There was a burst of exuberance at the dawn of the twenty-first century, and it showed up in the exotic car market with a vengeance. Ancient marques were resurrected and longtime performers were injected with new blood. Check out the hottest ten exotic cars of recent years.
There were several car companies that sprang out seemingly out of nowhere expressly to fulfill the dreams of the owner-designer. Gumpert was one of those. A former Audi engineer had a very specific dream: to build a super car with more downforce than any other. The result is rumored to be able to drive upside-down in a tunnel, though no one has put that theory to the test.
This is one of the resurrected marques, a seventy-year-old nameplate brought back to life by Mercedes-Benz in 2004. It came in shorter or longer, and a bit more or a bit less powerful, but really, it was all about the insane levels of luxury inside. Standard silver champagne flutes, for example. But on the outside, it wasn't different enough from other Mercedes cars to excite people. Maybach's second run was ended in 2011.
After a half century of sharing parts with Bentley, Rolls was bought by BMW in the late 1990s. The new partnership resulted in the 2003 Phantom, which traded on the marque's long, storied history while looking new and packing a lot of power under that long, squared-off hood. That design lasted pretty much unchanged for the oughts, with the Phantom Series II debuting in 2012.
The biggest news in the 2000s was fuel efficiency. Hybrids, clean diesels, ethanol -- they all made big moves. But no moves were bigger than electric cars, and Tesla nailed it with its first-ever car, the Roadster. Quick speeds, long-lasting charges, cutting-edge technology, and a cool design by Lotus added up to a green car that you wanted to show off.
Kristen Hall-Geisler for About.com
Once freed from the clutches of Ford, Aston Martin was able to shake up its designs and build its cars at its new facility in Gaydon, U.K. This car, the DB9, became the best-selling Aston of all time, with more than 10,000 units sold before the final models rolled off the assembly line in 2012.
If you can't find a configuration of the Continental to love, you're probably an android incapable of love, because something like a dozen versions of the car were sold in the 2000s. There's the Continental base model, the convertibles, the Speeds, the Supersports ... All of them have Bentley's trademark W12 engine under the hood. Even an android could fall in love with that.
This rarest of rare birds of the 2000s made its debut at a Ferrari and Maserati exhibit at an art museum in Tokyo in 2002 -- three years before its official debut. Hardly matters, really; only 29 were ever made, and none of them were legal to drive on the street. These were track-only monsters, or more likely, additions to already extensive private collections of rare cars.
Only slightly less rare than the FXX was the Enzo, the car the FXX was based on. There were 399 Enzos built, with a design by Pininfarina. The name comes from the company's founder, Enzo Ferrari, and it seemed a fitting tribute to the father of Italy's most famous super car company when the Enzo debuted in 2002.
This is one of the flashiest, most recognizable cars of the decade, with its origami-like folds and scissor doors. No less a cultural figure than Bruce Wayne drove a Murcielago in the Christopher Nolan-directed Batman franchise, but it makes perfect sense. Murcielago is Italian for bat, after all.
Another entry in the vanity super car category, the Koenigsegg CC series was created by a very young Christian von Koenigsegg and his designer friend David Crafoord. The result was a flowing, powerful car. How powerful? If you put ethanol fuel in the CCXR version, it's got well over 1000 hp. Yikes.