1. Audi A4 1994-present Germany
“Audi A4 B8 front 20080414” by Rudolf Stricker – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
Audi A4, produced by the German Volkswagen subsidiary, is a compact
executive car offering great luxury and comfort for the price. Audi had
been having serious troubles as a company since the 1980’s. The A4
actually saved the company. Initially available as a sedan or wagon,
later production would offer a convertible model. The car not only put
Audi back in the black, it created unexpected competition for BMW and
Mercedes in the executive car market. Audi became the first European
carmaker to put a hybrid vehicle into series production, the Audi Duo,
which was based on the A4 Avant. Audi’s A4 was the first model produced
by the Volkswagen Group to feature the new 1.8 litre 20v engine with
five valves per cylinder, based on a design for a super touring race
2. Audi Quattro 1980–1991 Germany
“Ashes to ashes quattro tvc” by Bostonracing – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
The idea for a high-performance four-wheel-drive car was proposed by
JörgBensinger, Audi’s chassis engineer, in 1977. Bensinger discovered
that his Volkswagen Iltis could outperform any other vehicle in snow,
even those that were more powerful. He began to develop an Audi 80
variant that would be versatile in bad driving conditions. The Quattro
was the result, a road rally car with four-wheel drive. Quattro comes
from the Italian word for “four,” and has since been used to refer to
Audi’s all-wheel drive systems. The 2 door coupe became the company’s
most popular car in the 80’s. The Audi Quattro was also the first rally
car to take advantage of then-recent rule changes allowing four-wheel
drive cars to compete. It went on to be have great success racing over
the next few years. The car also featured independent front and rear
3. Audi R8 2007-2014 Germany
“Audi R8 GT” by SbastienRondet – Flickr. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
The Audi R8, designed, developed, and manufactured by Audi AG’s high
performance private subsidiary company, quattro GmbH, is a mid-size,
two-seater sports car. The car is based on the Lamborghini Gallardo
platform. It features Audi’s patented permanent Quattro All-Wheel Drive
system. The car is constructed on an Audi Space Frame, using an
aluminium monocoque which is built using space frame principles. The car
was first announced as the Audi Le Mans Quattro Concept Car in 2003.
Racing models hit the tracks in 2005 and road cars in 2007.Six-time 24
Hours of Le Mans winner Jacky Ickx described the R8 as “the best
handling road car today.” Criminals take notice, R8’s are also available
in police cars, with bigger engines, sport suspension, sport steering,
and a roll bar.
4. BMW 328 1936–1940 Germany
“Paris – Retromobile 2013 – BMW 328 – 1937 – 001” by Thesupermat – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
The BMW 328 is a sweet classic sport car made by the German
manufacturer. Designed by Fritz Fiedler and Peter Szymanowski, the BMW
328 featured a straight-6 OHV engine and a four speed transmission. The
BMW 328 went on to win hundreds of races, including winning in its class
at Le Mans in 1938. Unfortunately, after the Second World War the plant
in Eisenach, Germany where the BMW 328 was produced fell under the
control of communist Russia. All automobile production followed
state-direction until Germany was unified in 1989. A 328 and BMW
technical plans were taken from a bombed out BMW factory by
representatives of the Bristol Aeroplane Company and Frazer Nash
companies. The first Bristol car, the 400, was heavily based on those
plans. Bristol motors were also used in AC cars.
5. BMW 3 Series 1975-present Germany
“BMW 3 Series E30” by Ryanandlenny – Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
The 3 Series is BMWs most popular selling car of all time. Produced
in six different variations with five different body styles, this
compact executive car dominated luxury markets, becoming one of the
highest selling luxury lines of all time. Sales of 3 Series vehicles
make up 30% of all BMW sales. Its first generation, the E21, was
released at the peak of the oil crisis. Combining luxury with the gas
mileage of a compact car helped to propel the vehicle to instant
success. The 3 Series has won so many awards, accolades, and races, it
would be too time consuming to list them all here. In 2013 BMW began
producing the BMW M3, a high-performance version of the 3 Series.
6. BMW 7 Series 1977-present Germany
“BMW 7 Series E38 (5461457361)” by nakhon100 – BMW 7 Series E38. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
The 7 Series is BMWs full-sized luxury vehicle. Introduced two years
after the 3 Series, in 1977, the 7 Series is BMW’s flagship car. It is
only available as a sedan or an extend limousine. The 7 Series replaced
BMW’s E3 large sedan. The 7 Series offers a more high performance,
additionally modified version in the B7 made by Alpina. Some versions of
the Alpina B7 feature a supercharged 4.4L V8 with 493bhp. Initially,
however, all Series 7’s had 6 cylinder engines. It wasn’t until 1992 the
V8s were introduced. The Series 7 is the standard in luxury. Often
features and new technology are introduced to the Series 7 well before
they are in smaller models.
7. Mercedes-Benz SSK 1927–1932 Germany
“1928 MB SSK IMG 3228 – Flickr – nemor2” by nemor2 from Stuttgart, Germany – 1928 MB SSK_IMG_3228. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
Though Merecdes-Benz, based in Germany, has made many beautiful cars,
none were quite so significant to the automotive world as the SSK, or
Super Sport Kurz, which in German meant Super Sport Short. The SSK was a
roadster produced by Mercedes-Benz starting in the late 1920’s. It was
the last Benz designed by engineer Ferdinand Porsche before he left to
found the Porsche Company. The SSK’s supercharged straight 6 kicked out
200-300mhps. The power and performance were outmatched at the time. It’s
high performance and competitive success made it one of the most highly
regarded cars of the era. The SSK was a nominee for the Car of the
Century award, making it the penultimate round.
8. Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Coupé/Gullwing 1954–1957 Germany
“Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Coupé in Montabaur“. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 de via Wikimedia Commons.
The first iteration of the SL-Class grand tourer convertibles, the
300SL, was introduced in 1954 as a two-seater sports car with
distinctive gullwing doors. A roadster iteration would become available
in 1957. The original was notable not only for its awesome gullwing
doors, but for being the first car available to consumers to come with a
fuel-injection. It also boasted the world’s top speed at the time. It
was competitively successful, winning Le Mans in 1952. Today, the 300 SL
with gullwing doors is one of the most collectible Mercedes-Benz cars
in existence, valued between $1 to $2.5 million. The Mercedes-Benz SLS
AMG is described by Mercedes as a spiritual successor to the 300SL
9. Mercedes-Benz 500E 1990-1994 Germany
“1992 Mercedes-Benz 500E (W124.036), front right” by Mr.choppers – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
The 500E or E500 is a high performance version of Mercedes-Benz’s E
Series. Designed and produced in close cooperation with Porsche, the
500E was a luxury executive car on the outside and a bad ass sports car
on the inside. For this distinction, it was branded a “wolf in sheep’s
clothes” by the press. The car had to be transported back and forth from
Mercedes’s manufacturing plant to Porsche’s during production. The
process of producing a 500E took 18 days to complete. Capable of
impressing the Board of Directors of the company and doing 0-60mph in
under 6 seconds, this car has earned respect in the executive and sports
car classes. The diabolical creation was only produced for four short
10. Mercedes Benz 540K Roadster 1936-1940 Germany
“1938 Mercedes Benz 540K Roadster” by Hugh Llewelyn from Bristol, UK – 1938 Mercedes Benz 540K Roadster. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
The 540K was a roadster designed and fabricated by Mercedes-Benz in
the 1930’s. The designer, Friedrich Geiger had developed the car out of
its predecessor, the Mercedes-Benz 500K, which was itself developed from
the SSK. Popularly purchased as a two-seater cabriolet or a four-seater
coupé, the Roadster was also available as a stretch limo which came
with fully armored! Powered by a straight-8 cylinder aspirated by twin
pressurized updraft carburetors, the beast kicked out 115hp naturally.
The addition of a Roots supercharger which could be engaged for short
periods of time gave it extra kick. This car became a favorite of the
Nazi party. Mercedes built 12 custom Roadsters with extended chassis and
armor plating. One of these cars was a gift from Adolf Hitler to Ante
Pavelić, leader of the Independent State of Croatia.
11. NSU Ro 80 1967–1976 Germany
“NSU RO 80 front” by Oliver Kurmis – Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
The NSU Ro was a technologically advanced sedan manufactured by the
NSU firm of West Germany. Its powertrain, a 113 bhp (84 kW; 115 PS), 995
cc twin-rotor Wankel engine driving the front wheels with a
semi-automatic transmission, which employed an innovative vacuum system,
was regarded as particularly advanced for its time. It also featured
four wheel ATE Dunlop disc brakes, the type of brakes which at the time
were only featured on sports and luxury vehicles. Unfortunately for the
Ro 80, it gained an early reputation for unreliability which it could
not shake, despite the fact that its last production year vehicle won
the 1968 Car of the Year Award from the European motoring writers. It
was a Car of the Century Nominee.
12. Porsche 911 1963–present Germany
“Porsche 911 GT2 RS (15571110420)” by jeremyg3030 – Porsche 911 GT2 RS. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
The 911 (Nine Eleven or in German, the Neunelf) is a high
performance, rear-engine, two-door sports car produced by Porsche AG in
Germany. The 911 has been heavily modified for rallying, racing, and
other types of competitions throughout its lifetime. It is one of the
most successful competitive cars ever made. Its design has underwent
only minor changes in over five decades of continuous production.
Through most of its life the 911 served as Porsche’s flagship car. It is
a legend in its own right, which is why it placed fifth on the
international Car of the Century poll. While Porsche has and will
continue to make many fine automobiles, the 911 is the company’s best
known model and an icon for sports cars everywhere.
13. Volkswagen Beetle 1946–2003 Germany
“VWbubblafront 1949“. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
The Beetle was a two-door, rear-engine economy car manufactured by
German automaker Volkswagen from 1938 until 2003. It was Adolf Hitler
who first formulated the need for a cheap, simple, functional automobile
to mass produced for Germany. Though some were produced in the 1930’s,
World War II prevented major production from occurring until 1946. With
European economies in tight spots following the war, the Beetle (or Bug
as it would be commonly known) quickly became a success, the demand
helping to give new life to German manufacturing. Soon the Bugs would
become favorites in America, as well, where they would become a favorite
of the hippie generation during the 1960’s and 1970’s. The Bug spawned a
subculture, people collect, build, restore, and modify Bugs to this
day. The newer generations, which have a bubblier exterior, were never
as popular. Remarkably efficient and affordable, the Beetle was a Car of
the Century nominee.
14. Volkswagen Golf 1974–present Germany
“VW Golf II front 20080102” by Rudolf Stricker – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
Golfs (or Rabbits, as they were sold in the US at times) are a
compact car designed and manufactured by the Volkswagen Group. An
advancement of the rear-engine, rear-wheel drive Beetle design, the Golf
is a front-engine, front-wheel drive compact that has become
Volkswagen’s best-selling model of all time. It also has the distinction
of being the second best-sellingautomobile ever, with well over
30,000,000 being sold world-wide. Through seven generations of
continuous production, the Golf has become a go-to car for anyone
looking for style, affordability, and efficiency. Its reliability and
popularity helped it to become a Car of the Century nominee. Continuing
to lead the charge on fuel efficiency, VW recently began producing
electric powered Golfs.
15. Volkswagen Type 2 (microbus) 1950-present Germany
“1975 Volkswagen T2B (5686553332)” by Niels de Wit from Lunteren, The Netherlands – 1975 Volkswagen T2B. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
The Type 2, or as it was commonly known, the Microbus, Kombi, or
Transporter (depending on the body style), was a panel van introduced in
1950 by Volkswagen. The Type 2 was VW’s second car design, following
the Beetle. Often used as a camper, many models featured a unique pop-up
bed that raised out from the roof. The versatile and unique van became a
favorite road vehicle for travelers. By the 1960’s the hippies in
America had practically adopted them as their official vehicle, giving
way to the nickname “hippie bus.” Like many VW’s, the Microbus has
spawned a subculture which to this day collects and rebuilds classic
Type 2s. The Type also shares the distinction of being one of the first
forward-control vans, meaning the driver was positioned above the front
source : www.carophile.com
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