Once a car hits 20 years old it’s considered a classic car. That means early 2000s cars will be considered classics pretty soon, so here’s our favorites.
It feels like the ‘90s ended only a couple years ago, but it has been over 20 years. That’s crazy to think about, but it also brings up a pretty interesting event. For a car to be considered a classic it has to be older than 20 years. We’ve just hit that tipping point for models sold in the year 2000. That makes models like the Chrysler PT Cruiser a classic. Doesn’t sound right, but it’s true. The next couple of years are going to see more classics added, so let’s check out some of our favorite future classic cars of the 2000s.
The Audi TT first debuted in 1998 as a 2-door sports coupe/convertible, so there’s already a couple of TT model years that can be considered classics. However, it’ll be a couple more years before the special edition Audi TT Quattro Sport can be considered a classic. This future classic car was limited to 1165 units produced in 2005. What made the TT Quattro Sport special was that it was performance tuned by Audi’s Quattro gmbH high-performance manufacturing subsidiary.
Quattro gmbH increased the output of the TT’s turbocharged 1.8L I4 engine from 225 to 237 horsepower and from 207 to 236 lb-ft or torque. The performance group also reduced the TT’s weight by 165 pounds by removing items like the spare tire, rear seat area, and even the air conditioning unit. Other notable additions were the 18-inch cast aluminum alloy wheels, the added V6 model’s body kit and larger brakes, Recaro bucket seats installed, and a limited-edition two-tone paintjob.
The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution was sadly discontinued for the 2016 model year. Along with it went Mitsubishi’s history of rally racing and a crafting fun to drive vehicles. But we can still fondly remember this rally beast as its multiple generations slowly make their way into the realm of classic consideration. The final generation Evo X is one of our favorite future classic cars having debuted for America in 2008.
The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X came with a turbocharged 2.0L I4 that made 291 horsepower and 300 lb-ft or torque. That power was sent to all four wheels through Mitsubishi’s Super All Wheel Control drivetrain that featured torque vectoring technology. The Evo X was the pinnacle of Mitsubishi’s design and performance tuning for the Lancer Evolution model (especially the Final Edition one), but I guess it wasn’t enough. At least we can still buy some used ones.
Ford’s Special Vehicle Team is known for making some of the coolest vehicles out there. They built the F-150 Lightning, the Shelby GT500, and of course the Ford GT supercar. Well, in the year 2000 SVT released the fastest production Mustang ever (at the time), the Ford Mustang SVT Cobra R. Under the hood is an SVT 5.4L V8 engine that made 385 horsepower and 385 lb-ft of torque. All that power was sent to the rear wheels and made it capable of hitting 60 mph in just 4.7 seconds.
Being an R variant of the Cobra, this car was strictly made for performance. SVT tuned and lowered the suspension, added Brembo disc brakes, and added some 18-inch wheels sporting custom compound tires specific to the Cobra R. Some of the standard interior amenities were also stripped from the vehicle to help reduce weight and Recaro racing seats were installed to add to the race track nature. On the outside, dual side-exit exhausts, front splitter, and a high rear spoiler were added to further exemplify the sportiness of the Cobra R.
The Dodge Viper was a heck of a sports car, especially the SRT-10 versions that started in 2003. Dodge handed the V10 speedster over to their Street and Racing Technology group (SRT) and let them restyle the already volatile beast into an even more ludicrous monster. The V10 engine’s displacement was increased by .3-liters and further tuned to pump out 500 horsepower and 526 lb-ft of torque.
The Viper SRT-10 also brought in the third-generation redesign that featured a sharper exterior design, a more rigid chassis, and reduced it weight by over 80 pounds (even after adding a larger engine). While this Viper was initially only available as a convertible, subsequent years added a coupe variant that even added GTS design elements including the iconic double stripes along the top of the vehicle. How could this awesome, American made, tire killer not be considered a future classic car?
Honda graced us car enthusiasts with the high revving S2000 back in 1999. This fun little roadster carried an Inline-4 VTEC engine that’s highly regarded in both its early 2.0L F20C and later 2.2L F22C1 forms. Both of these S2000 engines sent power to the rear wheels and the sole transmission was a 6-speed manual.
One notable trim that became available in the US for 2008 was the Club Racer. A lower weight, upgraded handling, alternate body parts, and a prominent rear spoiler set this model apart from the typical S2000 models of the time. A similar JDM trim called the Type S was also available at the same time, but you’ll have to tack on an extra 5 years of waiting time past its classic status to import this version of the future classic.
It’s been a while since Ford sold an SUV based off of one of their Super Duty pickup trucks, but when they did it was the largest SUV ever mass produced. The Ford Excursion was a giant SUV built on the platform used for F-250 Super Duty pickup trucks. It skipped the bed and added seating for up to nine whole passengers, while also keep the capability to haul like no other. This thing easily put the Suburban to shame when it was around.
Under the Ford Excursion’s hood was either a 5.4L V8 gas engine, 6.8L V10 gas engine, 7.3L PowerStroke V8 diesel engine, or the soughtafter 6.0L 4-valve PowerStroke V8 diesel engine. All those engines were paired with a 4-speed automatic transmission, except the last which was paired with a 5-speed TorqShift automatic. Like the F-250 it’s based on, the Ford Excursion was available with rear-wheel or four-wheel-drive. If you’re looking for a future classic car that can carry you and your extended family while pulling a camper, the Ford Excursion is for you.
Subaru had already experimented the idea of a UTE with their classic Brat, but they gave it another shot back in 2002 with the Subaru Baja. This short-lived UTE only lasted for three years before being scrapped, but that just makes it a more desirable future classic. To make the Baja, a Subaru Outback was used as the basis and the cargo area was removed in favor of a truck like bed.
This gave the Baja all-wheel-drive, seating for four passengers, all the interior features from the Outback, and that Subaru ruggedness in a unique form. There was also the Baja Turbo which carried a fun 2.5L turbocharged flat-4 engine from the Impreza WRX STi (albeit a little underwhelming in comparison) that pumped out 287 horsepower and 274 lb-ft of torque.
Nissan Z cars have woven themselves into sports car history, and soon the 350Z will fall into that historical class with the likes of the 240Z and 300ZX. The 350Z started as a 2003 model that carried some of the same design elements that made previous Z models so alluring. A rear-wheel-drive sports coupe that undercut its competition in terms of price without sacrificing the vehicles performance.
Inside the 350Z was a 287 horsepower V6 engine that sent the car from 0-60 in 5.3 seconds through either a 5-speed automatic or 6-speed manual gearbox. If you can find and import a NISMO edition of this future classic, it’ll be well worth the wait and the price for the performance and rarity. The 2005 NISMO S-Tune for example upped the horsepower to 296, added a longer body kit, and a sport tuned NISMO suspension.