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These Are the Most Influential Cars Launched in the Last Decade
The 2010-2020 decade was filled with some of the most disruptive technology changes the world has ever seen, from curved touchscreen displays to autonomous drones and virtual assistants that you can engage in conversations with.

These Are the Most Influential Cars Launched in the Last Decade

Alfa Romeo Giulia QuadrifoglioDodge Challenger HellcatMazda MX-5 NAPorsche 918 SpyderTesla Model S
Regrouping after a global financial crisis and recession that touched pretty much every single carmaker, the car industry had its fair share of ups and downs in the last 10 years. Some car brands came out of nowhere to eventually move into the top of the sales in various segments, some historic car brands simply disappeared while others were engulfed by giants.

Overall, the previous automotive decade was nothing like our forefathers had predicted. It was also plagued by scandals, the rise of SUVs and the mass reintroduction of EVs. That said, we've put together a shortlist in no particular order of the most influential cars launched in the past 10 years, each of which being instrumental in changing the industry's status quo in one way or another.Porsche 918 Spyder
Even though it was unveiled in production form after the Ferrari LaFerrari, we consider the Porsche 918 Spyder to be the first modern hybrid hypercar, thus establishing a sports car segment that started existing in the 2010-2020 decade.

First of all, the concept that previewed the model was first shown right at the dawn of the decade, at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show, about a year before Ferrari was even starting to imagine a hybrid successor to the Enzo with the help of Pininfarina and Ferrari Centro Stile.

Second of all, the 918 Spyder is a true hybrid, unlike the LaFerrari, which uses more of a mild-hybrid KERS-like system to achieve all that tire-torturing horsepower and torque.

Powered by a naturally aspirated, 4.6-liter V8 derived from the Porsche RS Spyder Le Mans Prototype racing car, the first modern Porsche hypercar is complemented by two electric motors and a 6.8 kWh liquid-cooled Li-ion battery, a first for a road car that can go from 0 to 100 kph (62 mph) in about 2.5 seconds officially and a bit less during independent tests.

Unlike the LaFerrari or its other arch-nemesis, the McLaren P1, the 918 Spyder was also all-wheel-drive thanks to one of the electric motors exclusively powering the front axle. Every modern hybrid hypercar that followed it has simply copied and/or improved Porsche's original formula.Tesla Model S
Even though the Model S prototype was first displayed at a press conference in 2009 it took another three years for the first road-going units to actually go into production after various problems plagued the Tesla Motors startup, as it was named back then.

About 8 years later, the Tesla Model S is the second best-selling electric car in history, mostly thanks to various improvements that made it better and better over time.

Tesla's first mass-produced vehicle has thus launched a downright tidal wave over all the other established carmakers, proving that an electric car with more-than-reasonable performance and range can be sold at a somewhat reasonable price.

First available with a single electric motor and then with two, the Model S has been offered with Li-ion batteries of varying sizes over the years, but it's the facelifted P100D that truly cemented its place as the David of the Goliath car industry. Still in production and continuously evolving, the Model S is now available with a tri-motor AWD Plaid setup that topples much newer EV sports sedans like the Porsche Taycan.Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio
Almost three decades after having been saved from bankruptcy but also condemned to mediocrity by Fiat, Alfa Romeo finally made a thunderous comeback in 2015 with the Giulia Quadrifoglio.

As the first Alfa Romeo sedan in over 20 years to feature a longitudinal rear-wheel-drive platform, the Giulia is a true return to the roots, also featuring a 50:50 front and rear weight distribution. The Quadrifoglio was the first version to be sent to the spotlight for a number of reasons.

First of all, Alfa thought it would be a good idea to send the General in front of the soldiers, with the Quadrifoglio spearheading an entire range of versions with lesser engines. Sadly, that didn't quite work out as Giulia sales have been abysmal.

Second of all, the Giulia Quadrifoglio is not just a top of the range model but a true rival to the more established German Autobahn-stormers like the Audi RS4, BMW M3 and Mercedes-AMG C 63. The super sedan is powered by a twin-turbocharged 2.9-liter V6 that is a worthy successor to the famed Busso V6s of old.

Sure it's turbocharged and it sounds like a vacuum cleaner in any driving mode apart from “Race,” but this mill is actually a Ferrari V8 with two of its cylinders thrown out, so it exudes Italian passion from every pore.

With 510 horsepower and 600 Nm (443 lb-ft) of torque on tap, the Giulia Quadrifoglio can get from 0 to 100 kph (62 mph) in under 4 seconds and onward to a top speed of 307 kph (191 mph), making it the fastest car in its segment. Oh, and it can still be had with a six-speed manual.Dodge Challenger Hellcat
Introduced as early as 2008, the current third-generation of the Challenger is still keeping the old-school muscle car spirit alive and will continue to do it well into the 2020s and onwards.

Developed on a hodgepodge platform that mostly uses parts from the Mercedes-Benz E-Class W211 and S-Class W220, the Challenger is a retro-styled coupe that brought back the MOPAR performance nameplate back in the spotlight.

After a long-awaited facelift in 2015, the Challenger became the most powerful road-going muscle car in history with the addition of the SRT Hellcat.

Its supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI V8 is rated at no less than 707 horsepower and 881 Nm (650 lb-ft) of torque, enough to transform the rear tires into jello if you have a heavy right foot.

American cars with over 700 horsepower are almost a dime a dozen nowadays, but it's the original Hellcat that truly resurrected the muscle car horsepower wars and it's easy to see why the Challenger is still successful despite its increasing age.Mazda MX-5 ND
Declared by the Guinness Book of World Records as the best-selling two-seat sports car in history as early as the year 2000, the MX-5 has been a home run for Mazda ever since it was introduced over 30 years ago.

That said, some were beginning to think that the original recipe was getting a bit more diluted with each new generation, with more weight and standardized parts being used mainly due to more stringent safety regulations.

But Mazda seems to have listened to all those detractors, so the fourth generation (ND) is not only a modern iteration of those lovable two-seater roadsters from 1960s Italy and Britain but also a massive improvement over any of its predecessors.

Available either with the classic manual soft-top or as the sleeker-looking Retractable Fastback version, the Mazda MX-5 ND is arguably the best entry-level sports car of the last decade. The RWD roadster features a four-cylinder engine pushed so far back that it's almost a front-midship design, with some markets being offered either a revvy 1.5-liter or a torquier 2.0-liter in a naturally aspirated design.

 
 
 
 
 

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