It’s strange to think 2009 was a decade ago, right? It only seems like yesterday since the year Jenson Button won his sole F1 world championship, Obama became the president of the United States and Kanye West famously interrupted Taylor Swift’s VMA awards speech.
But yes, it has been 10 years now — as time does that thing of moving on that it likes to do. Everyone enjoys reminiscing though, so we’re taking the ever-imminent close of 2019 as an excuse to look back on the best cars 2009 proved to offer us just at the pinch point of the last decade…
Aston Martin One-77
All the hype around Aston Martin at the moment may be surrounding its upcoming Valkyrie hypercar, but it’s not the first time the firm has looked towards an ultra-exclusive performance machine.
That honour goes to the often-forgotten One-77. This super GT utilised a carbon fibre monocoque chassis, which played host to a monstrous 7.5-litre V12 engine. Its dramatic styling made the car unlike anything else on the road, too.
What has ultimately proven to be the last naturally-aspirated baby V8 Ferrari was introduced a decade ago, and to much fanfare.
It built on the somewhat mediocre F430 with a properly beautiful design, its raucous eight-cylinder engine and much-loved driving experience. It was a pretty impressive turn of events after a subjectively dismal decade from the Italian firm.
You wouldn’t expect a car on this list to still be in production, would you? After all, a lot can change in automotive tech in a decade and it’s very rare to see a car these days last for 10 years before being replaced with a whole new variant.
In the case of the Nissan 370Z though, it was introduced in 2009 — and can still be bought new today. Little has changed in that time — with minor aesthetic and equipment revisions aiming to mask its ageing naturally-aspirated V6 engine and ancient underpinnings. Once a compelling sports car, it’s now long-due a replacement.
Audi R8 V10
Just as the world was about to turn its attention towards electrified powertrains, turbocharging and the promise of self-driving cars — Audi did something that would today be considered ridiculous.
It took the flagship, V8-powered R8 it introduced in 2006 and swapped the eight-cylinder unit out for a V10 firebreather from sister brand Lamborghini to create an instant icon. It may still live on in a second-generation today, but the first is the one that will long be remembered.
If Porsche purists thought making an SUV in the Cayenne was sacrilege from the brand, it had another oh-why-what-are-you-doing moment with the Panamera — a saloon car aimed at the likes of Mercedes’ E Class and BMW’s 5 Series.
In its 2009 launch year, its looks proved to be pretty decisive — though many opinions bordered on it being ugly. What lay underneath the skin though was a car that was both comfortable and refined, yet a really engaging machine compared with its rivals.
Before the crossover segment saw a surge in popularity, Skoda had already arguably perfected the formula.
The boxy Yeti wasn’t the most stylish car you could ever lay eyes on — but it was exceptionally practical, efficient and easy to drive. With those three factors in mind, it’s no surprise that it became a favourite amongst UK buyers — and saw a long production run from 2009 to 2017.
Though never adapted for the UK market, the Chevrolet Camaro was a well-known machine here by the time it went into production in 2009.
Thanks in no small part to GM’s heavy sponsorship of the Transformers film franchise and the muscle car’s role as Bumblebee, it became a sought-after prospect for fans of giant alien robots in concept form. The production car retained the looks and iconic yellow and black paintwork, as well as a fire-breathing V8.
Denmark wouldn’t be first on the mind when thinking of countries known for supercars — or even tenth, for that matter. But the Danes proved they have the know-how in 2009 with the introduction of the Zenvo ST1.
Using a Chevy V8, it boasted a monstrous power output in excess of 1,000bhp with spaceship-like looks that could make any Lamborghini seem pedestrian in comparison.