What makes a classic car? It’s certainly not just age, performance or even looks. Many ingredients go into making a car ‘classic’ – age, performance and looks (both good and bad) are in there, but the so are things like rarity, massive popularity, lack of popularity and how advanced it was (or, indeed, wasn’t) for the time, as well as many, many other factors.
The point is that many wildly different factors make up any given car’s classic status, so today we decided to throw caution into the wind and predict what we think will be five future classics. Some are no-brainers. One, not so much…
We reckon purists will buy up stock of the older generations of M3/M4 as well as the “lesser” (but more driver-focused) M2, leaving the latest controversial-looking M3 and M4 models to those who don’t mind the new grille, which seems to be the minority.
We reckon the Bugs Bunny grille is actually quite cool (it just doesn’t photograph well) and the performance of the pair speaks for itself. Think about how the 996-generation of Porsche 911 was once called the ugly duckling of the model, and now is beginning to appreciate in value.
Besides, anything this damn fast with an M3 badge on it is almost guaranteed to be a future classic…
The Tesla Roadster put the American EV-maker on the map. Based on the Lotus Elise, it debuted in 2006 before entering production two years later. Power came from a single electric motor making a maximum of 215kW and 270Nm while range topped out at 640km from an 80kWh battery.
Why is it a future classic? Well, for one, it was the first car to be launched into deep space. But for two, it was the first time a lot of us petrolheads were shown that electric vehicles don’t have to be mile-munching green machines. The Roadster might not have been perfect, but it was still a brilliant introduction to the new age of motoring.
Toyota GR Yaris
Normally, a Yaris is a small, econo-hatch designed for minimal fuel usage and ease-of-use in urban areas. But in the case of the GR, it’s a return of the rally homologation specials – without the huge price tag.
The GR Yaris features a 1.6-litre triple with a sizeable turbocharger bolted on for 200kW, a six-speed manual gearbox, four-wheel drive, and a chassis that’s half normal Yaris and half Corolla. And boy, is it something special to drive. As we said in our review: “the GR Yaris is one of the most delightfully fun and seriously capable sporty cars on sale today.”
The final Commodore SS-V Redline
We’d be remiss to not include a Holden of some sort here. So instead of the go-to HSV GTS-R W1 (which we all knew would become a classic anyway), we thought about the Commodore SS-V Redline. Particularly the later models, which got the 6.2-litre V8, making 304kW/570Nm, previously reserved for HSV models.
This is the last time the SS badge adorned the back of a Commodore, immediately making it special. It’s also the last V8 Commodore that didn’t have an HSV badge, so while it might not reach into the millions at the auction house, a clean example should still fetch decent sums by way of its blue-collar heritage.
But most importantly, it’s also the only late model V8 Commodore that didn’t have HSV looming over it limiting how far engineers could go with the SS. And, man, did those Holden engineers show exactly how far they could go with this one… it was utterly brilliant…
First-generation Toyota Prius
Okay, stop laughing, I know – there’s no way a damn Prius will ever be a classic. But just hear me out…
The Toyota Prius is synonymous with Ubers and taxis as well as loud eco-warriors, but the first generation wasn’t actually sold anywhere outside of Japan, instantly making it rarer than the hatches we got here.
But its main claim for classic status comes from history – think of other cars that were revolutionary and sold in huge amounts, but were only considered to be transport at the time. I am referring to things like the Model T Ford and Volkswagen Beetle here. Sure they came to be loved, but they sure weren’t considered to be future classics at the time…
The Prius’ revolution may have been quieter, but it was revolutionary nonetheless, and revolutionary always means classic in the future. And, besides, who know what people will find exciting in the future…