2018 BMW i8 on road ・ Photo by BMW
Here we go again. Our highly subjective list of the best looking cars for 2016 is bound to generate some controversy. We, better than anyone, know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and from where we stand this is a collection of the 13 of the comeliest automotive shapes offered for 2016. So, before you fire up your keyboard questioning our eyesight and the validity of our picks, we invite you to put together a list of your own choices if you think we missed something.
The long awaited successor to Acura’s original New Sportscar Experimental, out of production since 2005, is slated to bow later this year as a 2017 model. When it does, the low-slung angular 2-seat mid-engine hybrid sports car will immediately be escorted into the auto enthusiast’s hall of fame. What we know so far is its mid-mounted V6 will be teamed with multiple electric motors for an all-wheel drive powertrain. The Acura familial resemblance is uncanny, even though the brand’s current models lean toward more moderate styling.
Photo by Acura
Looking every bit the part of a budget Ferrari, each curve on the 4C’s voluptuous body relates directly to some specific function of the car. Yes, in this case function leads form, and the results are both utterly original and remarkably beautiful. That it is all rendered in lightweight carbon fiber and aluminum only serves to whet the appetite for the diminutive sports car even more. Both versions, the Coupe and the Spider convertible, are easily among this year’s best looking cars.
Photo by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
One of the most distinctive designs offered for the 2016 model year, BMW’s i8 is the most exotic offering from the Munich-based brand since the M1, and its top-notch sports car looks don’t betray that it’s actually a plug-in hybrid. Seen in profile, the car’s flowing lines captivate the eye and inspire the imagination. Its oversized wheel treatment implies terrific handling and tremendous speed. The scissor-opening doors, while not entirely unique, do add even more of a glamorous nature to the car. Looking for all the world like a concept car for the street, BMW’s i8 is nothing less than a contemporary classic.
Proving cars don’t have to be outrageously expensive to be beautiful, the rakish lines of the Cadillac ATS coupe make the model everything the CTS coupe should have been. The classic formula of a long nose, rear-biased greenhouse and short tail are employed to tremendous effect on Cadillac’s 2-door. The real beauty of the ATS coupe is that the car is remarkably handsome without looking futuristic. Where many models rely upon wildly imaginative concept car styling gimmicks to look distinctive, the Cadillac ATS coupe looks perfectly normal—and absolutely beautiful.
At the other end of the spectrum, Cadillac’s ELR plug-in hybrid has a distinctive beauty all its own. And while the model is readily identifiable as a contemporary Cadillac, its futuristic profile screams “concept car that made it into production.” Sadly, the car-buying public seems to be ignoring the wedgy Caddy. Maybe if it had power to go along with its looks, things might be different. While we love the angular jet-fighter look, we only wish its powertrain could cash the check the appearance of the ELR writes so boastfully.
Photo by General Motors
It’s easily the loveliest car to wear a Chrysler badge in many a year, which makes it even more of a shame that the 2016 Chrysler 200 will be killed off after this year. The gracefully arching greenhouse connects sleekly tapered front and rear ends, while a sweeping character line runs the length of the car. Even better, the Chrysler is mad affordable. It’s kind of rare to find a midsize car this good looking at a price so equitable, which is yet another reason to celebrate the Chrysler sedan.
Photo by Chrysler
Any list of best looking cars without a Ferrari is somewhat questionable. Beauty has been baked into the mission statement of Enzo Ferrari’s automotive offerings from day one. Though the Ferrari 488GTB coupe is new for this year, the design should be familiar, as it’s descended from the 458 Italia and borrows heavily from that car’s space frame architecture. Ferrari’s signature glossy red finish is probably the best color to appreciate the subtitles — and the excesses — of the 488GTB.
Photo by Ferrari
The sexiest Jaguar coupe to come along in quite some time, the magnificent Jaguar F-Type is being hailed as the spiritual successor to the marque’s E-Type sports car—arguably one of the most beautiful automobiles of all time. A thoroughly contemporary interpretation of the long nose/short deck 2-seater, Jaguar’s F-Type Coupe looks pocket-sized in photographs but exceptionally substantive when you see it in person. Its tightly drawn proportions fit tautly over some highly impressive mechanicals, and its looks are readily supported by its performance capability.
Photo by Jaguar
Over the last several years, Lexus has been working hard to cultivate a performance reputation. The latest shot fired in that quest for recognition is an unquestionably lovely little coupe in the form of the Lexus RC F. Now, we’ll be the first to admit that spindle grille treatment is on the polarizing side, but the profile of this new Lexus model is more than strong enough to overcome any objections raised by the grille, and so is its performance.
Photo by Lexus
One of the most pulse-quickening cars on offer today, the 2016 Lamborghini Huracán blends curves and angles in a way the eye simply can’t resist. The low slung stance, huge tires and wheels, and delicate greenhouse will keep the eye busy devouring the car’s beauty for years and years to come. Easily one of the prettiest models to come down the line from Lamborghini—perhaps ever—the Lamborghini Huracán is one exceptionally beautiful automobile.
Photo by Newspress USA