Your idea of a classic car probably has something to do with the Mini Cooper of The Italian Job (1969) or the Thunderbird of Thelma and Louise (1991).
But outside of the film world, time rolls on — and we’re already in decade #3 of the 21st century. That means vehicles from the early 2000s are ramping up to be classic cars.
Here are five future classic cars from the early 2000s you’ll want to know about before it’s their turn on the bidding block.
1. Honda S2000
Undeniably of the racing religion, the Honda S2000 roadster was in production for a decade from 1999-2009. Its 2.0-liter VTEC put out 247 horsepower, which is a lot considering the small liter size of the engine. A six-speed manual transmission was the only option.
With 50-50 weight distribution and rear-wheel drive, the S2000 had everything a roadster requires. For a more classic look, find one before the 2004 model year, as that’s when this car got a slight modern makeover.
2. BMW E39 M5
The BMW E39 M5 was in production from 1998-2003, making it the perfect turn-of-the-century performance vehicle. Gearheads of the future can look back on classic cars like this one and see a six-speed transmission, V8 engine and about 400 horsepower.
This car will always be Beamer’s first M5 with a V8 installation. Most of them are known for their I6 engines, but the E39 made its specs feel natural. Nowadays, BMW experts compare any new M5 iteration with the early 2000s E39, just to make sure it’s up to par.
3. VW Golf R32
The R32 line from Volkswagen has a steadfast following, and for good reason. The VW Golf R32 first launched in 2004, and this was also the only year it was sold in the US (talk about rarity). This hot hatch featured a 3.2-liter VR6 engine with 238 horsepower and 236 pounds-feet of torque.
Both of its transmission options — a six-speed manual or six-speed dual clutch — were worthy. The dual clutch was actually the first one to be installed in a production vehicle, making history on the mark.
What’s more is that Golf and R32 drivers have a habit of tricking out their rides, so any future classic cars are bound to be dressed to impress.
4. Saab 9-5 Aero
Maybe I’m biased toward this one since I spent the latter half of high school riding shotgun in my friend’s wagon. Regardless, this is one ride that is sure to see classic car status before too long.
Back in 2011, Saab called it quits on the manufacturing front, a move that propelled them toward classic status at a much faster rate. The Saab 9-5 Aero was around from 1998-2010, and it exuded performance appeal without trying too hard.
Compared to the standard 9-5, the Aero had a hearty torque and swift acceleration. Its 2.3-liter I4 turbocharged engine put out 250 horsepower and 258 pounds-feet of torque. Add a five-speed manual transmission for some extra flair. While not racy, this ride proved itself to be a powerful daily driver. And it looked damn cool doing it.
5. Dodge Ram SRT-10
Okay, so this one might not be a car…but it definitely deserves a spot on this list of future classic cars from the early 2000s. The Dodge Ram SRT-10 is a pickup truck that was in production from 2004-2006, and it features a gigundous 8.3-liter V10 engine that was sourced from the Viper itself.
Its bright red color and undulating hood scoops made this quick pickup look as racy as it felt. With about 500 horsepower and 525 pounds-feet of torque, the SRT-10 was not messing around. Enthusiasts don’t call it the “Viper Truck” for nothing.