Autocar and Beaulieu name their top five Future Classics

Autocar and Beaulieu name their top five Future Classics

The i3 symbolises the kind of unshackled, inspired design that ought to have been applied to every electric car that the market has gained since but so seldom actually has. If that isn’t enough to make it a future classic, there’s no justice.

Matt Saunders

Price £34,750 Engine electric motor Power 181bhp Torque 199lb ft Transmission single-speed reduction gear, rear-wheel drive Kerb weight 1290kg 0-62mph 6.9sec Top speed 99mph Range 175 miles CO2 0g/km Tax band 1%

Land Rover Defender

“IT’S NOT A proper Defender! It’s too posh! It doesn’t have a hose-out interior!” There will always be those who think that once a car has nailed its colours to the wall and defined its place and role in the world, that’s what it has to be forever. Nonsense. Cars have always had to move with the times in order to stay relevant, and this is a brilliant reinterpretation of Land Rover’s classic.

What makes it a future classic in the eyes of our judges is that, despite taking inspiration from the original car, it’s also fresh-feeling and so well executed that it effortlessly escapes any sense of being a modern pastiche.

This car is instantly recognisable as a Land Rover Defender, for example, and yet it’s not retro. The three-door 90 model’s proportions are so perfectly absurd that looking at it never fails to brighten your day: it’s like a giant cartoon puppy. The five-door 110 loses some of that charm in return for greater versatility, but the details are just as delightful. The steel wheels and the patterned wing plates of our test car set off the aesthetic perfectly, and the way the lights are shaped and sculpted is simply inspired.

The revived Defender takes its function seriously, too. Yes, it’s expensive, but then farmers weren’t really buying old-style Defenders any more. Thanks to supremely clear approach and departure angles and commanding ground clearance and wading depth, and helped by clever electronics that can nip at individual brakes in a way that no driver ever could, the Defender is a formidable car to drive off the road.