You don’t have to be a total gear head to appreciate a beautiful car design. After all, you’re a design professional at heart and automobiles often look just as cool as they function.
There’s something on the market for everyone—from sleek hybrids, to futuristic concepts, American muscle, European style and everything in between. Inspired by some great designs through the years, we’ve pulled together an eclectic list of cars that engineers and designers of all stripes are sure to aesthetically appreciate.ou’re a design professional at heart and automobiles often look just as cool as they function.
Did we miss any of your favorites? Let us know in the comments section!
1. Tesla Model
Tesla seems more like a Silicon Valley tech giant than a car company, with new innovations making headlines regularly. The Tesla Model X is the brand’s only SUV with “Falcon Wing” rear doors that are cool enough to make Marty McFly jealous. You will have to wait if you want this one though; it’s not slated for delivery until early 2016.
2. Nissan GT-R
It’s difficult to pick just one from Nissan’s GT-R line of cars. Classified as a supercar, there are multiple top models, and they sell for as much as $80,000 USD.
The reason the GT-R line is so special is because of its engine design. There are only four master craftsmen in the world qualified to hand-assemble the type of engine in the car. These professionals are known as takumi, a Japanese term used to describe a master craftsman who has perfected his skills over years of painstaking work and dedication.
Check out this GT-R heritage video to see how they’ve evolved over the years.
The Subaru Impreza WRX is speed at a bargain, with the latest model starting at around $26,000 USD. The line first launched in 1992 as a performance upgrade built from the Impreza sedan. In 2002, the company released a turbocharged all-wheel drive version ready for rough roads, and people have been racing these cars in rallies ever since.
Pure. American. Muscle. There’s a reason why this car was featured in nearly every Fast & Furious movie—it’s all horsepower. With a stock V8 engine that features a four-barrel carburetor and dual exhaust, the 70s Charger delivers a loud 440 horses. This one’s a beautiful classic that will never go out of style.
Classic lines and a modern look that could easily be reimagined for today. The Buick Y Job was a true concept car that never came to be, but it did influence the design of the 1948 Cadillac and the company’s signature front grills. This concept is a fantastic example of how great design can power production for years to come.
6. Ford GT40
The Ford GT40 is simply a beast! This high performance endurance car was designed in England and built with an American engine. Produced from 1964 to 1969, it still remains the only American car to ever win at 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Undoubtedly one of the most emotive cars of all time. Also known as the Jaguar XK-E, this British sports car was manufactured between 1961 and 1975. Malcolm Sayer, Jaguar's chief aerodynamicist at the time, created the body shape on a purely mathematical basis and road tests have proven the car to have a very low drag. Not to mention the fact that it looks incredibly stylish.
Chalk another one up for the innovative doors category. The Roadyacht GTS from Dutch manufacturer Savage Rivale is pure style. This vehicle was built for racing through the French Rivera, and features a 6.2L V8 engine and a top speed of 330 km/h.
9. Porsche 911
It would be hard to write a list without including the 911. Though the design of the car has evolved over time, it has always retained it's own unique style. In 1963, the original model had a top speed of 131 mph and can go from 0 to 60 mph in 8.5 seconds. Later versions saw a shift in the body design with the classic high back evening out to become more linear, but the truth is people will take notice no matter which version you’re driving.
10. Ferrari F40
The F40 was the first production car to break 200 mph and oddly enough it was also the last Ferrari personally approved by Enzo Ferrari. The F40’s remarkable exterior and turbocharged power delivery system make it a serious supercar. It was designed to celebrate Ferrari's 40th anniversary and came at a hefty retail price tag of $400,000 USD—though it will cost you a lot more to get you hands on one today. Good luck finding an F40 though, as only 1,200 were ever produced.
Do you have a favorite design? If so, please share your thoughts in the comments below.
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Tesla Model X – Photo modified from original by NRMA Motoring and Services via Flickr (CC license 2.0)
1970 Dodge Charger - By Stefan-Xp (Own work) (GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0), via Wikimedia Commons
Roadyacht GTS - By Overlaet (Own work) (CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL), via Wikimedia Commons
Ferrari F40 - Photo modified from original by Stephen Hanafin via Flickr (CC license 2.0)