They first hit the market more than two decades ago, but you can still catch some of these hotrods cruising down the streets today. And while there are newer generations of these cars, the original models are unforgettable. For their speed, performance, and innovative designs, these are the top five cars of the early 2000s.
The S2000 is a small roadster with a lot of gusto. The S2000 began as a concept car in the mid-90s before Honda took the concept and developed it into a functional street-legal model. Consumers were drawn to the S2000 the moment they laid eyes on it, but this car offered more than just good looks. The F20C four-cylinder engine was the key feature of this little speed demon and is still one of the most powerful naturally aspirated engines in automotive history.
Riding low to the ground and with a smooth yet simple design, the 360 is one of Ferrari’s most recognizable cars. It was much-loved in its day because its powerful V8 engine, six-speed manual transmission, and lightweight chassis made drivers feel like they were behind the wheel of an F1 racecar. The old 360 is still a popular ride because it is one of the more affordable options for those who are looking to buy their first Ferrari.
You couldn’t go anywhere in the early 2000s without seeing one of these on the road. With a six-cylinder V8 engine and limited-slip differential technology to maximize torque, grip, and handling the BMW M3 was super fun to drive. Consumers were also drawn to the M3 because it was easy to find and install parts. Used M3s are still popular because the car’s accessible design makes it great for anyone who likes to do their own auto work.
Don’t let its small size fool you: with performance features that were modeled after the Dodge Viper, the Neon SRT-4 was a powerful little car. It won the hearts of drivers with its incredible speed, comfortable handling, and affordable price tag. The SRT-4 was also one of the most easily modifiable cars, so much so that it has become nearly impossible to find a stock version of this model. With so many cool features, it’s no surprise that this was one of the most popular cars in the early 2000s.
You don’t see many Ford GTs roaring down the road, but that’s only because people tend to keep these beauties in the safety of a garage. Originating as a concept car to celebrate Ford’s 100th anniversary, the GT was an instant hit with drivers. Featuring a rear-mounted V8 engine, limited-slip differential, and six-speed manual transmission, this was more like a racecar than a street-legal vehicle. And with modifications, it could go even faster. In 2019, a modified 2005 GT broke the record for fastest street-legal vehicle with a top speed of 483 kph (300 mph). With stunning good looks, incredible handling, and unbelievable speed, the Ford GT is the greatest car of the 2000s.
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