Order of Magnitude: Car of the Decade
Another decade is over and what a decade it’s been, with some of the most advanced, fastest and downright ludicrous cars ever designed gracing motor show halls and showrooms over the last ten years as automotive technologies advance apace.
This list is sure to divide opinion, but these are the ten best cars of the 2010’s – as chosen by over 1,200 of you – so sit back and enjoy some of the most remarkable pieces of kit on the market.
10. Porsche 918 Spyder
Porsche 918 Spyder – One-third of the ‘Holy Trinity’, the hypercar trifecta comprising the Porsche 918, the Mclaren P1 and the LaFerrari, with the Porsche considered to be the most easily misunderstood. The hybrid vehicle – first built by Porsche in 2013 – was comfortably the least expensive of the Holy Trinity and manufactured in the highest numbers, but the 918 Spyder delivered in spades when it came to pure driving thrills and performance. The 918 is a mid-engined plug-in hybrid, powered by a 4.6L V8, producing 875 bhp and a top speed of 211mph. Time has been kind to the 918 and rather like its predecessor – the Porsche Carrera GT – it is now one of the most sought after hypercars on the market.
9. Audi RS6
Not every vehicle on this list has had to break the bank – it’s the ‘wow’ factor which separates them from the rest. The RS6 is the not-so-humble estate which we all pass weekly, sometimes without even knowing. But what lurks beneath its subtly steroid-enhanced frame is a peach of a twin-turbo 4.0L V8 engine that produces 597bhp (in the RS6 Performance). It’s a beautiful piece of kit too with an incredible breadth of talent and it’s practical as well, which is almost certainly why it’s the most quoted vehicle on our Magnitude finance calculator. It may not match the rarity or glamour of others on this list, but the RS6 richly deserves the heaps of praise it gets.
8. Tesla Model S
Ground-breaking technology, ludicrous acceleration (pun intended) and green credentials all rolled up into a mass-market package. Not many of us could quite envision the advances made in the EV industry over the last eight years, and Tesla is leading the green revolution, having produced an abundance of frankly inspired vehicles since 2012. As far as our voters were concerned, the Model S is something special with a turn of speed that will rival pretty much any car at any price point. Capable (in Ludicrous mode) of 0-62mph in just 2.6 seconds and with a 295-mile range from a full charge, the Model S – like a good bottle of wine – gets better with age. Over-the-air software updates continue to enhance even older vehicles with new features and functionality as newer cars got improved power, performance and range.
7. Bugatti Chiron
It wouldn’t have been a round-up of the best cars of the decade without a Bugatti making an appearance, and the Chiron is everything that we hoped the successor to the Veyron would be – and more. In typical Bugatti fashion, a Chiron doesn’t come for chump change at a hefty £2.5 million with taxes, but what you get for the price is second to none. The Chiron comes blessed with Bugatti’s incredible 8.0L W16 engine, helping make the Super Sport the (unofficial) fastest production car in history achieving 304 mph at Volkswagen Group’s Ehra-Lessien high-speed test facility.
Chiron sets a new benchmark for performance, capability and technology. Crucially it now adds driving enjoyment and engagement to the mixRichard Meaden – EVO Magazine
6. Ferrari 458 Speciale
A product of an already fantastic car – the 458 Italia – that Ferrari wanted to make even better and more entertaining, the 458 Speciale came to fruition. The Speciale was capable of bettering the standard 458’s track time around Ferrari’s Fiorano test track by 1.5 seconds, and the 458 was already capable of lapping it as quickly as an Enzo…. With its stunning normally-aspirated V8, the Speciale has already secured its position in the Ferrari collectors’ Hall of Fame.
5. Ferrari LaFerrari
Making up the second third of the Holy Trinity, the LaFerrari was introduced to the world in 2013, and came to the market with a price of around £ 1million. Only 499(-ish) were made, and if you were one of the lucky few to get your hands on one, you’ll be rubbing your hands with glee as the price of the vehicle has now more than doubled. LaFerrari has a mid-engined hybrid V12 developing 950 bhp with its electric motor and also has an F1 derived KERS system. Incredible looking and sounding, this is the ultimate modern Ferrari and the last car of its kind.
4. Porsche 911 GT3 RS
It’s testament to the accessibility and desirability of the GT3 that it hands down beat the 918 Spyder in our fan’s vote. The GT3 RS has everything you might want in a Porsche (apart from a manual gearbox) with both sensible road manners and devastating on-track performance. Huge wing – check. Long waiting list and crazy residuals – check. It’s also normally-aspirated, so sounds a lot better than it’s turbo-charged successors.
Before we reveal the top three cars of the decade as voted for by you, we thought it only right to include some honourable mentions for cars that didn’t quite make the cut, but deserve plenty of accolade for making the 2010’s one of the best decades in the history of the motor car.
- Alpine A110 – After a 22-year lunch break, the French sports and race car manufacturer returned with the A110 in 2018. Visually stunning and delivering up to 288bhp from its 1.8L turbocharged four-cylinder engine, it took Colin Chapman’s “simplify, then add lightness” mantra and produced a neo-Lotus for a whole new generation.
- Range Rover SVR – A beast of a car, both in looks, power and showroom appeal. You’ll probably hear an SVR before you see it, with its supercharged 575 bhp 5.0L V8 producing enough noise to drown out the squealing of the fat road tyres. Keep an eye out in the near future to see where it places in Order of Magnitude’s Top 5 SUV’s.
- BMW M2 Competition – The M2 was already a truly great car and BMW made it faster, sharper and lighter. Job done.
- Aston Martin DBS Superleggera – Their “Brute in a suit” as described by Aston Martin, the DBS is an absolute stunner. It also has 715 bhp and really redefined Aston Martin’s range and performance credentials.
- Lamborghini Huracan Performante – Some say that Lamborghini are no match for Ferrari on track… Step forward the Performante which managed to post a devasting 6:52:10 Nurburgring lap courtesy of some trick active aero and a brilliant new V10. Finally, a Lamborghini that was truly able to blow a raspberry at Modena.
3. Lamborghini Aventador
As we entered the 2010’s, we left behind the days of the Murcielago, and Lamborghini introduced the iconic Aventador in 2011. As halo cars go, the Aventador set a benchmark for the last decade that we would argue no other supercar manufacturer has been able to exceed. Its longevity and sales success (nearly 8,500 units sold) tells you all you need to know about a car that has continued to up the ante and challenge newcomers throughout its lifetime. 8.6% of you voted for the Aventador.
2. McLaren P1
The final element of the Holy Trinity comes second in our round-up of the top ten cars of the decade, with 9.5% of the vote. The rear-wheel-drive hypercar is the icing on top of an incredible decade for McLaren. A typical McLaren techno-fest, the P1’s 3.8 litre V8 plus 177 hp electric motor gave it a total of 903 very eager horses. McLaren gave it DRS and KERS and a rear wing worthy of an F1 car. Devastating on track and Chris Harris’s choice of car to take home after testing all three of the Holy Trinity at Portimao circuit.
The McLaren, on Tropheo Rs round here in high-downforce mode – I’ll take that with me to my grave…Chris Harris – Chris Harris on Cars
Ferrari F12tdf – Car of the Decade.
In at number one, with 11% of the votes, is the formidable Ferrari F12tdf. First revealed in 2015, the tdf is a track-focused version of the F12 Berlinetta. With a 769 bhp normally aspirated front-mounted V12, a new four-wheel steering system, a set of LaFerrari brakes, comprehensively reworked suspension and a 110kg diet, the tdf marked a pretty serious upgrade to the standard F12. Suffice to say, pundits loved it and hailed it as one of the last great “old-school” drives. At £339,000 it was also a relative snip at the price and like the Lamborghini Aventador, almost certainly the last-in-line of a generation of cars that we won’t see the like of again in the Roaring Twenties…
…one of the most extreme GT cars ever made – powered by one of the most dramatic engines ever fitted to a road-legal car.Autocar
So there we have it. With nearly 2,000 votes, some of the voting was close but the F12 Tdf blew the rest out of the water. Hats off to you Ferrari, we look forward to seeing if anyone can knock the Italian maestros off their perch in 2030.
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