For exclusive, custom-style design updates, as well as the occasional performance boost, special-edition themed cars offer some great opportunities for owners. For instance, all of the vehicle’s enhancements are engineered specifically for the car in question, professionally installed, and covered by factory warranties. They’re generally sold in limited numbers, too, so that owners won’t see similar models around every corner—which is a large part of what makes these special cars so special. Depending on the theme, these vehicles also let enthusiasts celebrate new automaker achievements and past automaker traditions, sometimes with high-value content packages. And along those lines, it’s worth noting that not all special-edition cars require a lot of spending: Our choice includes two affordable mainstream compacts.
10 Special Edition Themed Cars
Photo Credit: General Motors
2017 Chevrolet Camaro 50th Anniversary Edition
One of the country’s hottest choices from the modern-day muscle segment is celebrating the big 5-0, and the Bowtie brand naturally has special-edition themed cars to honor the occasion. All of the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro 50th Anniversary Editions will wear cool design cues such as a Nightfall Gray Metallic exterior finish that’s complemented by a unique striping package, 20-inch “50th Anniversary” wheels and, with convertible versions, a black top. Inside, a black-leather interior with suede inserts and orange accents is a highlight, as are the distinctive anniversary accents for the instrument panel, seatbacks, steering wheel and illuminated sill plates. Beneath the hood? Check out the available 6.2-liter V8 that harnesses 455 horsepower and 455 lb.-ft. of torque.
Photo Credit: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
2017 Dodge Challenger T/A
Special-edition themed cars are plenty popular at the Dodge brand, which is at it again this year with the 2017 Dodge Challenger T/A. It's inspired by the 1970 Challenger T/A that was launched in 1969 to qualify for SCCA Trans Am racing. The next-gen Challenger T/A pays homage to the original with things like Satin Black graphics, an uplevel cockpit and even available hood pins. But the 2017 model also doubles down on HEMI performance. While the 1970 T/A touted a 5.6-liter unit that kicked out about 350 horses, the new ones serve up 5.7- and 6.4-liter HEMI V8s that are good for up to 485 horsepower (and 475 lb.-ft. of torque).
Photo Credit: Ford
2017 Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang
The 2017 Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang is more of an ongoing trim level than one of the traditional special-edition themed cars, yet we’ll include it here for the sake of muscle-car neutrality. Besides, it’s certainly has its share of special design and performance modifications, from its vented, aluminum hood and front fascia to its MagneRide suspension dampers to the standard carbon-fiber wheels for the GT350R. Meanwhile, beneath that lightweight hood is a heavyweight 5.2-liter V8 engine that punches out 529 horsepower and 429 lb.-ft. of torque. Recaro sports seats are standard in the car’s knockout cabin, too. Finally, new for the Shelby GT350 for 2017 are three fresh color choices and a standard track pack.
Photo Credit: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
2017 Chrysler 200 Alloy Edition
As an example of special-edition themed cars that are available for more mainstream models, we have the 2017 Chrysler 200 Alloy Edition. This midsize sedan gets an “industrial” upgrade for the Alloy Edition, including a textured grille that’s set off by a Dark Bronze painted frame, Gloss Black exterior accents, Dark Bronze “Alloy” exterior badges, and a Titanium finish for the car’s signature Chrysler “wing” badge and dual-exhaust tips. Dark Bronze also details the Alloy Edition’s standard 19-inch aluminum wheels. Black and Caramel seating, with either leather trim or full leather surfaces, is standard in the cabin, along with Piano Black and Titanium accents. Nor is this an appearance-only package: a sport-tuned suspension also is standard.
Photo Credit: Jaguar Land Rover
2017 Jaguar F-Type British Design Edition
Special-edition themed cars with limited production runs—like the 2017 Jaguar F-TYPE British Design Edition—blend their many extra benefits with serious exclusivity. Thus, only 300 of the F-Type British Design Editions will be offered for all of North America. Each complements its sleek and exotic exterior with touches such as 20-inch Cyclone-design wheels with a Satin Dark Gray finish, and only four exterior finishes are available: Caldera Red, Glacier White, Ultra Blue and Ultimate Black. The Jaguar’s Jet black cockpit is then accented by contrast-color stitching, carbon-fiber trim and Meridian premium audio. As for what motivates the F-Type, this Big Cat is ready to pounce with a 380-horsepower supercharged V6—and ready to stop with Jaguar’s Super Performance Braking system.
Photo Credit: Lamborghini
2017 Lamborghini Huracán Avio
You might think expensive Italian exotics are special enough in their own right, but their automakers obviously disagree. Consider our next entry among the special-edition themed cars, the 2017 Lamborghini Huracán Avio. The Avio edition takes its style cues from the world of aeronautical engineering, and it displays some subtle updates to the Huracán’s anything-but-subtle appearance. There, a narrow, offset double stripe and elements of the Huracán’s trim are picked out in white or gray against a choice of five new exterior colors. “L63” badging inside and out additionally recognizes the 1963 birthdate of Lamborghini. Also recognizable: the roar of the Huracán’s 610-horsepower V10 engine. A mere 250 Huracán Avio units will be sold worldwide.
Photo Credit: BMW
2017 BMW 3 Series “30 Jahre M3”
For those who don’t speak German, the 2017 BMW 3 Series “30 Jahre M3” is the “30 Years M3,” marking three decades since the debut of what’s become a performance icon. Moreover, BMW draws a direct line between the first M3 and the latest: The 30 Jahre version wears the same Macao Blue Metallic finish as the M3 Sport Evolution—the final variant of the first-generation M3. A notable difference between the two, though, is their output. The Sport Evolution was a terror in its time with 238 horsepower, but the 30 Jahre M3—after a power-up for special-edition customers—features 444 horses. All of which helps explain why it was selected as one of our favorite special-edition themed cars.
Photo Credit: Honda
2017 Honda Accord Sport Special Edition
The Honda Accord has been on sale in the United States for 40 years, and during that time, it’s been the best-selling car in the country—backed by more than 12.7 million sales. Now, to both honor that fact and increase that total, the brand has put its own spin on special-edition themed cars. Developed to combine “premium features in a value package,” the 2017 Honda Accord Sport Special Edition is based, unsurprisingly, on the Accord Sport trim. That model is distinguished by a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, 19-inch alloy wheels and a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and the Special Edition builds on that content with premium leather seating. As a result, occupants enjoy leather seating with red stitching and a heated front row.
Photo Credit: Toyota
2017 Toyota Corolla SE 50th Anniversary Special Edition
Another of the special-edition themed cars that’s going golden this year is the best-selling car of all time. The 2017 Toyota Corolla SE 50th Anniversary Special Edition commemorates a half-century of tradition—and success—with an exclusive Black Cherry Pearl exterior finish that’s matched by Black Cherry trim, piping and contrast stitching inside the vehicle. Also available in Classic Silver or Blizzard Pearl, the Golden Anniversary Corolla also counts an Entune Audio Plus infotainment system as part of its standard equipment. With that setup, drivers can rely on the Scout GPS Link app. Toyota will build 8,000 of these special editions—out of a total of more than 43 million Corollas sold around the world.
Photo Credit: Nissan
2017 Nissan Sentra NISMO
As is true with a number of special-edition themed cars, the foundation of the 2017 Nissan Sentra NISMO is a mass-market sedan. It’s just that, in this particular case, the car also happens to be the very first mainstream U.S. model to get overhauled by Nissan’s NISMO performance and racing division. A key change comes under the hood, where the Sentra NISMO parks a 188-horsepower turbo engine, and the suspension also has been NISMO-fied, with a model-specific tuning setup. Of course, a 6-speed manual transmission is standard, although those who prefer a continuously variable transmission do get a NISMO-tuned CVT with a manual-shifting mode.