2012’s Cutest Sports Cars: Intro
The term cute, when applied to cars, typically always conveys an effeminate component. Because of this, and because the auto industry is essentially male dominated, the sports car market typically does not reward cars which can be considered cute. The school of thought goes you can sell a masculine car to women, but you can’t sell an effeminate to car to men. So car designers typically try to stay on the manly side of the cute line as much as possible.
Still, there are a number of sports cars, which can legitimately be referred to as cute.
For those of you wondering just what exactly we mean by “cute”, one of the best general definitions we’ve seen goes as follows; Cute= innocence, baby faced, naïve-looking, pure.
For a more formal definition, searching the Dictionary.com Website returns the following:
Adjective, cut·er, cut·est.
1. Attractive, especially in a dainty way; pleasingly pretty: a cute child; a cute little apartment.
2. Appealing and delightful; charming: What a cute toy!
3. Affectedly or mincingly pretty or clever; precious: The child has acquired some intolerably cute mannerisms.
4. Mentally keen; clever; shrewd.
When it comes to cars, there’s a size component involved in there as well. While an Aston Martin, a Ferrari, or a Jaguar XK can be referred to as pretty, beautiful—or even lovely—all are too big to be labeled cute. Applied to a sports car, we believe the term cute fits a smaller, adorably sized model, which delights the eye and brings a smile to one’s lips.
We’re talking cute sports cars such as the…
2012’s Cutest Sports Cars: Audi TT Roadster
While the Audi sports car comes in coupe and roadster formats, we feel the coupe comes down on the handsome end of the spectrum, as it looks more serious and less playful than its open counterpart. The sleek roundness of the TT Roadster’s body has a flowing grace, and delights the eye in a very charming manner. Further, the TT is an appealing car to drive, with robust performance and four-season capability thanks to its heavily padded roof and all-wheel drive powertrain. On the style front, the TT has a unique look and a very high quality attitude. In our book, all of that adds up to one cute sports car.
2012’s Cutest Sports Cars: BMW Z4
Upon seeing this pick, many of you are probably going; “Yeah, it’s so ugly—it’s cute.” And we’ll grant you the Z4’s design is rather polarizing. But guess what? This is our list, we like the Z4 and so there! Seriously though, the car’s tidy size belies a choice of three exceptional engines with output ranging from 240 to 335 horsepower. And, whether you find the BMW attractive or not, you have to acknowledge the premium look and feel of the car. It’s quite frankly a very classy choice. So even if you can’t get with the attractive meaning of cute, you have to admit it’s keen, clever and shrewd. Thus, the BMW Z4 qualifies for our list of the cutest sports cars.
2012’s Cutest Sports Cars: Lamborghini Gallardo
If the Gallardo had anything other than the menacingly aggressive Aventador as its sibling, it might be doubtful the Lamborghini would qualify for this list. However, given its relative size, the purity of its lines, and the pleasing prettiness of the littlest Lamborghini; particularly when compared to every other exotic sports car on the market, the Gallardo easily qualifies as being cute. Yes, it’s manly as well, but the Lambo Gallardo is manly in a cute fashion—OK? Further, since it comes in so many different iterations, the Gallardo has the capacity to appeal in many different ways. Might we have our baby Lamborghini in orange please?
2012’s Cutest Sports Cars: Mazda MX-5 Miata
This car is so cute it comes with a grin on its face. Seriously, take a look at the accompanying photograph over there to the right. Notice the way the MX-5’s headlights, badge and grille are arranged so that when taken together they resemble a smiling face? OK, it’s actually it’s more like a gaping grin. With that said, we ask you, how can a sports car that smiles at you be considered anything but one of the cutest sports cars of 2012? Then, of course, there’s also the tidy sizing of the Mazda sportster, its delightfully entertaining driving characteristics, outstanding reliability, and general affordability. Let’s face it; if the Miata were human, most people would be trying to marry one.
2012’s Cutest Sports Cars: Mercedes-Benz SLK
The SLK, ever since it was introduced as a “baby SL”, has had to contend with the consequences of being cute. At first praised because of its charming good looks, each iteration of the small Mercedes two-seater has ultimately found itself being referred to as a “chick car”. Which, as we’ve discussed prior, is code for “cute”. The latest version of the SLK however, really does look like a smaller version of its current model SL relative, one of the most polarizing designs to find an SL badge affixed to its hind-parts in quite some time. We do believe the design will ultimately come to be considered quite handsome, and so as a smaller version of that car, we feel confident calling the 2012 SLK one of the cutest sports cars for 2012—but cute in a masculine way J.
2012’s Cutest Sports Cars: MINI Coupe/Roadster
By most accounts, the alternative definition of the word MINI, when rendered in all caps the way the car company does it—is basically, cute. Like the Mazda, if you take a look at the MINI’s headlight, badge and grille confabulation, you’ll see the car grins at you like a happy bulldog when you look it in the eye—so to speak. Remove the back seat and fit the two-seat MINI with a roof that looks like a backwards baseball cap (in the case of the Cooper Coupe) or just as a convertible pure and simple (in the case of the Roadster) and you’ve got an entry that resides near the very top of any list of 2012’s cute sports cars.
2012’s Cutest Sports Cars: Nissan 370Z Roadster
The first iteration of the current generation of Z cars included a convertible roadster version. However, that car was designed as an afterthought. In other words, once the coupe achieved success, Nissan’s product planners decided to do an open version of the Z too. The result, while rather attractive (when the top was lowered) nevertheless looked like an afterthought. With the second iteration of the car, Nissan’s product planners decreed a convertible version would be part of the mix from the beginning, so this car was styled as a convertible first. The result is a well-integrated look that is just as strong with the top up or down. Its sleek styling and polished demeanor definitely qualify the Nissan 370Z for our list of cute sports cars.
2012’s Cutest Sports Cars: Porsche 911 Convertible
While the 911 Coupe can be called handsome and aggressive, put a folding top on the design and yes, you’ll get cute. The genius of the evolutionary design of the Porsche is that even though it has looked essentially the same for some 48 years, it has also looked absolutely contemporary for each of those 48 years. The beautifully rounded design looks equally good whether in coupe or convertible configurations. But, where the hardtop 911 has a serious attitude, when the Porsche flagship goes topless its playful side emerges for all to see. Looking like nothing so much as a happy porpoise, the 911 convertible is absolutely one of the cutest sports cars of 2012.
2012’s Cutest Sports Cars: Porsche Boxster
Were it not for the strong rep Porsche has accrued from the years of credibility the brand has built up, the Boxster could very easily be seen as a “chick car”. It’s cute, it’s the junior sports car in the lineup, and it’s a roadster. Thing is, that lineup is exceptionally strong. So much so that even the “junior” model outperforms most other companies’ primary model. That said, the Porsche Boxster is cute yes—but girly it is not. Even with the more rounded lines and the shorter nose the model has gained for the 2013 model year, the Boxster is still very much a strong-looking cute sports car. And, it is one any driving enthusiast would gladly trade their hard earned cash for.
2012’s Cutest Sports Cars: Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ
The all-new Scion FR-S comes online as an immediate member of the cutest sports cars collective. With its lines reminiscent of late 60’s and early 70’s Italian sports cars—with just a touch of current Bentley Continental GT thrown in around the hips—the Scion/Subaru twins have cute written all over them. That this is backed up with outstanding driving dynamics and handling prowess only serves to make the models more desirable. Will their diminutive size and playful demeanor ultimate result in them being decried as too effeminate? That’s open for debate. However what’s absolutely certain right now is these will be very popular cars.