Automotive design is always subjective, but there are some cars that are undeniably attractive. Whether they be swoopy, heavily sculpted coupes or just brilliant exercises in handsome restraint, plenty of new cars offer truly eye-catching designs that appeal to a huge swath of buyers.
So, what are Roadshow's editors' picks for the best-looking cars on sale today? Click through the gallery to find out.
I haven't seen all of my fellow editors' favorite picks, but I wouldn't be surprised if I'm the only one on the team who chooses an SUV. In fact, given my love for sports cars and fastbacks, I'm almost shocked that *I'm* picking one. The Land Rover Range Rover Velar is just too beautiful to be denied, however.
The Velar is just a gorgeous piece of minimalist design, inside and out. Actually, "minimalist" may be the wrong word, as that might conjure images of austerity. There's still surface jewelry, but it's thoughtfully streamlined -- the side vent treatment that flows into the doors, the available copper trim, the oversized alloy wheels.
The Velar's interior is no less stunning. Not only is that same essentialist vibe present, but the cabin is also comprised of impeccable materials in an unusually expansive range of colors and finishes, including novel materials like natural Eucalyptus upholstery and a wool-based fabric from Danish textile company Kvadrat.
Priced from about $50k (and more like $70-90k the way you'll want it optioned in R-Dynamic trim), the Velar is far from cheap. Even so, it somehow manages to feel far costlier.
The 911's sports car proportions and perfectly placed curves are the stuff of legends, especially considering the athleticism and performance the coupe is capable of unleashing when the road decides that it, too, wants to get a little curvaceous. Complicated, heavy and expensive, the Porsche 911 Targa 4 might be the 991.2 variant that makes the least sense, but it is also the most visually striking with its contrasting roll hoop and wraparound rear glass.
With the top up, the uninterrupted coupe silhouette is simplified and highlighted by a single glass panel that flows smoothly from shoulder to shoulder around the 911's rear end. Stow the fabric roof panel -- with an impressive display of motorized gymnastics from the glass top -- and the silver accented roll hoop (black on GTS models) helps create a more raw, Speedster-inspired appearance. Either way, the uniquely styled Targa 4 turns heads wherever it goes.
True, it's about 100 pounds heavier and $7,000 more expensive than a comparably equipped Carrera Cabriolet, but that's a small price to pay to look twice as good and much more unique. (When you think about it, Mazda's Targa-inspired MX-5 RF has a nearly identical price hike over the standard Miata, so that's not really so big a premium.)
Yes, that giant Lexus spindle grille is on full display here in the LC 500, but somehow it looks more proportional and gives this grand tourer a more menacing look than the rest of the Lexus lineup. It's no wonder that the LC 500 is the company's flagship model.
Outback the LC 500 has a pair of hips to rival Shakira, highlighted by L-shaped LED taillights. The light signature is truly unique and I love how they seem to go on forever in what the company calls an "infinity mirror" design.
Inside you can see influences of Lexus' LFA supercar, especially in the digital gauge cluster. Your hindquarters are cradled in nothing but the finest and most supple leather and when done up in Rioja Red, the cabin is absolutely stunning. Carbon fiber trim rounds out the cabin, hinting at the 5.0-liter V8 that lays in wait under the hood.
Mid-engine V8 Ferraris have always done it for me. The latest, greatest one to grace showrooms is the 488 Pista. The more performance-oriented model gets tweaked front and rear diffusers modeled after the GT3 endurance racer, a high and lower rear spoiler compared to the regular 488 GTB, and an F1-derived duct to better channel air over the front end.
Thankfully, none of the exterior upgrades are garish to distract from the 488's gorgeous body lines. Instead, the parts make the coupe look a touch more aggressive while helping to generation 20% more downforce than the GTB. There's nothing than getting better form and function.
Backing the Pista's looks is a twin-turbo V8 with a delicious 8,000-rpm redline, making 710 horsepower. When working with arguably the best dual-clutch transmission in the business, it hits 62 miles per hour in just 2.8 seconds. And if you've ever heard a flat plane crank Ferrari engine wrung out, you know it makes brilliant noises. So, it's a beautiful car that also makes beautiful noises.
It may seem odd to put a station wagon in a list of Ferraris, McLarens, and Porsches, but I think the E63 is not only good looking for a wagon, but it's also a gorgeous car full-stop. Oh, and it has one of the best engines ever.
The E63 version takes the standard wagon shape and pumps it up with more aggressive grille and bumper treatments, and thanks in large part to the quad exhaust tips, it has one of the best butts in the business.
Mercedes' current design language is among the best its been in years, but the E-Class in particular strikes the perfect balance between sporting looks and elegance, the wagon's practicality and exaggerated roofline make that even better.
Modern Astons have been criticized for being a little too... samey. The last generation DB9 was very difficult to distinguish from the last-gen Vantage and the rest. Since the DB11, Aston Martin has been trying to move its various models further apart and, while still very much fitting in the same family template, to me the DBS Superleggera is the most stunning car currently in production.
The DBS takes the basic template established by the DB11 but jacks it up, creating a car that appears to be bursting at the seams with power -- which it basically is, its twin-turbo V12 rated for a whopping 715 horses. Those swollen fenders let you know what you're dealing with, and the hero color of red is just dripping with contrast.
But despite looking so aggressive and purposeful, it still carries an air of class and refinement. It's less edgy than the new Vantage. It's less subtle than the DB11. It strikes a perfect balance and is one of those cars I need to stop and ponder. That's if I'm lucky enough to see one.
If you haven't noticed by now, I'm a little weird. It's my predilection for the absurd that draws me to the McLaren 720S. It's weird, almost alien in design, with a mishmash of curves and sharp edges that looks like it was built by an engineer who didn't care how it looked, so long as it functioned like it was supposed to.
And function it does. The 720S is one of the most thrilling supercars I've had the pleasure to drive, with a seemingly neverending pool of power at the ready. Its twin-turbo V8 has 710 horsepower at the ready, and boy howdy, it'll make use of every last one. But it can turn, too, gripping with preternatural ability, making it one serious contender on a track day.
Hell, even the dashboard is weird, but in a cool way. The screen is vertically oriented, but it's no more complicated to use than any other system. The gauge cluster can shrink into a smaller gauge cluster. Miraculously, McLaren found room for two cupholders, although one of them is really only good for your keys.
The Volvo V60 might be the most sedate pick on this list, but I can't deny the handsome, simplistic lines of the Swedish automaker's midsize wagon. When's the last time you saw a car that looked this good in beige?
People often criticize Volvo for making cars that all look like Russian dolls of one another. But when your design language is this solid, why mess with success? The V60's long roof, short front overhang, and the nicely cut front fascia is absolutely gorgeous -- and I'm willing to bet it'll age well, too.
The Volvo's a champ of interior design, as well. The simple, beautiful dash design is complemented by cloth City Weave seat fabric. Comfortable and airy, it's a beautifully designed cabin to complement one seriously attractive exterior.