Recent Cars That Will Become Future Classics & True Icons
The current times we find ourselves in are truly unprecedented for a myriad of reasons. As far as automotive-related things are considered, this is a very unique and once-in-a-generation point in history. More specifically, we are at the crossroads of both a major shift of thinking and drastic change of direction.
With EVs now at the forefront of the industry paradigm, it is clear that electrification of the automobile is the (near) future – and as a current owner of one, I can back up that claim with some first-hand experience. While all-out electrification is sometime away, widespread hybridization will certainly be bridging the gap until that day inevitably arrives.
So what does this mean for today’s (mostly) combustion-engined cars? Well for starters, many of the finest examples of such automobiles will truly be the last of their kind; some manufacturers have even gone on record to admit as much. We believe that such cars will become the archives of our soon to be distant past.
Here are our picks of some of today’s cars which we believe will become future classics.
Is currently in production, or was in production within the last 10 years
Produced in quantities that make them relatively attainable (i.e. not halo hypercars which are uber rare/outrageously expensive right out of the gate)
Sports car focused
2020 Ferrari F8 Tributo
The 2020 Ferrari F8 Tributo is the latest and greatest V8-powered Berlinetta to be produced by the prancing horse marque. Considered ‘entry-level’ in the Ferrari model lineup, the F8 Tributo is nevertheless the greater of the sum of its parts; it is a highly capable all-rounder, standing out amongst an expanding club of ‘everyday supercars’.
This Tributo is a nod to over 40 years of the latter’s existence, while also a soft confession that the F8 will likely be the last of its kind – Ferrari’s historic internal combustion V8 is next-in-line for the hybridisation treatment. The Ferrari F8 Tributo is a fitting celebration of this extensively storied history.
2016 Porsche 911R
Arguably the purest form of the model, the 2016 Porsche 911R pays homage to the brand’s epic heritage with the most modern of concoctions. Providing a manual transmission alternative for Porsche’s range-topping-naturally-aspirated model is what the 911R is known best for, but it ends up being so much more than just that.
It is the perfect blend of spartanism and elegance that you can call upon in the crowded lineup of 911 models. The absence of outrageous aerodynamics purposes the car more for canyon runs than Nurburgring records, but that’s also the beauty of it. For those who want the absolute best of the 991-gen 911 – without the obligation of having to prove its value on the race track – the 911R is undoubtedly a very proper and special car.
2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat
The 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT, with its supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI Hellcat engine, produces an unprecedented 707 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque, making it the most powerful Challenger ever, and Dodge’s most powerful V8 and most powerful muscle car ever.
Also for the first time in the Chrysler Group’s history,the Dodge Challenger SRT with a Hellcat engine comes standard with two key fobs – one red and one black. The red key fob is the only key that can unlock the full 707 horsepower and 650 lb-ft torque potential of the engine. The black key fob limits the driver to a reduced engine output of 500 horsepower for more civil driving excursions.
The Dodge Charger SRT represents the 4-door variant for this car, and should possess the same future-classic-potential as its stablemate.
2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo
Over the past 10 years, the Nissan GT-R has been the subject of perpetual tweaking, refining, and perfecting. The 2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo is the culmination of a decade’s worth of experience, knowledge, and mastery of one’s craft.
The 2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo is the first production-spec GT-R to benefit from sharing parts directly from the GT-R GT3 race car. In summary, the new GT-R Nismo is lighter, more responsive, has better aerodynamics, is more efficient at cooling and brakes greater than ever.
It is Nissan’s interpretation of what the quintessential modern supercar needs to be – the perfect balance of refinement for the road and performance for the track. I have no doubt that the latest Nismo will be the most complete representation of this philosophy that we have seen.
2012 Lexus LFA
Many regard the Lexus LFA as one of the best supercars ever made. Lexus only made 500 units, and I assumed those 500 sold out quickly. I was wrong. Despite the fact that Lexus hasn’t made the LFA since 2012, there are still seven brand new LFA supercars for sale in the U.S., according to Carscoops.
With all that said, the LFA came with one of the best V8s ever produced by a Japanese automaker. The 4.8-liter V8 made 552 hp and 352 lb-ft of torque. It was a free-revving engine with an exhaust note that could give you chills.
I would imagine someday these cars will be worth a lot more than their original price tag. They’ll be a collectors car I would imagine.
2010 BMW 1M
A true driver’s car, the compact-sized BMW 1M is also relatively rare with only 6,000 units produced worldwide. Its inline-6 engine with M TwinPower Turbo and petrol direct injection develops a maximum output of 340 horsepower and is able to accelerate in 4.9 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h, and reaches the 200 km/h mark after 17.3 seconds.
Used examples of the BMW 1M are already going for above brand-new MSRP in the majority of cases, with no signs of that trend stopping anytime soon. This certainly argues for the case that the 1M has already achieved classic status, remarkably just 10 years out from its debut.
2015 Porsche Cayman GT4
The first iteration of the Porsche Cayman GT4 made its debut in 2015, drawing a conclusion to the third generation of Boxster/Cayman (981). Since that time, the GT4 has become a cult hero amongst purists with its absence of frills (not to be misheard as ‘thrills’), relative affordability and undisputable demi-god-status as one of the ultimate driver’s cars. It is a Porsche model that every fan now lusts after.
Since then, the 982-gen 718 Cayman GT4 has been released, along with a convertible variant known as the 718 Boxster Spyder. The most welcome fact about the new models is that they mark the reintroduction of the naturally aspirated 6-cylinder into the Cayman/Boxster series, and for the first time into the 982 generation.
Word on the street is that the next generation of Cayman/Boxster may be going the hybrid route, meaning these will be the final petrol-iteration of Porsche’s most endearing sports car.
2013 Alfa Romeo 4C
Another automobile on this list which is fundamentally a driver’s car, the Alfa Romeo 4C made its debut at the 83rd International Motor Show in Geneva. This mid-engined rear-wheel drive coupe with two bucket seats represents the true essence of a sports car at the heart of Alfa Romeo’s DNA: performance, Italian style and technical excellence, offering maximum driving satisfaction in total safety.
Through the combination of advanced technology and its compact size, the 4C epitomizes top notch precision, agility and performance credentials with a top speed of 160 mph, 0 to 60 mph acceleration blasts in 4.1 seconds, 1.1 g of lateral acceleration and 1.25 g of maximum braking deceleration. A favorite amongst purists, and sure to be a hit with collectors as well.
2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500
There’s a lot to love about the new Ford Mustang Shelby GT500. It’s the most muscular of all of Ford’s vehicles, but it’s not just fast in a straight line with its supercharged 760 horsepower V8. The car can make its way around the twists and bends of the most technical racetracks really quickly, too. Almost as quick as a Porsche 911 GT3 RS on track.
The GT500 is the quintessential “if you know, you know” type of car that will likely fly under the radar of even the most avid race track enthusiasts. But the performance speaks for itself, and we have no doubts that this uber-Mustang will have a hugely nostalgic cult-following in the years to come.
2020 BMW M4 CS
BMW has pitched the CS (or Club Sport) version of the M4 as the lighter, more extreme M4 tuned for use on the race track. There is weight savings throughout the car and compared with the Competition variant it is based on, the CS gets a 10 hp boost to a total of 454 bhp.
Model-specific tuning for the electronically controlled limited-slip differential, the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, the adaptive M suspension, and the steering are intended to improve the CS’s dynamic performance. Sticky Michelin Sport Cup 2 tires come standard, reiterating the true intentions behind this car.
2012 Toyota GT 86
Through the GT 86, Toyota along with partner Subaru, sought to reinvigorate the market with a modern evolution of the affordable sports car, centered around delivering driving enjoyment above all else.
The result was a unique powertrain format combined with the world’s most compact four-seat design, light weight, low inertia and a low centre of gravity for the best possible power-to-weight ratio. These attributes award the GT 86 lively, accessible performance, highly engaging, readily exploitable dynamic abilities with minimal electronic intrusion, and maximum driving pleasure.
A genuinely lightweight machine which offers the intimacy and involvement of a car that can be driven as if it were an extension of the driver’s body, the GT 86 perfectly recaptures the exhilarating spirit of the last Corolla Levin AE 86 and, with numerous customizable parts, shares its aim to be an affordable car that evolves with its owner.
Unmolested examples are sure to fetch a premium in the future when today’s largely younger demographic for the car, look to rekindle fond memories of their years spent owning or admiring the car when it first came out.
2019 Lamborghini Aventador SVJ
In late July 2018, the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ became the latest production car to break the lap record at the legendary testing ground that is the Nürburgring Nordschleife. It was going to take nothing short of special to dethrone the Porsche 911 GT2 RS, and Lamborghini’s new flagship car is something beyond even that.
To power its way around this treacherous course, the Aventador SVJ employs a naturally aspirated 6.5L V12 engine which delivers 770-horsepower at 8,500 rpm and 530 lb-ft of torque at 6,750 rpm to its all-wheel-drive system. It is able to do 0-100 km/h in only 2.8 seconds and has a top speed of over 349 km/h. It truly is one of the greatest road cars money can buy, and there were 2 (yes, 2!) at the local cars and coffee meet I attended last week in my wee-little city of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
2019 McLaren 600LT
The 600LT is based on the McLaren 570S, possesses nearly 3 inches longer of aerodynamic bodywork and is given a slight power bump, weight reduction, and other performance upgrades. While these changes may appear to be rudimentary, the intricacies of each improvement sum up to make the 600LT a car in its own right.
In fact, the McLaren 600LT is considered by many to be a gateway car to the top of the line Senna, providing drivers with the sensation of its driving dynamics, at one-quarter of its price. After all, upgrades such as the electric vacuum pump and carbon bucket seats, are borrowed from McLaren’s halo car.
“The CTS-V Sport Wagon is a natural extension of both the V-Series and the CTS lineup, offering an uncompromising performance car to enthusiasts who want the extra room of a wagon,” said Don Butler, vice president for Cadillac marketing. “The V-Series Sport Wagon is another hallmark of the dramatic presence and power of Cadillac vehicles.”
Like its sedan and coupe stablemates, the CTS-V Sport Wagon is powered by a supercharged 6.2L V8, which delivers 556 horsepower and is backed by either a six-speed manual transmission (which we believe will be the most desirable) or a six-speed automatic.
With the impressive performance attributes aside, the car’s inherent rarity just by virtue of being a Made-in-America sport wagon, will surely catch the eye of future car collectors and GM-enthusiasts.
2020 Mercedes AMG GT R Pro
An evolution of the Mercedes AMG GT R, the GT R Pro is more than just a fancy (yet functional) bodykit and is also the beneficiary of upgrades that aren’t as easily seen, such as redesigned mechanically adjustable coilovers, carbon ceramic brakes, a carbon fiber torsion bar, and dynamic engine and transmission mounts.
Most trackday junkies will appreciate that the differences are obvious at a quick glance, with the GT R Pro benefiting from significant changes which alter the original car’s silhouette. Up front, the GT R Pro is now sporting a massive front splitter and front bumper canards, while fender vents, a new rear wing and diffuser, and carbon fiber wheels assert the car’s purpose of existing.
The GT R Pro is about the closest you can get to driving a GT3 or GT4 race car without needing to be an actual race car driver. With just 750 units to be produced, the rarity factor will also come into play for future buyers and sellers of this exceptional machine.