20. 1983 Volkswagen GTi
Some people want it all. You know the type, those greedy Americans who Volkswagen shut up way back in 1983 when they brought it here after it had already been conquering most of the rest of the world since 1974.
The VW Golf or VW GTi was the fast, good-looking practical car that is also cheap! No wonder, this lil German small family car was such a hit all across the globe. This quaint car popularized the so-called hot hatch phenomena that would lead the way for other storied hot hatchback cars such as the Suzuki Swift Sport, Peugeot 308 GTi, Ford Focus RS, Honda Civic Type R, Peugeot 208 GTi, Ford Fiesta ST, Skoda Octavia vRS, BMW M135i, and something called the SEAT Leon Cupra.
Being as practical as it was fun, the VW Golf really was the first car to celebrate front-wheel-drive performance in a small car in a big way. It likewise brought style to a segment of cars that absolutely had none before the VW GTi existed. And, though we may all deny it, the truth is that style matters as much as anything when it comes to cars. With the GTi, Volkswagen was telling the world that a car could be relatively slow yet fun, precise, and affordable along with practical.
19. 2009 Bruno Exomars Rover
Sure, this car is not the kind of car that transports people from point A to point B. Heck, it is not even big enough to carry a single person and it does not even have a driver’s seat or compartment.
This is the very first car-like vehicle that will soon explore the faraway planet of Mars. And, this fact makes this vehicle extremely significant since Mars is the planet the folks living today are making plans on colonizing with the futurist inventor and investor Elon Musk leading the way.
The rover is a 650-pound self-driving six-wheeled all-terrain exploration vehicle designed by the European Space Agency and the Roscosmos State Corporation. America is not involved in this creation or the planned deployment of this vehicle. The Bruno Exomars Rover will be transported to Mars in a Russian space vehicle and will be carried to the surface of Mars in a Russian landing pod.
Solar powered, the rover will prowl the surface of Mars in a search for evidence of current or past life. The data this rover that is scheduled to launch in 2020 collects will be sent back to us earthlings via the data-relay ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter satellite.
18. Jeep Willys
You would have to know that the original big daddy Jeep would make this list, wouldn’t you? After all, this Jeep, the Willys-Overland MB or the Willys MB, is the vehicle that the American GI rode to victory over the dreaded Nazis during World War Two!
A little before the time that America entered the war, the United States War Department opened its doors to bids for car makers to submit their bids to produce mass quantities of a simple four-wheeled, truck-like reconnaissance vehicle that was lightweight, tough and durable, and able to make its way through just about any terrain an American fighting man could find himself in.
Willys-Overland, American Bantam, and Ford won this contract and in 1941 they began pumping out thousands of these vehicles that would become better known as the Jeep. In its first year of production, nearly 9,000 US Military Jeeps joined the military. By the time the Second World War ended, close to 360,000 Jeeps had been produced. Though mass production of the 1/4 ton, 4×4 Jeep stopped with the end of the war, this tough little vehicle continued to serve the American military in the Korean and Vietnam wars and through most of the Cold War.