Some cars are destined to be remembered.
Definitions of what makes a classic car vary. Here in the US, the Classic Car Club of America has a list of cars it considers classics, and they are all built between 1915 and 1948. A vehicle built before 1915 is currently considered as antique. In Canada, the term classic is applied to cars over 25 years old. In the UK, it's mostly subjective, although some use the road tax-exempt status of cars over 40 years old or those that are over 15 years old with a value in excess of £15,000.
These are the cars we think people will be scouring auctions and classified ads for 20 years down the road, and some of them will likely be worth some serious money.
We look forward to your comments, but time will bear this one out. The Toyota Supra is legitimately one of the best sports cars on the market, and in 20 year's time, the majority of this new generation of Supras will be either crashed or heavily modified. At its heart is BMW's a remarkably robust and tunable BMW B58 turbo six-cylinder engine, and the race has already been on to build reliable 1,000 hp drag racing monsters. The fact the Supra is a superb sports car out of the box, and the rarity of unmolested cars will ensure its status a collectible in the future.
The first-generation (NA) Miata is now highly sought after with only a few models around that haven't been modified or thrashed to death. The NB second generation is heading that way, but it's unlikely the slightly bloated NC third generation will achieve the same collectible status. However, the current ND generation has been a genuine return to form for the little roadster. On top of its lightweight chassis and agile handling, the Mazda MX-5 had an engine upgrade in 2019, with the 2.0-liter engine now making 181 hp up from 155 hp, which should make 2020 models more sought after in the future.
The Nissan GT-R is not new for 2020, but we shouldn't forget its importance. While there are a lot of legitimate complaints that the GT-R is getting old these won't be relevant in 20+ years time. It's still a phenomenally fast car and a prime example of Japanese engineering being applied to a sports car. More importantly, every generation of GT-R has become collectible, and there's no disputing the historical importance of any of them. If Nissan chooses to take the next generation GT-R into an electrified future, the current base 3.8-liter twin-turbo V6 will be the last of its kind. Of course, the 2020 GT-R Track Edition and GT-R Nismo will be the premium classics, but base models will also make the grade.
More powerful and more sought after variants of the new Corvette will become available for future classic car collectors. However, the first model year of the transition from being a front-engined sports car to a mid-engined supercar is a historical moment for the badge. It's now gone from supercar adversary to supercar competitor, and while that leaves a sour taste in some enthusiast's mouths, it will be forgotten in time. The term game changer is overused, but it's apt here. The Corvette has become America's first blue-collar supercar and has put exotic supercar manufacturers on notice.
Bentley has said it plans on electrifying its entire range by 2023. That means the brand new twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter W12 Bentley Flying Spur will be short-lived as a purely gas-engined sedan. Its 626 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque will help keep it desirable well into the future. Bentley is looking forward to entering a new era, so anything at the end of this era, including the final Mulsanne model year cars, is guaranteed to become a well-loved and desired Bentley classic.
Shelby cars have a long history of becoming classics, and the 2020 GT500 is a new factory built high-performance Mustang benchmark. A supercharged 5.2-liter V8 pushing 760 hp and the ability to hit 60 mph in 3.3 seconds ensures we will remember it for a long time. Buy one, keep that snake badge clean and shiny, and it's unlikely to be a depreciated asset in 20+ years. Buy one and drive it like it's supposed to be driven, and someone will still want to give it a good home.
The Mini originally became an icon for being an affordable, compact car that was era-appropriate and full of character. The Mini SE offers exactly that as it transitions into an electric car. However, the little electric Mini could go two ways. It'll either be looked back upon as an oddity worth preserving when we're all driving hydrogen-fueled cars, or it'll become popular as a classic daily driver with an upgraded battery pack. People are focusing on its low range right now, but, in 20+ years, people will be scoffing at 300 miles from a single charge so this won't make a difference.
The all-new 2020 model year Porsche in any high-performance trim is a shoo-in here, but those that choose the Carrera S with a manual installed are doing future generations a favor. The manual transmission is dying, and people are always going to be looking back at the 911 fondly. Put those facts together, and you have a future classic car. At some point, it's also likely that manual transmission Porsches will create their own bubble in the market as rear-engined Porsches did recently. If you can afford two, buy one to drive and stick one in the garage with a sheet over it. Your kids will thank you for it later.
Porsche's first all-electric car is guaranteed to become a classic. Whether it will be a popular or niche classic is another matter, though, and probably depends on whether battery electric power becomes our future standard. Power-wise, the Taycan's 562 hp to 750 hp and relentless torque won't age in a hurry, but the battery tech will. The shape, style, and the fact its Porsche's first all-electric powerhouse will help it endure and well-preserved models will satisfy the history nerds for generations.
For those that want a scorchingly fast muscle car but also have to put people in the rear seats, the Dodge Charger Hellcat is a dream come true. The Hellcat Charger has been around a while, but adding a widebody version with more tire for 2020 doesn't just make the Charger SRT Hellcat look badass, it's also a riot to drive on the track or back roads with generously sized lanes. However, looks alone will make sure the Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody is preserved for future generations to enjoy.