Whenever a car manufacturer decides to put out a limited-edition car, the world holds its breath. Will it be a disaster, like the Aston Martin Cygnet, or a beautiful and fun vehicle like the Mazda Miata 25th Anniversary Edition?
The disasters are swiftly swept under the rug and never spoken of again, which is fine and understandable, but the good ones are never around long enough. If only they could come back, just for a little while, so we could get one of our own (or, more likely, have another gawp), we'd consider ourselves so lucky. In this article, we're looking at 10 of the greatest limited-edition cars you may have forgotten about.
10 Aston Martin One-77
While its name is something of a car crash of syntax, the One-77 was truly spectacular. It looked like nothing else on Earth, like a lower, sleeker DB9, with a carbon fiber chassis and aluminum body. Under the hood, you'd find a 7.3 liter V12. In a lightweight car.
I'll let that sink in, just for a moment.
The One-77's performance was absolutely barking mad as a result. You could hit 60 from a standing start in just 3.5 seconds, before speeding on to an estimated top speed of 220 mph. Only 177 were ever produced, and each one was sold for close to $1.5 million. The price will only have gone up since.
9 The Renault Clio Williams
Ever fantasize about putting a ridiculously powerful engine into a small car? Renault went ahead and did just that, back in the 90s. Made to celebrate Nigel Mansell's F1 title, which he had achieved in a Renault-powered Williams racer, this poky little car featured a four-cylinder, two-liter engine, producing 150 horsepower.
It may not be the fastest car ever, but when you're driving this thing, it feels almost ludicrously quick. More cars should be this crazy.
8 Mazda Miata 25th Anniversary Edition
Released back in 2014, this is perhaps the ultimate Miata. As you know by now, the Miata is cheap, fun, and incredible to drive, and this car was literally the ultimate version of the third-generation models.
The cabin featured gorgeous light stone leather with red accents and 25th Anniversary logos, as well as an Alpine touchscreen system. Every model was finished in Soul Red, with black mirrors, 17-inch alloys, and chrome exhaust served as the cherry on top.
7 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Stirling Moss
Not even slightly road-legal, this car is nevertheless one of the most gorgeous cars to grace the market. Released back in 2009, this 300 SL-inspired racer features no windshield and no roof, but who cares? When you can accelerate to 60 in 3 seconds and hit 217 mph, nothing else matters.
Everything about this car is just...beautiful: The red seats, the vertically tilting doors, the lines, the roll bars behind the seats, and the list goes on and on. Breathtaking! Only 75 of these were ever made, and if you want one, you'll have to be prepared for a hunt and an eye-watering spend.
6 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI Tommi Makinen Edition
One of the best retro rally cars you can imagine, this car makes us hearken back to the days when this and the Impreza were battling it out for racing supremacy. This particular edition is special, and not just because we're getting old here at Hot Cars.
Mitsubishi went to town on this car, fitting it with Recaro buckets, gorgeous Enkei alloys, a sharp-looking bumper, amazing five-speed transmission, and a 0-60 of just 4.5 seconds.
5 Mazda RX-7 Bathurst R
We're not going to apologize for featuring two Mazdas on this list, especially not when one is the rotary-powered masterpiece that is the RX-7. Introduced in 2001 to commemorate the RX-7's racing dominance, this special edition was only ever made available in Japan, and as such, is almost impossible to track down.
If you can, however, prepare to have your mind blown. It features the best power-to-weight ratio of any RX-7 thanks to it weighing just 1260 kilos. Furthermore, Mazda's car features adjustable dampers, some new carbon fiber, and special fog lamps.
4 Land Rover Defender Heritage Edition
The Land Rover Defender was a literal tank. One of the undisputed heavyweight off-roaders (along with the Toyota Land Cruiser), it broke our hearts when it was discontinued.
The Heritage Edition, of which only 400 were made, is nostalgic of the very first generation of Defenders and was an amazing last hurrah for the model. If you want a truck that could take anything you throw at it (quite literally), then this is the model for you.
3 Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0 (997.2)
It may have a name that resembles some kind of encryption hash, but the GT3 RS 4.0 (997.2) is one of the greatest Porsches ever made. The car produces 500 horsepower at 8250 rpm, with 339 ft-lbs of torque. Boasting fantastic air filters, carbon fiber all over, titanium connecting rods, and with a minimalist interior that is almost Buddhist in its sparse, yet pleasing design, this is so much more than a standard 911.
If you want to come as close as possible to a racing 911, while keeping street-legal, then this car is what you need, if you can afford it.
2 Subaru Impreza WRX STI Special Edition
Another rally-inspired car, the Impreza WRX STi was truly breathtaking when it was released back in 2009, and it's still great now. The subject of a terrific weight-reduction effort that saw the CD player, climate control, and more getting the boot, the WRX STi isn't luxurious by any means.
However, thanks to its racing wheels and suspension, as well as 305 horsepower on tap, it was fantastic fun to drive. If you want to find one now, they're remarkably cheap, albeit rare!
1 Jaguar XJ220
It may not be a limited edition of another car, but the XJ220 sure was limited, with just 282 produced. Thanks to its long, sleek looks, and a powerful 3.5 liter V6, it looks like something out of the 23rd century. Despite its small size, the Jaguar engineers somehow eked 542 horsepower out of this engine, letting it hit 212 mph.
This top speed, unheard of at the time, made if the fastest production car in history upon its release. Hugely expensive, fantastic to drive, and gorgeous, this is what all supercars aspire to be.