1. BMW E46 M3
The E46 is a CT favourite, with a remapped 330Ci and two M3s gracing our garage. Incredibly, the latter performance car has been around for well over a decade. When you consider the fact that its performance is still impressive today, it must have been an awe-inspiring car to drive at the turn of the millennium.
Interestingly, when the first E46 M3s rolled off the production line, the rest of humanity had just recovered from a global panic over the belief that everything with a clock would explode when the year 2000 came along…
The Honda NSX is a bona fide legend. It was the people’s supercar, proving that you could have Ferrari performance without the elitist buying process and horrific reliability problems. It was more than a match for anything the Italians could muster up, and when its 3.0-litre VTEC-endowed V6 (and later a 3.2-litre variant) got into the sweet spot, it was just as evocative.
After going on sale in 1990, its inability to adapt over the years was part of its downfall - we recently drove one of the final UK-registered NSXs, and it still had the same 80s-spec interior found on the original car.
The NSX went out of production in 2005, the same year Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith was one of the highest grossing films.
3. Dodge Viper
If you’re looking for the ultimate ‘Murican automotive symbol, you’d struggle to find something with quite such an iconic shape - and evil reputation - as the Dodge Viper.
The second generation car transformed an icon, but continued to be a tricky beast to master. Under that long snout sat an 8.3-litre V10 making 493bhp, contributing to a 0-62mph time of under four seconds; without the complex driver aids that were creeping into high performance vehicles in the rest of the world, you can understand why it was such a handful.
The updated Viper came into the world in 2003, the same year China launched Shenzhou 5, its first manned space mission.
The first Civic Type R was the EK9, introduced in 1997, and it was a fantastic little thing thanks to a fizzy engine and a lightweight body. Unfortunately, it was only ever sold in Japan, so when its successor (chassis code EP3) came out on this side of the world, we were understandably excited.
Its understated exterior hid its fiery potential, and its styling has stood the test of time. 2015 marks 10 years since the EP3 ceased production, having entered the market in 2001.
2005 was the car’s last year on sale, the same year the devastating Hurricane Katrina made landfall on the eastern coast of America.
5. Ferrari Enzo
I’m going to shake things up a bit with the Ferrari Enzo, if that’s okay with you guys. You see, the rest of this list is full of cars that feel like they shouldn’t be 10 years old already, but I feel like the Enzo represents the opposite.
Built between 2003 and 2005, it’s easily one of the most iconic exotic cars ever created. Its blistering performance owes to the 651bhp, 6.0-litre V12 mounted in the middle of the chassis and its no compromises construction.
Maybe it’s just me, but the styling looks far more retro than it really is - every time I see an Enzo I think it looks like something from the late 90s. It’ll be interesting to see if today’s exotic hypercar styling stands the test of time similarly poorly.
6. Ford Focus RS
When the first generation Ford Focus came on to the scene in 1998, it changed the small family car game. Its styling still looks fresh today, and even the standard models were a joy to drive fast.
So when the RS model was introduced in 2002, it would’ve been a big shock if it was anything but brilliant. Aside from a chronic case of torque steer, the RS received rapturous praise, and with only 4501 cars produced, it’s a rare sight on the roads.
Incredibly, the Focus RS went on sale in the same year that the Euro currency came in to effect. Can you believe that?