The 2010s were a very special era for the car industry. Numerous advanced internet technologies made their way into car info systems. The car info system had evolved to be as advanced as your iPhone. SUVs dominated the market. In 2010, sporty coupe-like SAVs like the BMW X6 were still a niche but by the end of the decade, almost every luxury carmaker had included them in their lineup. This decade we also saw the introduction of many great cars, including hypercars like the McLaren p1 and the Porsche 918. Some may argue that when compared with the previous decade(2000s), supercars became too complex and were just not "pure" enough. Nonetheless, they are still good cars.
2010: LEXUS LFA
“The LFA is an icon now and possibly always will be - we don't need to replace it to keep that status. It is a car we can reference for another 25 years if we choose. Its status is assured." This was a quote from Lexus' European boss Alain Uyttenhoven, explaining just how legendary the car was, and still is to both Toyota and Lexus. There are not many cars in the world that required 10 years of development, but Lexus wanted the best. The V10 engine was such a piece of artwork. No, it was not the quickest nor the most powerful V10, but the efforts Toyota and Lexus put into this car were enough to make it one of the most important cars of the decade.
2011: BMW 1M
Over the last 10 years numerous new cars were produced. However, only a handful of them were instant classics or were considered as modern/future classics. Apparently, the 1 series M couple was one of the few. This car just got right in everything. Right in size, enough but not too much power, a perfect transmission and so on. 8 years since its first debut, the second-hand price for a 1M is still very high, as high as the time when it was new. It was not just another M car, it was, in fact, one of the best M cars in the last 10-15 years.
2012: TESLA MODEL S
In 1986 Ford gave the world the Taurus and people screamed, saying they had reinvented "car". It was unlike any other machine on the road, it was innovative and was technologically advanced. In my opinion, Model S was the Taurus in the 2010s. Saying that it had reinvented "car" may be a bit of an exaggeration but at the very least I think it had several ground-breaking features that pioneered the automotive world. Take the interior as an example, who could imagine there would be no actual button in a car, and that everything else was going to be controlled by a big, iPad looking screen. Launching Model S in 2012 was like the time when iPhone 3 went on sale in 2007. Before Apple there were smartphones but they weren't successful. Apple revolutionized the market. Before Tesla, there were electric cars but they weren't something Tesla was launching. Back then electric cars were slow, only suitable in cities (think about the infamous G-Wiz) Tesla took things to an entirely new level. It told the world that electric cars could still be as practical, as luxurious and as fast as a gasoline car. The revolutionary status of the S was definitely something worth remembering.
2013: MCLAREN P1
McLaren's first modern supercar after the F1, the P1, brought back the McLaren brand to public sight. Before the P1 we got the 12C and SLR but they were just not as special as the P1. The P1 was a proper successor to the legendary F1. With advanced hybrid technology, the car stunned the world with a whopping 903hp, while the more extreme LM model came later packed with almost 1000hp, 986 to be exact. Ferrari's LaFerrari and Porsche's 918 Spyder may have a better performance and resale value. However, the P1 was different. It represented a new chapter, the rebirth of a legend. If you view it as a starting point, it is certainly very successful and thus worth remembering.
2014: BMW I8
Well, judging by sales figure, the i8 was certainly a flop. It didn't sell and not many people were looking for something..... in the middle. They either looked for hybrid supercars or traditional gasoline sports cars. Paying much more just for a bit better fuel economy and similar performance as a traditional sports car? Unlikely. Not to mention BMW had invested a huge sum of money into the project. However, no one, not even BMW itself would view this car from these angles. It was the pinnacle of BMW hybrid technology, it proved that BMW was able to make something innovative and environmental friendly (sort of) without sacrificing the principle of the"ultimate driving machine" A 1.5 litre 3-cylinder that could give out 357hp? What could possibly go wrong?
2015: FORD MUSTANG
If you need to rank the importance of different generations of Mustangs, the sixth generation Mustang would certainly rank the top 3. This generation Mustang brought the Mustang name outside America officially for the first time in 50 years by offering factory-made RHD version. The handling was greatly improved as well, meaning it could have some direct head-to-head competition with European sports cars. The later GT500 model even became the most powerful car Ford had ever sold. The sixth-gen Mustang helped promote the iconic Mustang brand and the performance image of Ford by selling it globally. It has to be one of the most important cars of the decade.
2016: HONDA NSX
The original NSX was co-developed by racing legend Aryton Senna and it was the pinnacle of Honda. 30 years later, it is the top JDM classic. It became history in 2005, but after that, rumours kept pumping out about the second-gen NSX. At first, they said it would have a V10 engine, then they conceded it would be a V8. The exterior of the car turned out to be more or less the same as the concept unveiled in 2012 though. After 10 years of waiting, the second generation NSX made its debut in 2015 with production starting in 2016. The production version was equipped with a 3.5 litre V6 and hybrid with a combining output of 573 hp. 0-60 in under 3 seconds. It was a proper sports car. It lives up the "NSX" name. Although people don't buy it and to a certain extent it was a sales flop, it deserves more attention and it's definitely a car to be remembered.
2017: TESLA MODEL 3
Haters gonna hate, here is another Tesla in my pick of important cars of the 2010s. If the Model S was the first move to success, the Model 3 would be the one that reached the goal. When was the last time you saw people queue for a new car? The Model 3 brought performance to entry-level electric cars. While opponents like the Nissan Leaf and the VW E-Golf are still providing moderate acceleration, the Model 3 made it fast. The Chevy Bolt EV came close but it's just not as advanced as the Tesla. For instance, the Tesla doesn't even have a dashboard and you use a card to unlock the car. Not to mention the Bolt is more expensive and is mainly in the North American market only. The Model 3 had created a new craze in electric cars globally.
2018: LAMBORGHINI URUS
SUV craze is one of the most distinctive trends in the automotive world in this decade. As a result, it is impossible not to feature an SUV in this list. Among dozens of SUVs and crossovers produced over the years, the Lamborghini Urus stands out from the remaining ones. First reason, it is a Lamborghini. It was the first time in the modern car world that a "Supercar like SUV " was produced. Yes, there was the LM002 in the past but that thing was an exception. Neither were performance-oriented SUVS a new thing, as the Porsche Cayenne made its debut back in 2002. However, the Urus just took things to a whole new level. It was a supercar maker, making an SUV. On a performance level, the Urus also revolutionised SUVs since it is literally a lifted supercar with a 0-60 time of 3.6 seconds. Not particularly fast by Lamborghini standard but this car weighs 2.2 tonnes. The car was both a benchmark for Lamborghini and the automotive world.
2019: CHEVY C8 CORVETTE
"It's finally here" I guess that's what many people thought when the mid-engined C8 Corvette made its first appearance on July. In the past 50 years, several mid-engine Corvette prototypes were made. Every time people just wondered " Has the real one arrived?" So the debut of C8 Corvette not just represented a change in generation but also a historical moment. There are drawbacks though. For the first time since 1955, no manual transmission is available. However, the most important point that made this car important is where the engine sits. Mid-engined sports cars were dismissed from the GM lineup for 31 years. The C8 Corvette is a new start, it is also a beginning that is packed with history. Performance was also improved after putting the engine in the middle, with a 0-60 time of 2.8 seconds.