25 Best Cars of the Decade: Part Three

Well, here it is, the top 5! And there might be a bit of controversy here, if you ask me.

5. Tesla Roadster

The electric car hasn’t gotten a good reputation. Between the REVA G-Wiz (which, by the way, I’ve seen larger pushmower engines than the first G-Wiz engine) and… well, there’s not much else, but they aren’t fun, or practical. Enter the Tesla Roadster, the first full-speed electric car on the market. And boy, is it fun.

Sure, the top speed is limited to 120 mph, but it goes 0-60 in an amazing 3.9 seconds. Thanks to a modified Lotus Elise platform, it also handles great as well. It is 700 pounds heavier (albeit well-distributed), due to the massive amount of batteries, but that is where the practicality comes in. Because of the 6,831 lithium-ion batteries in the Roadster, it can go 244 miles on a single charge. As well, it only takes about 3 and a half hours to charge it fully with a high power connector. Add this all to a package that looks amazing, and you have yourself a winner of an electric car.

No company is as far ahead with electric vehicles as Tesla is. Everyone is raving about the Chevrolet Volt coming out in the new year, but even that only has 45 miles of electric time before it switches to the combustion engine. Audi is making an electric version of the R4, but that won’t be coming for a few years. Meanwhile, not only is the Roadster a large step into the future, Tesla aims to put an electric executive sedan, the Model S, onto the market in the new year, and that vehicle has already had a thousand orders. The Roadster is a big achievement now, but it can only help Tesla’s reputation grow, and bring electric cars into the now.

4. Ferrari Enzo Ferrari

Ferrari’s line of halo vehicles have always gone back far, from the beautiful 250 GTO, to the dangerously quick F40, Ferrari has always made one ultimate car that takes every single bit of experience that Ferrari has in racing, and puts it on the road. The Enzo is the best of the Ferrari halo cars.

The Enzo Ferrari, named after the founder of Ferrari, is a stunning display of racing pedigree. It is the first Ferrari car to take the F1 style, semi-automatic paddle shifting, and put it in a car. Shifting only takes 150 milliseconds, and there’s even a light on the wheel telling you when to shift. It creates so much downforce on its own, and yet, to maintain the downforce at high speeds, it uses the on-board computer to actuate the rear wing. It has carbon fibre re-inforced, silicon carbide brakes that work beautifully. And it’s very quick.

There’s one problem though; Ferrari’s other road cars are starting to catch up. A F430 Scuderia can equal the time of the Enzo around the Ferrari test track. While the top speed isn’t as fast, the 458 Italia will accelerate to 60 just as quick as the Enzo. While in 2003 it was great, it didn’t hold onto the superiority as much as the F40 or F50 did.

3. Bugatti Veyron

Bugatti was in limbo in the mid-90’s. After producing the EB110, they had not made enough money to keep the company going. Then Volkswagen swoops in, saves them, and gives them money to produce a new car. The result has been hailed by everyone as the ultimate car. They’re not wrong. The 1000 horsepower, W16 engine allows this car to effortlessly move across the road. It can hit 0-60 in a whopping 2.5 seconds, faster than pretty much anything. It maxes out at a top speed of 253 mph. There are very few cars that match it when it comes to technology; it is an engineering achievement that they just kept this car together.

Yet, the ride is completely uncompromised. It is amazingly comfortable, leading many to say it’s practical even as a daily driver. It is beautiful, both inside and outside. Even when at high speeds, the car remains composed, and no more harder to keep on the road as if you were cruising at city speeds. It is the chariot that Julius Caesar would have driven.

And by now you’re thinking why this isn’t first. Yes, it is the ultimate car, but it is horribly inaccessible. It is the most expensive car in the world at $1.5 million. Even though it is an engineering achievement, it’s still a bit hard to see the point. Even though all the mechanics are mind-blowing, and the world is better with this car existing, all of it seems too over the top. Yet, it never fails to impress, and because the word Veyron is known by pretty much by everyone, it will continue to be considered by most the ultimate car.

2. Nissan GT-R

The Nissan GT-R doesn’t seem like it would be very fast. It weighs 3800 pounds, and would seem a bit heavy for a 480 (at least) horsepower V6. With those stats, you would assume that, at the $84,000 price tag, you’d be better off getting an M3. But the GT-R is, in fact, amazing, since it does things that it isn’t supposed to do.

The weight doesn’t stop it from being quick; with launch control, it can go 0-60 in a blistering 3.2 seconds, and max out at 195 mph. The suspension, using the onboard computer, adjusts itself within milliseconds for optimum performance. It creates quite a bit of downforce, and gets an amazing amount of G-force in the corners. Even more amazing, is the list of cars it has left in its trail: the Audi R8, Porsche 911 GT3, BMW M3, Lamborghini Murciélago, just to name a few. And the Spec-V trim hasn’t even been put on the track yet, which will be even faster.

Even more amazing is the fact that the car is comfortable, and quiet. It is a four-seat coupe. There are options for side-curtain airbags. The semi-automatic gearbox is easy, and fluid. This car can be your daily driver if need be. After knowing how it can do on the track, and seeing the luxuries and gadgets that the car has inside to entertain you, finding out that every single engine and gearbox is hand-built (thus giving each engine a different amount of horsepower) you look at that $84,000 price tag again, and you ask why this uncompromising supercar doesn’t cost more. If this car had came out earlier in the decade, I would not hesitate to put it at #1, but it just won’t be as memorable as the next car.

1. Lamborghini Murciélago

When the Murciélago came out in 2001, there was some thinking that, since Audi had bought Lamborghini, the brash, shouty Lamborghini that we had all come to know would leave us. Well, that was quickly changed. Sure, the Murciélago is definitely more composed than the former Diablo or Countach, but it now has a happy medium. It is still shouty, but it looks like it came from this earth. It is also stunning, and has reshaped the image of supercars in the decade.

The base model isn’t a beast of performance, seeing as it only does 0-60 in 3.8 seconds and maxes out at 210 mph (which is still blistering). But there are model options. The highest of which, the LP 670-4 SuperVeloce, can do it in a full second less. And there’s still a car for the middle ground as well. And the rarest car on the Murciélago platform, the stunning Reventón, is the fastest car Lamborghini has made. But performance isn’t what makes this car the best of the decade.

Basically, it is the package. The car looks amazing. Unlike the Countach, where you might be a bit embarrassed to show up at a party in it, the Murciélago does retain a classy look as well. Everything inside works as well, as it is easy to drive, more comfortable than past Lamborghinis, and every luxury inside actually works, and works well. It also sounds amazing, and if a Murciélago passes you, you’ll know it.

The Murciélago, even if it isn’t by name, is the most memorable car as well. Even those who don’t know much about cars know that, when seeing one, that it is a Lamborghini. This car is probably bigger for Lamborghini than the Miura was, and that’s saying a lot. With over 3000 Murciélagos on the road today, it definitely will continue to be the car of everybody’s dreams.

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~ by The Slurpee Man on December 19, 2009.

3 Responses to “25 Best Cars of the Decade: Part Three”

  1. […] Go to part three! […]

  2. Good stuff! I enjoyed this write up. Can’t wait till Nissan finally puts the Spec V around the Ring to find out how fast this thing can really go… it’ll put alot of GT-R haterz to rest… i.e. ZR1 fanboys. All in all, I’m glad the lambo made it to no.1, it deserves it, just a sexy and fast car. Go the Azzuri… check out the Italia 458, that’s also very impressive.

  3. the slr should be number 1 in my opinion

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