These 2000s sports cars have slipped under everyone’s radar for too long
Whether it’s styling, power, or performance, many cars of the 2000s are considered the best driver’s cars of all time and instead become collector’s items. They defined the standards and expectations of the new models to be met and pushed them to break down technological and performance barriers. For example, if the Audi TT hadn’t been so successful in the early 2000s, the R8 might never have seen the light of day.
Although this is true, some sports cars coming out of the 2000s didn’t receive big accolades and faded into obscurity. Sometimes this is because they are eclipsed by their competition or simply because they weren’t what the market was looking for at the time. As such, the vehicles on this list have gone under the radar for quite some time. Some of them are now gaining followers, but most of them don’t care much.
Chevrolet Cobalt SS Turbo
The Chevrolet Cobalt SS Turbo brought a more powerful setup to the Cobalt lineup. The car was released in 2008 and was fitted with a turbocharged 2.0-liter Ecotec engine developing 260 hp. It also brought more luxury, as well as another power boost in 2009 to 290 hp.
In terms of other additions, the SS Turbo came with sporty seats and larger 18-inch diameter wheels. The car also had launch control which allowed for more consistent launches during competitive driving, helping it reach a 0-60 time in just 5.5 seconds. However, the car has been under the radar of many for quite some time as it was front-wheel-drive and the engine was small for US markets.
The 2003 Mercury Marauder was the nameplate revival after 33 years, and at the time of its release it was highly anticipated. It was a very good performance, as the previous generations of the car had been. Equipped with a 4.6 liter V8 engine producing 302 hp, the car was exceptional in terms of power and performance.
More surprisingly, the car made a really good dragster and it’s perfect to tune to be even better for drag racing. Unfortunately, the car somehow went unnoticed by many enthusiasts as its sales were drastically reduced in 2004 and it showed that a lot of people weren’t really interested in owning one, but it has since started to become a cult.
The 2005 Pontiac GTO was not that impressive in terms of sales, and many consider it a failure. With an LS2 engine producing 400 hp, the car definitely offered a more efficient engine than the 2004 edition of the car. Indeed, the car was good and there is no real problem with it. While it was a bit rushed to hit the market, it wasn’t as bad to drive as many think.
The point was, sales were low, and that reflected badly on Pontiac, as many actually believe that this car destroyed the brand. As such it has stayed under the radar and it is often criticized as being bad, but in reality it is not a terribly bad car and it has a lot of positives.
Chevrolet Monte-Carlo SS
Part of the sixth generation, the 2006 Monte Carlo was given a makeover and released a 3.5-liter V6 engine producing 211 hp. It was quite interesting, but the SS version brought a 5.3 liter V8 engine producing 303 hp, the first V8 used in a Monte Carlo since 1998.
The optional stripes at the front enhanced the styling of the car and definitely set the vehicle apart from the standard Monte Carlo. However, despite its styling, the car has long been under everyone’s radar. The Monte Carlo has never been as iconic as other Chevrolet sports cars, like the Camaro and Corvette, and as such this cool sports car gets overlooked.
The Spyker C8 is notoriously underrated, not least because of its uniqueness and obscurity. It was designed to compete with Audi and its engine capabilities, and it comes with excellent performance with a top speed of 187mph and capable of going from 0-60mph in 4.5 seconds.
It’s excellent in terms of power, but it also looks pretty cool throughout the interior of the car. The styling is very retro and it also has great detail features. Indeed, the Spyker C8 has mostly gone under the radar because most people don’t know it exists, and there aren’t many on the roads either.
Fiat Panda 100cv
The Fiat Panda is known to be a pretty bland car for some, it is not always considered the most exciting car. However, the 100hp model is completely different and it’s a very fun hot hatch. Indeed, the standard car was more reliable for city driving while the hot hatch provides a lot of fun as it has 100 hp and a cool body kit.
The suspension updates made the Panda sportier and the steering was exceptional. The lightweight Panda was perfect for hot hatchback driving. However, it has mostly stayed under the radar as many originally associated the Panda with a city car instead of a sporty sedan, but it has since grown in popularity, but it is still not so well known and loved. than it should be.
The Ferrari California is often considered one of the entry-level cars in the Ferrari lineup. It’s not the worst Ferrari of all time – it comes with the distinct styling one would expect from a Ferrari with the same power levels as with a nice, turbocharged 3.9-liter V8 engine. But die-hard fans didn’t really like it.
It just stayed under the radar because it didn’t really impress anyone – it was good but not as striking as other Ferraris. Yet despite its cheaper prices and entry-level appeal, the California is underrated because it’s still a great car, and it talks about what Ferrari has to offer, and it’s actually a price point. welcome for many as it is a good way to get in the Ferrari market.
Volkswagen Eos 3.2
The Volkswagen Eos 3.2 has been under the radar for a long time as it is often seen as a bit dull, especially inside the car. It has a sleek look and the car is well built, with the exquisite build quality that VW is associated with. The car also shares the same 3.2-liter V6 engine as the Golf R32, but it also comes with a nice sporty body and sporty appeal.
As such, the Volkswagen Eos 3.2 is a fun little engine, which gives it a nice sporty feel. The folding roof makes it a cool car for the summer months too. Although a bit underrated and often overlooked, the Eos can be considered a good car which is a steal.
Saturn Sky Roadster
The Saturn Sky Roadster was released in 2007, with a 260 hp turbocharged engine. Technically the car is a rebadged and redesigned Pontiac Solstice, but it was definitely a cool Saturn when it first launched, especially with the nice handling that came with it.
The problem was, the car wasn’t fast enough for most people, with the top speed being 125 mph. Indeed, the handling performance and grip on the roads made it a great sports car, but the speed didn’t bring out the best in the car. However, it is easy to argue that it stayed under the radar as it is an attractive car that was generally very capable, but it was simply ignored. Indeed, the car is quite cheap now and therefore worth buying for many enthusiasts.
Opel VX220 Turbo
Also known as the Opel Speedster, the Vauxhall VX220 Turbo shared a lot in common with the Lotus Elise. Comes with an Eco turbo engine producing 200hp and incredibly light with the Turbo weighing in at 2,050 lbs. This is because the lightweight materials included were the aluminum chassis bowl and glass reinforced plastic.
However, the car stayed under the radar simply because the car was basically a Lotus Elise without actually being a Lotus, and it didn’t have the same badge appeal as a Lotus. The car is actually great, providing a cheaper way to buy a Lotus based car with a fantastic engine and a great ride thanks to the car’s lightweight styling.
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