Beauty, particularly when it comes to sports cars, absolutely resides in the eye of the beholder. That which some may consider drop dead gorgeous may elicit no emotional response at all from others. Meanwhile, that which you find hideously unsightly, might appear to another to be the best-looking luxury sports car ever.
Still, there are a few cars everyone agrees are beautiful. Interestingly though, those are also the designs that can tend to age most rapidly. Sports cars people look at and immediately say to themselves “Wow, that’s nice.” have a tendency to play out early. Meanwhile, the cars people look at and go “Hmm…there’s something about that, but I can’t quite figure out what it is.” have a tendency to endure.
Porsche’s 928 for example, looked kind of radical when it was introduced. Many people said it was ugly, but the car looks perfectly contemporary today. Meanwhile, the first Mazda MX-5 Miata—which everyone loved right away—while it still looks good, also looks old today. The trick designers must try to pull off is to pen a car which is attractive enough to sell, but doesn’t become boring after only a year or two on the market.
This becomes even more important in the upper end of the spectrum, as luxury sports cars need to be highly distinctive to differentiate themselves from the lesser models on the market. The German manufacturers seem to be particularly good at this timelessness of design. The Italians also come up with some wonderfully seductive designs that age pretty well on the whole, while one English manufacturer seems to have the formula for a beautiful car absolutely dialed in.