Top 8 Most Important Cars of the 21st Century

Top 8 Most Important Cars of the 21st Century

There are a lot of car models in the world. This means that it can be quite difficult to choose the one and only car. Recent years have been rich in crises, recall campaigns, and takeovers, but they still remain the main figures. 

Many people want to buy or lease a car that will not only help them get to work and home. The status, look, history, and importance of the vehicle can also play a major role. We have selected eight of the most important cars of the new century.

1. Rolls-Royce Phantom
Unlike the relatively mass-produced Bentley and the failed Maybach, the Rolls-Royce Phantom looks like an example of a proper reboot of the brand and the revival of the spirit of the old aristocracy. Despite the fact that many parts of a limousine, from the body to the engine, are made in Germany, nothing as sublime and expensive has been created so far. 

2. Nissan GT-R
Two cardan shafts - carbon fiber, leading to the rear gearbox, and steel, connecting the front wheels. The power structure of the body is made of steel, aluminum, and carbon fiber. And most importantly - crazy dynamics. The Nissan GT-R is not just a billion-dollar engineering manifesto like the Bugatti Veyron but a signal that Nissan, after huge losses and a merger with Renault, is ready to fight not only the Toyota RAV4 but also the Porsche 911 Turbo.

Before the advent of the GT-R, no one but Porsche engineers knew how to deceive the laws of physics and God, and the new Godzilla, at a price of less than a hundred thousand dollars, accelerated to a hundred miles per hour in less than seven seconds. Never before has a car with hard plastic in the cabin gone so fast.

3. Porsche Cayenne
Technically, the first-generation Porsche Cayenne hardly presented any engineering surprises - a common platform with the Volkswagen Touareg did not allow this project to distinguish itself, but with the Turbo S prefix, it turned into the fastest SUV in the world. In addition, the very combination of design, speed, and the legendary name turned it into a phenomenon and soon made Porsche the most profitable automobile brand in the world.

4. Renault Logan
It was Henry Ford with his “Tin Lizzie” who managed to turn both a secretary from New York and a farmer from Cincinnati into car drivers, but in the 21st century, the price of a budget car was no longer only made up of doors thin as plywood and a dead engine but of the scale globalization.

The first budget car of the new era could be the Fiat Palio, but the Renault Logan was more successful both as a car and as a market product. Renault chief designer Patrick Le Quement even called it his best work and was hardly lying because each line here is justified by functionality and price. As well as its design: this car, perhaps for the first time in history, was developed with the aim of minimizing the cost of not only its production but also subsequent maintenance and repair.

5. Bugatti Veyron
Obviously, the Bugatti Veyron could turn out to be not so heavy and surgically cold, but the lack of charisma here is more than compensated by the numbers: the first version has 1001 horsepower and 267.856 mph. The Veyron was called a hamburger for its body shape but was praised for its combination of incredible power and easy handling comparable to the Volkswagen Golf. All you needed to reach 267.856 miles per hour was a license and $1.9 million.

Special Michelin tires could only last 16 minutes at top speed, and fuel could run out even sooner. Having gobbled up about a billion euros of investment, this project seems to have achieved all its goals except for financial ones. But now we know what happens when the energy of Ferdinand Piech, the capabilities of a huge concern, and the classic superbrand converge at one point.

6. Nissan Qashqai
The Qashqai story began in a Nissan meeting room where employees had to deal with a money-losing Sunderland plant that produced the European Almera. It was necessary either to reduce the price of the hatchback, which did not bring profit, and increase production volumes, or raise the price to uncompetitive ones in order to recoup the costs. It turned out a vicious circle.

As a result, some bright heads came up with the idea to increase the ground clearance of an ordinary passenger car and make a crossover out of a hatchback. The cost of production practically did not change, and the rate of profit increased - the buyer understood what they were paying for the added value. The Nissan Qashqai, which replaced the Almera, became not just a bestseller but a symbol of the crossover boom that had begun, which continues to this day.

7. Volkswagen Golf
It was Alfred Sloan at General Motors who invented ranking brands and built them on the same platforms to reduce costs, but even this sacred knowledge did not allow the Americans to resist the Toyota kaizen and Volkswagen unification - today, they are the ones who sell the most cars.

And if there is a car that fully reflects Volkswagen's greatness, it is, of course, Golf. One of the most successful series in the automotive industry and the personification of the total unification and victory of modular platforms. According to some estimates, Volkswagen has invested about 70 billion euros in the MQB platform but will probably earn several times more from this. Like it or not, the Golf VII is now the world's benchmark for a modern urban hatchback, from build quality and subcompact turbo engines to chassis tuning.

8. Mercedes-Benz CLS
There were no fireworks and fanfare around the Mercedes-Benz CLS, but technically it was an elongated E-class platform on which an evening two-piece suit was pulled. But this car did much more for automotive history than just graced the streets of cities. The CLS casually added a pair of extra doors to the coupe's elegance, and the concept has since been used by everyone from the Volkswagen Passat CC to the BMW X6. And they continue to do so to this day.

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