2016 Alfa Romeo 4C ・ Photo by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
The moment one types a phrase like the ten “most” anything as the title of an article, they’re pretty much setting themselves up for a host of dissenting opinions. And, when that something involves something as subjective as physical beauty, they’re really asking for it. Fortunately, we’re not put off by differing views. We know when it comes to a topic like “the most beautiful cars for 2016,” there’s bound to be a great deal of discord. What’s beautiful to you might be markedly less so to someone else. And, of course, vice versa.
The human eye loves to trace a curve, and gracefully bent lines are something the Alfa Romeo 4C possesses in tremendous abundance. From the voluptuous swells of its fenders, to the graceful arc of its roofline, the 4C’s splendid display of radii is fodder for hours and hours of long lingering looks. Further, they way they all converge to produce an outline at once powerful with just a hint of femininity further entices the eye. The first night you take an Alfa 4C home you’ll spend a good hour and a half in the garage just staring at it.
Photo by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
The Aston Martin V8 Vantage’s look features just the right amount of muscularity to counterpoint its long, low, and sleek profile. What’s more, while the design is perfectly cohesive. If the penning of this car had been left to a less talented individual, the design could well have emerged as a collection of disjunctive automotive clichés, as a number of familiar styling devices are employed. What makes it masterful is the way each device is employed just enough to achieve perfection in its role. No more—and no less.
Another example of the long nose and short deck school of automotive design, the Audi A5 makes it look original just the same. What’s more, the car is unmistakably an Audi. All of the company’s design cues are there, but assembled in a manner more beautiful than any Audi before it—or since (to date). The A5 looks for the entire world like a muscular individual who is perfectly at ease with their muscularity. In other words, the look of the Audi isn’t boastful, it’s just plain correct, perfectly tasteful, and approachable.
The flowing arc of the “chopped” roofline in this BMW nicely accentuates the arrow-like profile of the lower body of the car to produce a design the eye loves to linger upon. What more, the car looks good from every angle, dead-on, front three-quarter, rear three-quarter, profiles. The BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe is simply a very attractive car. Factor in the sculpted sides and prominent character lines, all of which work hand-in-hand with the overall design and you’ve got a serious looker on your hands.
Photo by BMW
How many of have your finger poised above your keyboards, ready to flame us huge on this one? Before you do, take an objective look at the lines of the Buick. Nice and tidy, without a single wasted stroke. Perfectly restrained where it needs to be and bold where it ought to be, the Buick Regal GS is easily one of the nicest designs to come from a Detroit manufacturer in years. (And yes, we know it’s an Opel in disguise.) Whatever it is—or isn’t—you have to agree the Buick Regal is very easy on the eyes.
Photo by Buick
We know this one is controversial, too… primarily among people who have yet to see the Cadillac ELR out on the street. Sadly, given its sales numbers, this may well be the case for the vast majority of people as the ELR ain’t exactly posting “electrifying” sales numbers. Still though, the wedge shape defies the convention a car has to be all curves to be beautiful, and yet the design incorporates just enough curves to keep the eye busy once it has digested the overall angularity of the design. Further, its proportions are nailed perfectly.
Photo by General Motors
How can you possibly assemble a list of the most beautiful cars and leave Ferrari off the list? Sexy siren-esque good looks are part and parcel of what the marque is all about. Most people will, in all probability, never see the Ferrari LaFerrari, limited to a run of just 499 cars, on the street. And that’s a shame. The low and lean profile of the car, punctuated by its massive side scoops, blacked out canopy, and oversized tires and wheels just flat screams sex appeal—exactly as you would expect an exotic sports car of its nature to do.
Remarkably, the looks of the Cadillac ELR and the Hyundai Elantra have a lot in common. Both have a short nose and a short rear deck, totally defying the long nose/short deck school of automotive design. The Hyundai also has a basic wedge shape, but relies more upon curves to keep the eye soothed. What’s more, the Elantra’s surface detailing enhances what could have been a bunch of broad flat planes to particularly good effect. The Elantra looks way more expensive than it actually is, and looks better than more expensive cars with which it shares the showroom.
Photo by Megan Green
The Jaguar F-TYPE Coupe’s rear fenders make the car look as if it is just waiting to burst into motion. Further, the design proffers another wonderful illusion. Seen in profile, the F-Type Coupe almost appears to have no rear deck at all. It’s like the arch of the roof goes straight to the tail of the car. This further enhances that look of pent up energy, hinting at explosive acceleration, as well as tremendous roadholding capability—both of which the car offers in abundance. The design mirrors exactly what the car will do, and you have to love that.
Despite having been around for some 13 years now, the Jaguar XK remains one of the most beautiful cars on the road. Proving age ain’t nuthin’ but a number, the XK’s enduring good looks come from its classic proportions, large wheels pushed out to the absolute edges of it body work, and its delicately thin A pillars. This car says powerful and graceful simultaneously, which is exactly what a Jaguar is supposed to be about. Few designs speak so well to the personality of the cars they envelope.