BusinessWeek came up with an interesting Top 25 of Most Iconic Cars introduced in the past 20 years. Even though this Top 25 wasn’t compiled by us – so no bias here-, the BMW brand is very well represented with three models: two bimmers and one MINI.
Several U.S. based automakers are featured also, but more exclusive brands as Bugatti, Aston Martin and Lotus are present as well. Of course, as with any top, the list of cars showed here is debatable and many other vehicles could have and should have been featured as well, but let’s go with they put together and we can debate further on that.
As expected, the highest volume seller BMW, the 3 Series, made the cut and it ranks without a doubt among the most iconic cars we have ever seen. The first 3 Series named E21 was introduced in May 1975 and the most recent redesign launched in 2005.
Next on our list is the BMW Z8, the super roadster that had a short production lifespan, but which has a great impact on the BMW brand image. The Z8 Roadster was produced under the name E52 from 2000 until 2003 and was designed by Henrik Fisker. There were 5,703 Z8s built, approximately half of which were exported to the United States.
To stay within the BMW Group, let’s see which MINI models are being featured in this top. First, we have the MINI Cooper which was originally designed and built by British Motors in the 1960s. When production of the classic Mini ceased in 2000, BMW (the new owner of the brand) announced the successor to the Mini – which is sometimes refereed to as the “New MINI”. The brand name for the new car is MINI (written in capital letters). The new model launched in 2001 and was designed by Frank Stephenson.
Mercedes-Benz is present with its super duper high-end car, SLR McLaren, a vehicle designed by Gordon Murray and introduced in 2003. The SLR is a joint project between MB and the racing manufacturer McLaren, therefore some Formula 1 design details are included in the street version of this vehicle.
Since we’re in the area of exclusive and expensive street vehicle, let’s take a look at the Bugatti Veyron. The car was introduced in 2005, designed by Hartmut Warkuss, and as BW points out, it made the top since at time it held the record of the world’s most expensive and fastest car. Top sped: 250 mph.
The Hummer H2 needs to further introduction and all of us that live in the U.S. are quite familiar with the Hummer b rand. As BW points out, “The H2 became an emblem of American gas-guzzling excess by virtue of its size and unforgiving aesthetic.” and we couldn’t agree more. The H2 was introduced in 2002 and was designed by Wayne Cherry.
Other representative cars in the past 20 years are the new VW Beetle, Jeep Wrangler, Porsche 911, Bentley Continental GT, Chrysler 300 or surprisingly, the Tata Nano. You can see the complete Top 25 Most Iconic Cars in the past 20 years at BusinessWeek.