evo Car of the Decade: 2003

What will be evo's Car of the Decade? Vote on your favourite from 2003: Clio V6, 360 CS, Gallardo or GT3?

What’s the best car of the last ten years? It’s a particularly apt question as the first decade of the 21st century draws to a close. So we’re asking it, or more specifically, asking YOU it. Every weekday we’re looking at an evo Car of the Year contest from the Noughties, detailing the top five and throwing the vote at our lovely readers to pick the winner. The ultimate ten will then fight it out in the New Year for evo Car of the Decade. Click for winners so far and eCotd roundup

Today’s the turn of 2003. Peruse the performance cars below and get voting this way. The link takes you to the community, where if you scroll down to the bottom you’ll find the voting panel. Head to the Forum if you want to do more than click…

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Porsche 996.2 GT3 (click the car names for content)Never mind Car of the Decade, this is one of evo’s favourite cars full stop. But then you probably already knew that. It outshone some pretty special stuff in 2003’s contest. John Barker explains why – ‘it’s such a quality item. Which is an obvious thing to say, but it’s a central pillar of the appeal of a 911, along with its handy size and creamy flat-six engine. It’s up to a 70 per cent rating before you’ve gone a mile.’ Lamborghini GallardoLooking at the car in fourth place, the Gallardo’s top-two placing looks a little odd now, but the baby Lambo’s impact upon launch was mega. It’s a car that’s gone from strength to strength through the decade, too, culminating in the current LP550-2 Valentino Balboni special edition, with rear-wheel drive and 50bhp more than the original making for a fine supercar.  Renaultsport Clio V6 255A proper hero car if ever there was one, however ludicrous a mid-engine, rear-drive, near £30k Clio appears on paper. And Renault’s first stab at the formula wasn’t great, but this Mk2 version was a bit of a revelation that we’ve since revisited in many a test – another true evo favourite.  ‘Renaultsport’s raft of chassis improvements hasn’t just reformed the wayward talent but worked it into something of a dynamic virtuoso’, we said back in ’03. Ferrari 360 Challenge StradaleFourth place in an eCoty test is a top achievement, but in this case appears a bit of an underachievement. We’ve since declared the 360 CS a ‘future icon’ and called it the best of Ferrari’s mid-engined baby supercars. Its issue in 2003’s Car of the Year appeared to be its new-found hardcore nature. Oh, and Jethro thought it was too loud. Despite mixed views then, though, it now finds itself among the best of modern Fezzas. Enough to win here? Noble M12 GTO-3RDoing itself proud in the Italian leg of eCoty, Noble’s plucky Brit sports coupe won over everyone. Except Harry. Nevertheless, it was a sterling performance as Barker will testify – ‘as a junior-league supercar, the Noble hits the major targets with remarkable precision.’ A finish one place above the BMW M3 CSL also looks like rather good going…

So, they’re your contenders for 2002. Click here to vote for your favourite and use the eCotd Forum thread to air your opinions or tell us about cars that should be here. And don’t forget to come back tomorrow for the best of 2003… Follow evo on Twitter or join our Facebook page

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