Revhead Ramblings: The Best Cars From The Noughties
- March 27, 2018
- Posted by: Alex Baker
- Category: Revhead Ramblings
The ‘noughties’ could easily be described as the most influential decade in human history, defined by technological advances and political events. The automotive world changed considerably too; the introduction of infotainment systems and countless safety features shaped the cars we drive today.
That decade made some of the best cars we’ve ever seen too, the Porsche Cayman brought supercar ownership to an attainable level for the average person, while Koenigsegg conjured up a different image of supercars, particularly a Swedish one!
The history of the Bugatti Veyron’s birth is almost as fascinating as the end result itself. It was the brainchild of former Volkswagen Group boss, Dr Ferdinand Piech. When the Veyron was conceived, VW were in a ravenously acquisitive mode and their financial tentacles were stretched wide across the European market. The decisions made at this time were questionable, the idea of building a £1 million, 250mph, 1000hp leviathan was perhaps the most peculiar of them all.
Since this original car broke the top speed record, with an average pace of 253.81mph, there have been many more versions created. Currently, the Super Sport version holds the world record, this was scrutinised however as for it to be classed as a production car, it must be the same vehicle as is available to the public, by removing the limiter this was brought into question. The record of 258mph stood however.
The 2004 GT was designed in anticipation of the automaker’s centennial year and as part of its drive to revive the heritage models, such as the Mustang and Thunderbird. The prototype was showcased at the 1995 Detroit Auto Show, at the 2002 Auto Show, the ‘new GT40 Concept Car’ was unveiled. The name GT40 couldn’t be applied to the final car as the licensed owner of the name couldn’t reach an agreement with Ford for them to to buy it back.
The GT developed a unanimous admiration, despite having the ability to humble the Italians, it still wore the Blue Oval; a sign of the working man, a not too distant fantasy and the epitome of the American Dream. The GT40 took an angle grinder to Ferrari’s aristocratic halo at Le Mans, a feat that earns it love, even to this day.
In the world of high performance, limited run hyper cars, few manufacturers have the reputation of Ferrari. They’re perfect bedroom wall poster material, stunning designs and limited availability. Few other cars from Maranello can match the Enzo in this department.
The car was the perfect example of the naturally aspirated, mechanical super car that didn’t rely on endless electronic input. The car was so good, it even earned the name Enzo, after the founder himself. The Enzo was a culmination of both the F40 and F50, it took lessons from both and combined them to form what is now described as the hyper car. Ferrari have always prided themselves on producing stunning cars, this example however was focused on aerodynamic efficiency, meaning Pininfarina took a back seat whilst styling the vehicle.
The aerodynamic prowess of the car meant a static rear spoiler wasn’t necessary, the low, angular front glued the car down in fast corners and the rear diffuser with the flat floor removed the need for a large spoiler. At high speeds, an automatic spoiler would rise from the rear however. Overall, production numbers reached 400. The final car was gifted to the Pope and later sold for in excess of £1 million.
This car set new standards for performance at its price point. Not only was it ludicrously fast, but it was also extremely practical, featuring 4 seats and a decent sized boot. It had the ability to humble cars worth 5 times as much, making it a firm favourite in the automotive world.
It earned a reputation for being synthesised and uninvolving, these titles were granted from those who had never actually driven one however. It was actually a perfect blend of straight-line speed and immense cornering grip. This car retained its predecessor’s name of Godzilla, originally given to it by Australian motoring publication, Wheels.
An odd appearance on the list, but completely deserved none the less. The Prius was born when Toyota realised that the conventional internal combustion engine would be legislated out of existence. Ever tightening emissions regulations meant alternatives would need to be found. Toyota’s creation then, side stepped nearly all reservations motorists held about alternative fuel sources.
Unfortunately, the Prius suffered very slow sales in the UK, mainly due to its high price tag. Originally marketed at £16,000, a Honda Civic could be bought for just £10,000; meaning it was cheaper to run over three years and much more fun too. With better marketing, you’d expect the Prius would have sold far better in the UK, it was the first truly practical hybrid on the market, and even now it’s still on sale. Getting the most of it is a challenge though, with careful use of the throttle and brakes required to reach its peak mpg rating.
The noughties brought us some very special cars, technology is advancing at an unbelievable pace, we’ve seen more breakthroughs in the past 10 years than we’ve seen in 100 years since the car was produced. Despite this however, the cars on this list are still firm favourites in the automotive world and the technology they brought and the records they set are still inspiring manufacturers today.
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