The past year yielded some astonishing new metal, and a number of truly outstanding models which, for various reasons, will only ever be sold in small numbers.
This perfect storm means that these models are destined for future classic status. Here's where some of the Autocar team would put their cash...
Jaguar XFR-S, Steve Sutcliffe
It wasn’t the best sporting saloon or even the best Jaguar that we drove in 2013, but there’s something about the bespoilered, bewinged XFR-S that guarantees it classic car status in years to come. For starters, it’s a rare beast, even today, with little more than 100 examples being made in right-hand drive.
But it also has that left-field appeal to its design and engineering that, 20 years down the line, will heighten its appeal and make the likes of us remember it with rose-tinted spectacles.
Not that you need to make any excuses for how good it is in the here and now. With a supercharged 5.0-litre V8 that thumps out 542bhp via the same excellent eight-speed paddle-shift auto trailblazed by the new F-type, the XFR-S is outrageously fast in its own right. And even if its chassis does seem a touch uncouth compared with what we’ve come to expect from a Jaguar over the years, in future that won’t matter one iota.
Indeed, the fastest XF will probably be remembered as the Jaguar that was deliciously stiff, the one that felt like a true hot rod.
And, of course, you will always have to have one in bright blue, just like the cars they gave the press for those very first series of evaluations. At the time, they looked garish. But in 20 years, French Racing Blue will be the only colour to have. And the optional rear wing will be equally de rigueur, too.
Alpina XD3 Biturbo, Nic Cackett
Classic status is hardly unfamiliar territory to the eager beavers at Buchloe. Alpina’s trademark rims have underscored an enviable array of prodigious, uniquely Germanic exotica.
This year Alpina introduced the new B3, its heavy hitter and a car that we liked very much indeed – but it’s not the one primed for future esteem, in my humble opinion. That honour falls instead to the XD3 Biturbo, Alpina’s first SUV.
The fact that it is first obviously helps. If there were no more to come, that alone would guarantee it a cult following. But it won’t be. This ought to prove just the initial salvo in Alpina’s long-overdue assault on the soft-roader market.
There will be many Xs, and this is where it starts. It will be rare as well (especially in right-hand drive format) and coveted, having already sold out in the UK.
In time-honoured Alpina tradition, it is also very, very fast. Any 0-62mph time beginning with a four is noteworthy; in an SUV it’s positively electrifying, and feels it. For some, the notion that it was once the fastest-accelerating oil-burning 4x4 (however briefly) will be sufficient to later fete it.
But for everyone else, the fact that it will also manage 41.5mpg, emit not more than 180g/km of CO2 and ride with fine, upstanding manners should mark it as one of the soft-roaders to own from the quintessential decade of the breed.
Twisted Land Rover Defender, Matt Prior
Okay, so in 25 years’ time Classic & Sports Car magazine is not going to devote an entire cover to a modified Land Rover Defender. But the Defender will be a classic – many already are – and a modified one could play its part in a big Defender story.