Although a retro design, BMW did an excellent job of maintaining the spirit of the original Mini in a modern, bigger car. An aggressive front--and a cap that seems to float over the cabin on de-emphasized pillars--are just two of the features that make the Mini unique.
The Saturn Sky manages to evoke some design cues from the Batmobile (as seen in the 1960s 'Batman' television series). It has the aerodynamic bulges behind the seats, and throws on a few of its own elements, such as a slightly swayed back and prominent front fenders.
The S2000 has a subtle sportiness that makes you look twice. At first glance, it may seem like a generic roadster, but its wedge shape suggests its true character. Everything appears to be going forward on this car, even when it's standing still.
Lexus uses consistent design language across its sedan line, but it works best in the IS. This car practically redefines what a sedan should look like, taking the square boxes from a few years ago and smoothing the edges. Instead of dropping off at the trunk, the roofline runs smoothly back to the lip.
No modern design emphasizes its essential car-ness better than the 335i. The roofline emerges smoothly from the car body, looking like cabin and car are perfectly integrated. And BMW maintains its classic kidney grille.
It's been remarked that the new XK looks a bit like an Aston Martin. We don't see how that can be a bad thing. The XK is smooth--from its long hood, through its low roofline, down to the small spoiler on the trunk lip.
The CL550 doesn't have a B-pillar, a fact that does wonderful things for a coupe. Open the front and back windows of a pillarless coupe and it almost feels like you are in a convertible. From the outside, the CL550 curved roof looks fantastic.
Ford's fastback Mustang design, although retro, looks good. Add Shelby insignia and the throaty roar of a 500-horsepower engine, and people will look. And they will keep on looking. And possibly stroll over to get a closer look.
Although launched as an SUV, Infiniti managed to squeeze out most of the "utility" in favor of the "sport." The FX45's unique, curved design makes it look unlike any other SUV, without making it look bizarre or inappropriate.