What makes a car beautiful?
Sometimes it's undeniable--a lissome look, a crushworthy stance, a peerless cabin. In other cases, it's a purity of form that's as close to ideal as possible, given the chosen duty.
We define it both ways at The Car Connection. As we review more than 250 new vehicles every year, we rate them all across six categories, including styling. Among those new and continuing models, we give only a handful a perfect score of 10 for styling.
This year, the list cars that earn those perfect scores covers some of the most exquisite machinery on the road from Aston Martin, Audi, Maserati, MINI, Jaguar, Lamborghini, Porsche and SRT (nee Dodge). Beautiful? Each one earns the tag, even if some shapes aren't as hormonal or as naturally elegant as other body styles.
It's been around since 2004, but there's not a line that looks dated on the Aston DB9. The details are the essence of good taste, and it's gorgeous either as a coupe or as a Volante convertible.
The Aston Martin DBS is muscular but evocative, the hallmark of a timeless shape. It projects every aspect of bespoke, old-world charm--seen through a modern lens, of course.
The A7's mix of flowing, smooth sheetmetal and chiseled details is graceful and refreshingly different. It's classy and cohesive, and it's among the most beautiful designs on the market.
Sinewy and gorgeous, the Jaguar XK hardly looks like it's been on the road seven years already. It's one stunning curve after another, with barely an extraneous line to be found, and still, full of emotion.
The Aventador's body is raw an exotic, a crescendo of angles and intakes that's matched inside, where a jet fighter-like cockpit continues the sheer extremity of every aspect of its design.
Scissor doors have been excised, but the Gallardo's dramatic wedge shape, eye-popping factory colors, and flight-inspired details all turn heads and draw eyes.
The Maserati GranTurismo isn't just good-looking--it's bewitching. Yes, it's full of stereotypical curves and lissome lines, and they're perfectly balanced and voluptuous. It's a standout piece of styling that's as exciting as it is enduring.
There are few, if any, other new cars that do modern-classic styling quite like the MINI Cooper, and the entire family of retro-styled small cars it's spawned. It has just the right mix of modern and retro.
Still without doubt a Porsche 911 at first glance, the styling of the latest model is very different from its predecessor--just subtly so. There's a reason its an icon, and it's all in the roofline.
The latest Boxster has a fresh look that's more dramatic, more masculine, and still, all Porsche. It stands out, even next to its BMW and Benz compatriots.
The Viper's reborn, recast shape is part new, part evolution. The former Dodge Viper's sheetmetal is now SRT smooth and curvaceous, not creased, though it stands by the very low snout and upkicked tail of the original--as well as some of the same distinctive bulbous look.
(c) 2013, High Gear Media.