Chronologically, a measurable length of time. Other than that, a decade only becomes more difficult to describe.
But what comes hand in hand with time is growth and knowledge. We see examples of both throughout the course of this decade more than any other. Highlights of the decade include the German horsepower wars (became Nurburgring lap-time war thanks to the GTR), the latest gasoline crisis causing the abandonment of the SUV trend and eventually leading a trend to a full blown "green" mentality(Toyota Prius + Obama), the need for lifestyle niche vehicles (crossovers), the dramatic demise of the Big 3 (and the fall of the global economy), Toyota's misstep (largest automotive recall in US history, 3.8 million vehicles), Tata and Hyundai's leaps and bounds.
Don't be mistaken, I'm not here to recap or to analyze. Just let the paragraph sink in and reflect on just how turbulent this decade has been for all of us. With this setting in place, I would like to proudly introduce to you our vehicle of the decade.
Surprised? Initially, so was I.
Honestly, I've procrastinated with this post. I've been fearing this post. Having spoken to Danny Chin many times, double checking to see if there has been anything we missed, wanting assurance that this was definitely the car we would be going with, I've finally come to peace. I know now that this award belonged to the GTR all along.
Readers that disagree, I assure you that although we may fit the "ricer" stereotype (we're Asian after all), we make our decisions without that sort of bias. We find pride, as individuals, for being worldly and indiscriminately curious.
Our list of candidates came from every avenue. Selling this post idea to Danny Chin, my first nomination for car of the decade was the Toyota Prius (2004- 2009). It's impact to the car industry and to society as a whole has arguably become too great to ignore. The Prius-- leader of the "green movement", the hyper-miler's weapon of choice, the overnight celebrity profiler-mobile (how many hybrids does Leo DiCaprio own again?), as well as urban area workhorse (NYPD).
I would say that it was the celebrity effect that was strongest of all. It snowballed an idea that being earthy, environmentally friendly, frugal, and techy has become posh. Overnight, everyone and their mothers owned one. Market wise, an age bracket hardly existed for the Prius.
However popular and well received this car may be, it never sat well with me or Danny Chin. For one stubborn reason or another, we could not bring ourselves to acknowledge, let alone appreciate, that this was the car of the future.
Other suggestions and nominations that we've played with include the all electric Tesla Roadster, $1.8 mil Bugatti Veyron, Aston Martin DB9 (A.K.A. the most gorgeous, voluptuous, sexiest car the world has ever seen), the surprising Corvette ZR1, E46 M3, 500hp M5, etc.
insert ::DB9 plug::
So,why the GTR? The GTR has turned heads and changed opinions all over the world. Before the GTR arrived, the best performance for the money was a Corvette. That was a car full of compromises. You could have your world class performance but not your world class interior. In the same price bracket, a 911S was available but you'd be sacrificing Ferrari beating acceleration and levels of grip.
Then six years after the concept bowed, the GTR went into production in 2007. It shook the foundation of the car industry. Thanks to games like Gran Turismo and Forza, generations of young adults have lusted after this car because of its fore bearers. The tale of Godzilla was rewritten but this time it was available for U.S. consumption. No other car has had so much resting on its shoulders and been able to deliver. Just like no other car has been said to "defy the laws of physics." It claimed the Nurburgring production car lap record, decimated its opposition in every comparison test, and you could buy three for the price of a Ferrari.