Break out your advent calendars everyone, December is well and truly here. Not only does that mean everyone will be preparing their stomachs for the abuse we inflict on them over the festive period, it also means the internet becomes a hot pot for lists reviewing the past 12 months in the automotive industry.
Millennials are constantly being told our attention span is less than that of a gnat. Therefore, for those that really can only concentrate on photos, here are the best-looking cars of 2019. Let me know if you agree with this list in the comments.
A few years ago, the only looks contest Peugeot would have been involved in is the car that looks the most like Sloth from Goonies. However, since the French brand unveiled the e-Legend concept, its design language has done a full 180 meaning a lot of its cars are quite nice to look at.
The little 208 hatchback that was first shown off at Geneva this year is no different. It has moved away from the very angular shape that most cars have nowadays instead opting for a rounded side profile. From certain angles, it almost looks like a bubble floating gracefully through the air. This is exactly what a cute city car should look like. None of the aggression other brands have injected into their small hatches.
9-Porsche Boxster Bergspyder
The Boxster Bergspyder is a very odd car. It was originally created in 2015 along with the first Cayman GT4 that took the world by storm. However, Porsche must have suddenly got stage fright before showing it off. In fact, the roofless one-off’s covers were only lifted in the summer of this year.
For some reason, it never made quite the impact it should have done. I guess that as the 718 Cayman GT4 was revealed around the same time, it may have been somewhat overshadowed. Maybe the Bergspyder can have its 15-minutes of fame in next year once the new GT4’s hype has died down.
The Honda e has been around for a few years now in the form of the Urban EV Concept. However, the little city going EV’s design was finalised this year allowing it to join Honda’s range.
The reason this somewhat boxy car is one of the best-looking motoring designs of the year is because, just like the Peugeot, its shape reflects what the model is meant to be. It has a very pacific face that simply makes you love it that little bit more. Furthermore, the round headlights, long bonnet and slightly square shape reflects the Honda N600 hatchback from way back when. If that’s not enough to make you fall in love with this little puppy, you may be lacking a heart.
7-Peugeot 508 SW
As a fan of estate cars and shooting brakes, it should come as no surprise that at least one of these practical cars features on the list. There’s so much manufacturers can do with the long rooflines to make their cars look sleek and elegant. What does come as a surprise is that, yet again, Peugeot has made it onto this year’s list of beautifully designed cars.
The 508 itself is already a great looking car. With the dark strip along the rear end connecting the taillights and an elegant roofline, it has a sense of importance without standing out so much that it’s like driving around with an “I’m important” sticker. Those beautiful lines are simply accentuated on the Sport Wagon version of the 508.
It would be a sin not to mention the Prancing Horse on a list reviewing the best-looking cars of the past 12 months. However, despite Ferrari giving us no less than seven new designs including one-offs like the P80/C, I would have to say that not many of them have particularly inspired me.
The Roma is a rare exception though. In fact, it has a curvaceous bonnet that seems to have been formed by the wind passing over the wheels and a less aggressive nose than most recent Maranello cars. With less of an apparent emphasis on downforce and angles, it reminds me very much of what I would call Ferrari’s heyday with cars like the 275 GTB and the infamous 250 GTO.
From the side, the main body runs gently from tip to toe as if the designer drew the car based on a single swoop of their pen. The cabin discreetly pops out of that classy singular dash to create a classic GT line.
The final year of the current decade hasn’t been all about throwing back to the more flowing design style of yesteryear. In fact, with the rise of electric propulsion technology has come a new wave of hypercar design full of angles and straight lines.
To some extent, this is the route Pininfarina has taken with its first shot at creating its own car from the ground up. Even at a standstill, the Battista looks like it’s going a thousand miles an hour. One small element of this car’s design I really enjoy is the lightbar that connects the headlights. This is something we’ve come accustomed to seeing on the rear of cars like on the new 911, but not so much on the front.
4-Aston Martin Vanquish Concept
This year, at the Geneva Motor Show, Aston Martin pulled out all the stops bringing not one, not two, but three totally new models. In my eyes, the best looking of those three was the more sedate Vanquish Concept.
In the past, the Vanquish nameplate has been seen on the brand’s more extravagant front-engine GT cars. However, for 2019 it has been flipped upside-down to become an out and out supercar to compete with the likes of Ferrari and McLaren.
That change of ethos has allowed Aston Martin to explore a less extreme variant of the Valkyrie hypercar design. In fact, many of the Adrian Newey-designed car’s features have found their way onto the Vanquish Concept. For example, the traditional Aston lip has been incorporated in the same way to the new bonnet shape as the Valkyrie. Furthermore, the lights and wheel arches are also very Valkyrie-esque.
That being said, this is still very much a supercar, not a hypercar. That means that all the vanes, gaps and wings have been replaced by more sedate curves that help the car blend into the rest of Aston’s line up despite having the engine in arguably the wrong place.
3-Morgan Plus Six
After a quick look to futuristic designs, I’m afraid to say it’s back to retro styled cars and no car is more retro than the all-new, except the looks, Morgan Plus Six. Despite what Richard Hammond says, Morgan design hasn’t changed over the past half a century – but that’s what makes its cars look so good.
To contrast the 1950’s shape, the Plus Six features a set of xenon headlights that really help to bring the design up to date. This is a very simple way of rejuvenating any restomod. It’s like seeing an old man with the eyes of a baby. The addition of this car to the list may be the most controversial, but if it’s good enough for Hammond to buy one, it’s sure as hell good enough to sit alongside the likes of the Ferrari Roma.
Based on the road going 911 GT2 RS, the Porsche 935 is an homage to the legend that is Moby Dick. This is the name given to the original 935 racecar that emerged from Stuttgart with the aim of winning the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1979.
Not only does the modern 935 pay tribute to the world-famous Group 5 competitor, it also looks absolutely stunning. The bodywork extensions both at the front and rear ends make the car seem purposeful while the massive wing that sits above the engine towers over everything on track.
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1-De Tomaso P72 GT
Last but not least, the return of the De Tomaso name was always going to produce something special. For a moment, let’s forget the fact that the P72 GT that was unveiled at Goodwood this year is powered by a glorious V8 and focus on the drop-dead gorgeous styling.
From front to back the new De Tomaso is the dictionary definition of classic Italian design. Its slanted stance makes it look like its edging forward and eager to get going. That’s carried on in the car’s face – otherwise known as front end. In fact, with the wide headlights, intricate splitter and bulbous wheel arches, one could almost believe the designers took inspiration from the busiest creatures in the world, ants.
The P72’s beauty is replicated on the interior which is an amazing work of art covered in perfect stitching, delicately sculpted instruments and, wait for it, an exposed gear lever mechanism.
It seems then, that my taste in cars from the past year is mostly based on a passion for older designs. I’m sure others will have a much different view on recent motoring styling. Therefore, let me know what I’ve missed out on this list and tell me just how wrong I am in the comments.