We often get asked the question that no one can answer, or rather no one can have a right answer to. What are the absolute best cars to ever grace the 21st century till date? Now, this might be one of the most subjective topics till date – but i’m sure that %99 of all car enthusiasts will agree that these fantastic 4 cars were some of the best.
Since the 21st century started in 2001 and ends in 2100, we have plenty of years left and i’m sure it’s going to be filled with electric autonomous vehicles within the next 10 years, so let’s take a moment of silence for the petrol engine before it ceases to exist. Perhaps this is a celebration of the last descendants of the petrol engine, a dying breed that will be cherished and missed by all car enthusiasts around the world. Without further to do, let’s start talking about the fantastic 4 Cars of the 21st Century.
First on the list, rated from lowest to highest:
Nissan R34 GTR Nismo Z-Tune – 19 examples only (The Godzilla)
The Nissan GT-R is a face many are familiar with, its origins date back to 1989 with the Original Nissan Skyline GT-R R32 which got its name “The Godzilla” from automotive journalists after it squshed most supercars at the time. Even Jeremy Clarkson named it as one of the best cars in the world during BBC’s Top Gear. “The Skyline – and I’m not joking — is one of the best cars I have ever driven”
It wasn’t till Nissan released the R34 did it gain all the massive popularity that got it to be recognized as a world-class Japanese supercar.
The best version of the GT-R R34 had to be the Nismo edition; with 20 production vehicles ever made, it’s also one of the rarest and most valuable Japanese supercars on sale today. The Z-Tune edition was made to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Nismo and they wanted to do something really special by creating the best R-34 possible.
Nismo then went on to purchase 20 used Nissan R34 GT-R models that were very low mileage (lower than 18,000 miles) and in great condition. The cars were then completely stripped and painted in Z-tub Silver, which was an exclusive color only used for these specific samples. After initial approval, the Japanese tuner went on to upgrade the engine by boring it to 2.8 liters of displacement compared to the stock 2.6-L RB26Dett engine – The new engine was called the “Z2” while some still use the RB28Dett name. Although they commissioned 20 units to be built, Nismo only had 19 production examples done by the end.
A plethora of modifications took place including forged and rolled camshafts and pistons. IHI turbochargers, intake and exhaust upgrades pushing power to 500 hp. The R34 GTR Nismo Z-Tune could do 0–100 km/h (0–60 mph) time in 3.8 seconds, while topping out at 203 mph.
But the upgrades didn’t stop at the engine, since Nismo stripped the entire car – they also reworked everything else. They started by reinforcing and stiffening the chassis, added carbon-fiber to the engine bay, transmission tunnel and strut tower in addition to completely reworking the gearbox, drivetrain and suspension.
The aerokit was also very radical in a sense that it homologated function and design like never before. Functional vents were placed all around the car and downforce was being utilized to the maximum.
The Nismo then went on to sell at around $260,000 – $300,000 at certain auctions and still holds value till this day being sold for a lot more.
2002 Ferrari Enzo Ferrari (399 units built)
A car that was named after the founder of the company “Enzo Ferrari”, is a Ferrari worth every penny. Considered the benchmark of Italian performance back in 2002 with 399 examples built and performance that would make any supercar quake at the sight. It could be considered as the first production hypercar ever produced by a manufacturer. There were actually 400 units built, the last one was sold off for charity.
The Enzo Ferrari had an aluminium & carbon fiber honeycomb sandwich chassis for greater handling. It also came with a 5998cc (6.0-Liter) 65° Tipo F140 B V12 engine that produced a massive 660-hp and 657 N·m (485 lb·ft) of torque at 5500 rpm.
This enabled the Enzo to top out at 350 km/h thanks to the advanced active aerodynamic rear wing that could decrease downforce to 585 kg from 775 kg to enable the car to reach higher speeds.
Most of the tech found in the Enzo was actually derived from their Formula 1 expertise since they were leading the scoreboards back then. The focus was to create a car that functions just as good as it look, as you would be informed by Ferrari’s specialist – styled by Pininfarina’s Japanese head of design “Ken Okuyama”, the Enzo’s styling was heavily influenced by function; track data, wind tunnel data, driver input and road worthiness.
Besides being unique, the Ferrari Enzo received a completely new 6.0-L v12 engine that would serve as the company’s backbone for the coming years of development – coupled with a sequential automatic gearbox that could shift gears in less than 150 milliseconds although not nearly as fast as Volkswagen’s DSG with an 8 millisecond shift (world’s fastest gearshift according to Wikipedia).
The Ferrari Enzo now sells for over $1.5 – $2 million at auctions.
Did you know that there is an abandoned Ferrari Enzo at the Dubai impound yard which was uncalled for by the owner for almost 14 years until Dubai Police finally decided to sell it off at an auction.
Another Enzo is being sold on Dubai’s Wheels on Deals for 8,500,000 AED.
Pagani Zonda R (15 Production units only)
The Pagani Zonda R is a limited edition car with 15 units only, priced at about $1.86 million (€1.4 million euro) and produced for the track only. It’s an assault machine that was meant to squeeze every bit of performance out of the standard Pagani Zonda and the results were astonishing.
Aimed at cars like Maserati MC12 Corse and the Ferrari FXX, the R supplements its rear wheels with a v12-AMG engine that pumps out 750-hp at 8000 rpm and 524 lb-ft of torque. It also features a carbon fiber monocoque chassis, an Avional forged suspension, a Pagani six-speed sequential gearbox and only 10% of the components from the Zonda.
The Zonda R overall wheelbase gets a 47mm stretch, a 394-mm length increase and a 50mm track increase. Take a look at the body work and you would immediately notice that the R is packaged to suck in as much air and create enormous amounts of downforce while at it.
Sadly though, the Zonda R is a track only car and thus the interior was built with such focus – The track bespoke Toora seats ensure maximum driver stability, it has a five-point safety belt, a roll cage, and a custom Digitek instrumentation panel that measures every single component of the car to deliver telemetry feedback through the onboard sensors.
The dry sump V12 engine was developed with the help of racing specialist at Mercedes AMG which features a Formula 1 exhaust system, a racing multiple disc sintered clutch, and a carbon fiber intake system. It is also matched with a central carbon chassis, new suspension geometry, new front and rear subframes, a quick pneumatic lifting system and magnesium forged rims.
0-100 km/h takes 2.7 seconds and top speed is set at 217 mph.
What makes the Zonda R so special though? Back in 2010, the R set an incredible lap time of just 6:47 at the Nurburgring Nordschleife.
Lamborghini Veneno Roadster (9 Production units only!)
Easily the best looking and most exclusive car on this list. The Lamborghini Veneno Roadster is the definition of unique, with styling that is impossible to be mistaken with another and design lines that only few dare to portray on a car’s body, the Veneno tops the list of the best Fantastic 4 cars.
It’s simply it. A unique Italian supercar that showed us what the 21st century’s modern design revolution is all about in one car. Forget the LaFerrari, the P1 or the 918. The Veneno is the car to buy, one Roadster managed to fetch $7.4 million at an auction which makes it more expensive than the hyper trio combined – times two.
Honestly, if you are talking about exclusivity – besides the Egoista, this car is one of the most exclusive cars on earth and i’m talking modern and not vintage here, forget the $55 million 250 GTO for a minute.
The Lamborghini Veneno Roadster is limited to 9 cars only and priced at $4.5 million initially. The car features a carbon fiber monocoque chassis derived from the Aventador Lp700-4, the entire body is made out of carbon fiber and to make things lively – Lamborghini used the naturally aspirated 6.5-liter V12 which is rated at 740-hp and mated it to a seven-speed single clutch ISR automated manual transmission.
The Veneno Roadster weighs in at 3285 pounds *1734 kg thanks to all the carbon fiber used. All-wheel drive and no roof what so ever, if there is rain we suggest you bring an umbrella.
The rear wing is also adjustable (look closely and you will see three variations that display each setting printed on the wing itself) The rear fenders bulges are actually separated from the main fuselage and the canted fender openings suck in all the air needed for the V12 engine.
The entire body work is filled with ducts and vents that channel air throughout the Veneno to cool components, supply downforce and feed the engine.
0-100 Km/h takes just 2.9 seconds and top speed is set at 221 mph – if you bought one and you are one of the 9 owners around the world, you probably wouldn’t even bother going at that speed.
It’s funny that this might look like a rebadged Aventador Lp700-4 in which it partially is; but the amount of iconic status is enough to ensure its place on the poster of legendary cars.
Maybe like 50 years from now, someone will see this list and laugh because cars can do 0-60 in like 0.1 seconds or something of the sort. But no matter what technological advancements happen, these cars will always be remembered by car enthusiasts throughout the entire world as some of the best to grace earth.
We hope you enjoyed the fantastic 4 cars of the 21st century list, please don’t forget to share and let us know which car you would have added to the list.