Hagerty is always on the hunt for the next great collectible car. Such a machine should be considered exemplary amongst automobiles built during the same era. So which future classic fits the mold for the decade starting 2010? According to the insurance specialist, the greatest car of the 2010s is the Tesla Model S.
Yes, we’re aware that this is the same period of time that’s given us cars like the McLaren P1, Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, and Porsche 911 GT2 RS. So it’s easy to scoff at Hagerty’s claim. But dig a bit deeper and it actually makes sense. And that’s because the Tesla Model S has made the electric car “cool” to the eyes of the everyman.
Hybrids didn’t do that. Even Toyota Prius owners know their cars are the opposite of cool. A Tesla Model S, however, packs an iPad like screen in the center. That’s quite cool. Even cooler? A Model S equipped with Ludicrous mode capable of rocketing from 0-60 mph faster than a hypercar.
Yes, Tesla has its issues. From panel fitment and production woes to the beta-testing of semi-autonomous features on public roads, this is an automaker still finding its way. But there’s no denying the Tesla Model S has swung appeal of the electric vehicle into the positive. People aspire to own one. Their friends are excited to go for a ride. The notion of range anxiety has fallen further to the wayside with each successively more capability battery back. This is an incredibly important car that’s caused a change in the mindset of the general public, something industry veteran Bob Lutz happens to agree with.
Hagerty is paying attention. It notes “only one has made the electric car cool, and that’s the Tesla Model S.” And that’s what makes the Model S the greatest car of the 2010s. When we first read the headline we were quick to disagree. But you should always read the article beyond the lede, and it’s there that Hagerty backs up its own claim.
This passage serves to illustrate the point best:
Sure, most dedicated car people prefer the sounds and smells and the rowing of their own gears associated with a good-old-fashioned gasoline-powered car. And the overwhelming majority of cars on the road are still powered by gasoline—and it’s going to be that way for a while. But the Tesla has gone in a more radically different direction than any other car in recent memory. More importantly, it has done so with great success, because instead of coming out with an all-electric car that people felt that they should drive or that they had to drive, Tesla came out with an electric car that people really want to drive. It will always be remembered as the one that made electric cars truly desirable, and that’s why it is one of the greats.
We’d love to rebuke this claim, seeing as we still pine for loud noises spewing forth thanks to internal combustion fueled by gasoline. But there’s no denying the sea change that lies ahead. And it’s the Tesla Model S that will be remembered for splashing into the pool and causing the first ripples.