sponsor the highly entertaining Future Classics Racing Championship
for certain cars produced before the end of 1995, but it got us thinking. What brand new cars on sale today are likely to become sought-after classics in say 30 years? Greatness on the road isn't enough; being best-in-class is not enough; future classics need a certain je ne sais quoi
. We enlisted the help of our partners and new car experts over at CompleteCar.ie
to pick six promising contenders. I.e. don't go smashing these up on a racetrack any time soon. Please.
Alfa Romeo MiTo
Body style: three-door hatchback
One to bubble wrap in your garage now: MiTo Cloverleaf
No, the MiTo hasn't set the sales chart alight, but that's not the point of a future classic. Indeed, low sales figures and rarity are a good thing. Alfa Romeo continues to have a massive fan base and you can be sure they'll see the MiTo through rose-tinted spectacles in a few decades, calling it a modern-day Alfasud or such like. It's not a bad car by any means, but outclassed today by its contemporaries. None of that matters when it comes to classics.
Citroen C4 Cactus
Body style: five-door hatchback crossover
One to bubble wrap in your garage now: any with a wild colour combo
Citroen is another brand that has huge history and, hence, a massively loyal following of historians and enthusiasts. Few modern Citroens are particularly inspiring, but the French company seems to have found its mojo again in the C4 Cactus, eschewing convention to create a truly interesting family hatch. It's kind of a crossover and kind of a hatchback, but regardless, it's fascinating. The quirky exterior design with its odd 'Airbumps' is only half the story. Within there's loads of space and plenty of clever features, such as the cavernous glovebox thanks to the roof-mounted airbag. Mark our words: the C4 Cactus will be on display in design museums of the future.
Fiat 500 Abarth
Body style: three-door hot hatchback
One to bubble wrap: bonkers 695 Biposto version
Seems odd to be saying that a car that trades so heavily on its retro styling will indeed be a classic itself in the future. And while we reckon the regular Fiat 500 might well verge on being a future classic, it's the much rarer Abarth models that are a sure thing. The Abarth name already has a lot of history and we don't see that going away in another three decades. Helping the Abarth 500's cause here is a mind-numbing number of special and limited editions. Only problem is that the Abarth is so much fun to drive that few will want to wrap it up in cotton wool and garage it.
Ford Focus RS
Body style: five-door hot hatchback
One to bubble wrap in your garage now: there's only one version
The Focus RS hasn't hit Irish shores as yet, but we already know that it's going to exceed expectations, reinventing what a high-performance hot hatchback can do - and not just because of its naughty 'Drift Mode'. It's based on sound mechanicals and parts that aren't all exotic, despite its giant-slaying capabilities. It features here as it continues a strong RS lineage of fast Fords, and every one of them is in demand on the used market, making this a certain star of the future classic scene.
Hyundai i20 Coupé
Body style: three-door hatchback
One to bubble wrap in your garage now: 1.0-litre Sport 120hp
The three-door version of the Hyundai i20 isn't technically on sale in Ireland, but it wouldn't take much to get one in from the UK. And while it barely justifies its 'coupé' name, we think it's just quirky enough to make it a future classic. Those of you turning your noses up at the thought of a Korean car in the classic car scene need to remember that they'll have been around a long time by the time they're old enough to be called classics...
Range Rover Evoque Convertible
Body style: two-door, four-seat SUV cabriolet (we're not making this up)
One to bubble wrap in your garage now: any petrol-powered one
Now, we know that many people just want to kill the open-topped Evoque Convertible with fire, but we expect everyone's opinion of this simply weird car will mellow with familiarity. Yet we don't expect it to be a big seller, not in Europe in any case. Which means it has potential classic status in its sights. In fairness, the regular Evoque could be on the list too, though it has sold in such high numbers that we think it'll be a long while before it's sought after by collectors.