Home Cars 20 Cars That Defined The Auto Industry Over The Last Decade

20 Cars That Defined The Auto Industry Over The Last Decade

Vukasin HerbezFebruary 19, 2020

11. Alpine A110

The Alpine A110 is the epitome of the perfect driver’s car even though it isn’t available in the U.S. If you’re familiar with the classic Alpine, you’ll instantly recognize the shape and the idea behind this fabulous car. It’s a small, lightweight sports coupe with a rear-mounted engine and rear-wheel drive. All that makes it capable of providing lots of driving excitement with unparalleled road holding and feel.

That was the exact idea behind the new Alpine A110. This small coupe weighs just over a ton and has a 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder powering the rear wheels. The power is more than adequate with 252 HP running through the seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. The specifications sound fantastic since the acceleration times are under five seconds. They just released this car, but most Americans are afraid it will not come to the states anytime soon.

Why is it important? The Alpine A110 is the lightest and most agile driver-focused car in the last 30 years of the automotive industry.

10. Shelby GT350

For those who want a classic Mustang with Shelby heritage and unbelievable V8 performance, the new GT350R is a perfect choice. Even though Ford based the Shelby GT350 on the Mustang GT, much of the suspension, design, aero package, and engine are new. The most significant single difference is the fantastic Voodoo engine, which has 5.2-liters of displacement, 526 HP, and 429 lb-ft of torque.

The main feature of this high-revving powerplant is flat-plane crank technology. It allows the big V8 to scream to almost 9,000 rpm. It is the same technology that exotic manufacturers like Ferrari use. However, this is the first time a muscle car has had such an advanced engine.

Ford’s investment into the Shelby GT350R paid off since the performance is mind-boggling at 3.9 seconds to go from 0 to 60 mph. But the numbers don’t do justice to this car. All you have to do is look at it to see how advanced and attractive it is.

Why is it important? The Shelby GT350R pays homage to the dawn of American sports cars with the best of both worlds: a muscle car with European manners.

9. Chevrolet Corvette C8

The revolutionary C8 Corvette debuted in July 2019 as the 2020 model. It’s one of the most important Corvettes they ever made, and for four reasons. First, it has new architecture; a change that hasn’t happened since the early ’80s and the C4 generation. Second, Chevrolet based it on a completely new concept with a mid-engine layout.

Third, this Corvette will have an entirely new design. Last but not least, the car will come with a much-improved engine and an upgraded performance. You can expect that this car will be a Ferrari-beating beast from GM, just as the Corvette has always been.

Why is it important? If GM is going for Ferrari, it finally has the right weapon.

8. Toyota Rav4

The Rav4 has been around since 1994. It’s the quintessential compact SUV/Crossover that’s popular and in demand all over the world. The fourth generation, which Toyota sold between 2012 and 2018, declared itself as one of the best-selling SUVs in the world as well as a true definition of the segment.

That is why the Rav4 is one of the most important cars of the last decade. It perfectly represents the current trends in the industry, and it is a well-designed, intelligent product with a wide range of equipment, engines, and features that appeal to the modern customer.

Why is it important? The Rav4 is the definition of a modern SUV: boring but practical.

7. Jeep Gladiator

Ever since the Gladiator Concept, Jeep fans have been highly vocal in demanding that Jeep produce a pickup version of their favorite SUV. Even some small, independent specialist shops did the conversion. But there was no factory model, at least until now. For 2019, Jeep prepared a new Gladiator truck with an all-new platform, engines, interior and overall design. Jeep enthusiasts around the world are excited. Now they can finally use their Wranglers for work and carrying cargo, instead of only for off-roading.

Jeep based the Gladiator on a longer Wrangler Unlimited chassis, creating the perfect off-road truck that Jeep enthusiast wished for decades. It is rugged yet still comfortable and comes with a wide range of features and equipment.

Why is it important? American as apple pie, Jeep finally offered its customers a proper pickup bed in the form of the Gladiator.

6. Bentley Bentayga

The world of luxurious SUVs has a new king in the form of Bentley’s super-powerful, super-comfortable and terribly expensive Bentayga. The $229,000 premium class SUV has two engine choices, a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 that produces 542 HP and 6.0-liter W12 engine that pumps out 600 HP. Both engine choices make this 5,400-pound house on wheels go from 0 to 60 mph in just four seconds.

You may think a vehicle like this is also capable of crossing deserts and climbing mountains, but no. This SUV is not an off-roader. In fact, it is quite the opposite. It is an insanely expensive luxury wagon with all-wheel drive and an SUV body.

Why is it important? The Bentayga is the first car with total SUV dominance and the first super-luxury SUV ever.

5. Lincoln Navigator

When the first Navigator rolled off the assembly line in 1998, nobody expected that it would be such a successful, influential model. It wasn’t the first full-size luxury SUV, and it wasn’t the biggest, but its combination of luxury, style, power, and performance was so captivating, it influenced the industry.

Unfortunately, Ford concentrated on the luxury aspects instead of off-road characteristics. Despite the fact that the Navigator has a capable chassis and engine, it was too heavy for off-road driving. But that is perfectly fine since the Navigator has lots of other qualities.

Why is it important? If you think that classic American luxury and opulence is gone, think again. It’s just taken a different form.

4. Ford GT

Ford’s newest and most advanced supercar is the mighty GT. Armed with a strong racing heritage and the latest technology, the GT is one of the best and fastest cars you can buy today.

The engine of the new GT is particularly impressive. It is a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 that delivers 656 HP, which gives the car a 0 to 60 mph time of 2.8 seconds and a top speed of 216 mph. It is a mid-mounted unit that makes the new GT handle like a dream and win races, too.

Why is it important? It is 1966 all over again, and again, and Ford won.

3. Ford F-150 Raptor

The Ford F-150 Raptor has a 3.5-liter turbocharged V6 that produces 450 HP and 510 lb-ft. With its 10-speed automatic transmission, it has a sub-five-second acceleration time. Although the impressive figures suggest this is an exotic supercar, in reality, this is a full-size pickup truck. Best of all, it comes with room for five people and has a regular truck bed in the back.

But this is not an ordinary pickup. This Ford Raptor is the closest thing to a full Baja 1000 racing vehicle you can put the license plates on.

Why is it important? Would you like a vehicle that takes you across the desert during the day and then out to a fancy dinner at night? It’s possible with the Ford F-150 Raptor.

2. Dodge Viper ACR

Dodge discontinued the last generation Viper in 2017 due to slow sales. However, a car like the Viper wouldn’t go without a fight, so they presented a special edition Dodge called the 2016 Viper ACR. It is the best and one of the fastest track-ready cars in the world. As you may already know, ACR Vipers were always a car purist’s dream. They are specially-prepared road/track cars with immense possibilities and fantastic performance numbers.

The secret of the ACR Viper is the slightly more powerful engine that produces 645 HP. The car lost significant weight and has a perfectly-balanced chassis, race tires and powerful Brembo brakes. Unfortunately, at $120,000, the Viper isn’t a bargain by any means but is worth every cent.

Why is it important? The Dodge Viper is probably the best American sports thoroughbred and the future classic.

1. Hyundai Veloster N

The standard Hyundai Veloster is an odd-looking hatchback. It has an unusual three-door layout with two doors on the right side and one on the left. Apart from this quirky feature, the Veloster, in its standard guise, is a boring car without any real significance to bring to car enthusiasts. However, the N version is a different story.

The Veloster N delivers 250 to 275 HP thanks to its turbocharged engine. It comes with a trick front differential, a different suspension, and an exterior design package. With all of this, the nature of the car has changed from a boring economy hatchback to one of the best hot hatches on the market.

Why is it important? The Hyundai Veloster N may just save the hot hatch market.

These are the most 20 important cars that have shaped the industry in the past decade. Each of these cars has left a mark on the industry and each car continues to influence future models.

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