Today marks a rare occasion: A date of all twos, on a Tuesday. In honor of “Twosday,” or “2-22-22esday,” it’s time to finally settle an age-old question. Plenty of cars have seen various generations come and go, but which car had the absolute best second generation?
“Best” is a broad term, so let’s narrow things down a little. A car with the best second generation could mean the biggest improvement over the first, or simply that the car’s second era is an unimpeachable masterpiece. As for the definition of a “generation,” use your discretion — you’ll know it when you see it.
The updated 2022 GR 86, with its larger motor and updated styling, makes a strong case for the crown. The previous pair of Toyobaru twins, whether in zenki or kouki guise, were maligned for their torque dip, fragile transmissions, and their extremely late-aughts-looking clear taillights. The second generation addressed both of those problems, while still finding time to update the little things — like the new oil cooler to address track day temperature issues.
Or, as our own Lalita Chemello argues, the honor of Best Second Generation Car could go to the C2 Chevy Corvette. Not only is the C2 a classic, instantly recognizable in silhouette, but it shaped the Corvette image possibly more than any following Vette. The C1, with its Euro-roadster styling, gave way to an American performance monster complete with a grumbling V8 and an independent rear suspension.
But what do you think? Do the C2 and 86 hold up, or are there better picks? Should the honor go to a different second-generation car, like the GD WRX, Evo II, or 2000-and-up Dodge Neon? Leave your top picks in the comments, and we’ll collect some of our favorites this afternoon.