Cool cars: the top 10 coolest cars in the world revealed

Our cool cars poll has revealed the top 10 coolest cars in the world according to you. And here they are…

1. Citroen DS

Cool cars: the top 10 coolest cars - Citroen DS

Our coolest car of all time is the Citroen DS, a technological masterpiece with styling to match

Years: 1955-1975Number built: 1.46million

According to our readers, if there's one car that is the absolute epitome of cool, it's the Citroen DS. It's not the fastest or the most exclusive car in our list, but it certainly has style and clever engineering on its side, while the DS name is a play on the French word for Goddess (déesse). You can easily envisage the DS wafting serenely around Paris, along the Champs Elysee and around the Arc De Triomphe before parking up in front of a cafe in the city.

When the DS was revealed at the Paris Motor Show in 1955, its slippery shape wowed the crowds, and Citroen took nearly 20,000 orders for the car on its first day on display. It became a symbol of French innovation, thanks to advanced hydropneumatic suspension that included a self-levelling function that allowed the DS to deliver a comfortable ride on even the rough roads that were common in France at the time. The suspension could also be raised or lowered, while the pressure in the system drops when the engine is switched off, lowering the DS to the ground in that distinctive way that's so familiar of the car.

Most expensive cars sold at auction

The innovations didn't end with the suspension, as disc brakes, power steering and a hydraulically-controlled four-speed manual gearbox with no clutch pedal also featured on the DS. A fibreglass roof helped save weight, while a wide front track compared with that at the rear boosted the front-wheel-drive DS's handling.

Cool cars: the top 10 coolest cars - Citroen DS rear

Throughout its life, the DS had a number of innovations added, including directional headlamps that turned by up to 80 degrees in line with the steering. Self-levelling headlights were also added to cope with changes in the car's pitch when accelerating and braking.

One area where the DS was a little backward was its engine, because the original car used a development of the four-cylinder unit found in the Traction Avant, which the DS replaced. That engine could trace its roots to the 1930s, and was used after Citroen had abandoned plans to fit the DS with a new air-cooled flat-six. The DS never really had the power to match some executive car rivals, thanks to France's taxation rules, but the addition of fuel injection and bigger engines over its life cycle helped matters. Having said that, the most powerful DS23 still only had 141bhp.

Citroen DS interior

As well as a four-door saloon, the DS was also sold as a Safari estate, and there were convertible versions offered, too. The DS proved popular with French heads of state - President Charles De Gaulle praised the DS after an assassination attempt on him failed because the standard DS he was riding in managed to escape danger, despite being riddled with bullet holes. But the DS also gained popularity as a taxi in France, while success on rallies such as the Monte Carlo and marathon events like the London-Sydney rally demonstrated the car's reliability.

The DS remained in production for 20 years, unheard of in these days of five-year life cycles, and nearly 1.5 million were made in that time. It left a legacy that saw Citroen launch DS as a separate luxury brand in 2010, while the original DS is now a sought-after classic that commands a premium at auctions across the globe - it was even voted the most beautiful car of all time in a poll of 20 leading car designers.

And of course, the car's appearance in popular culture has cemented its place as the coolest car ever. Celebrity owners included cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin and artist Marc Chagall, while movie appearances include as a flying taxi in Back To The Future Part 2, where it picked up passengers in 2015, 60 years after it was first revealed...

2. Jaguar E-Type

Cool cars: the top 10 coolest cars - Jaguar E-Type front

The most beautiful car ever made? Perhaps, but the Jaguar E-Type is certainly one of the coolest

Years: 1961-1975Number built: 73,000 (approx)

If Enzo Ferrari says that your car is 'the most beautiful car ever made' then you must be doing something right. That was his remark when he saw the Jaguar E-Type at the 1961 Geneva Motor Show, which is where Jaguar revealed its new sports car for the first time. The Malcolm Sayer-penned design is as distinctive today as it was when the E-Type was first revealed, with the curved nose, long bonnet and taut rear end giving it a unique look that is clearly as cool as sports cars get.

The E-Type name was a continuation from the C-Type and D-Typeracing cars that won the Le Mans 24 Hours in the 1950s, and it shared plenty of technology with the latter of these. A monocoque construction, with the body and engine bolted directly to the frame, disc brakes, fully independent suspension and direct rack-and-pinion steering was all taken from the D-Type, and set new standards for race car technology on the road.

Electric E-Type ride review

Even better was the use of a 3.8-litre version of Jag's potent XK straight-six engine. This 265bhp unit gave the E-Type a claimed top speed of 150mph, but while this was verified by magazines of the time, the cars tested had been gently fettled by Jag to achieve these speeds. The introduction of a 4.2-litre E-Type in 1964 gave better mid-range torque while still maintaining a 150mph top speed.

Cool cars: the top 10 coolest cars - Jaguar E-Type rear

What was more appealing about the E-Type was its sheer value for money. It came in at a price that was a fraction of the Ferraris and Aston Martins of the time that had similar performance, and as a result these makers had to rethink their strategies when it came to the kind of performance-per-pound that they offered.

The E-Type was produced for 14 years in total, but while the 1961 original wowed the crowds, some would argue that things went downhill from there. The smooth lines of the original Series 1 E-Type were slightly spoiled by the removal of the headlight covers - an essential update to improve visibility at night - while the arrival of the Series 2 in 1968 saw the E-Type strangulated by US emissions laws. The straight-six had its power cut by 20bhp, while some of the interior trim was downgraded, too. The arrival of a 2+2 also saw a longer body used that didn't look quite as elegant as its two-seater counterparts.

Cool cars: the top 10 coolest cars - Jaguar E-Type interior

Then in 1971, the Series 3 transformed the E-Type from sports car to grand tourer, with the addition of Jag's mammoth 5.3-litre V12. This car had a quoted top speed of 135mph, but it also had awkward looks, with big bumpers and alloy wheels replacing the wire wheels on earlier cars.

Still, rewind to the original E, and you do have a seriously cool car. Even cooler are the lightweight E-Type Low-Drag coupes. These competition-focused models used plenty of aluminium in their construction, and were a logical evolution of the D-Type. While they didn't win Le Mans, the 12 cars built did reasonably well with private owners. And Jag saw fit to reintroduce the lightweight in 2014, with the intention to build the six remaining cars that were supposed to be built when the first 12 were made.

Wondering which cars finished 3rd and 4th? Click onto page three for more on the top 10 coolest cars of all time

Senior test editor

Dean has been part of the Auto Express team for more than 20 years, and has worked across nearly all departments, starting on magazine production, then moving to road tests and reviews. He's our resident van expert, but covers everything from scooters and motorbikes to supercars and consumer products.

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