hypercar, it could potentially rewrite what we expect from a modern-day hypercar.
In total, it will produce 1,160hp thanks to a Cosworth tuned V12, and with Adrian Newey taking over design and implementing his Formula 1 genius, it’s going to be a killer on track. This car, ladies and gentlemen, will start the next wave of high performance automobiles, and we couldn’t be more excited.
Have we missed something? Let us know in the comments below!