Automobile taxonomy is a mess. For one, brands are dropping model names faster than Aziz Ansari. Cadillac once sold Eldorados, Fleetwoods, and Coupe Devilles; it now offers CTSs, ATSs, and SRXs (the Escalade is the only Cadillac to get name-checked regularly in hip-hop, which may or may not be the reason it’s still called an Escalade).
Today, even the numbers are meaningless. In 1995, a young man of means could ascertain that the 530i he was standing in front of was a rear-drive 5-series sedan with a 3-liter, fuel-injected gasoline engine; twenty years on, that same fella might reasonably assume the 2015 BMW X6 xDrive35i Sports Activity Coupe to be an all-wheel drive, 2-door car with a 3.5 liter engine. He would be wrong on all counts.
We live in a world where Kia will sell you a luxury car, Mercedes offers a 4-cylinder hatchback, and Ferrari makes an all-wheel-drive shooting-brake. Assumptions, it’s safe to assume, are out the window. The one classification that still matters: Sexy cars. Eye-catchers. Cars you want to take home with you. They aren’t necessarily efficient or safe, but you want them anyway.
Here are the ten sexiest cars you can buy right now.
1. Aston Martin Vanquish – Cynics might ask, beyond the slaying design, what’s the Vanquish got going for it? For one, the industry’s most sonorous V12, and two, well…sometimes, good looks are enough to get by. The Vanquish looks so damn fantastic, with only a peppering of strakes an splitters adorning its perfect shape, that any quibbles about the plebeian roots of its engine or the tiny R&D budget that leaves it without many of the technologies in other super GTs fall on V12-deafened ears.
2. Ferrari 458 Speciale – This is an important inclusion because, cover your ears, fanboys, there have been and are ugly Ferraris. A prancing horse does not a pretty car make: the F430 had a homely nose, the 612 Scaglietti, a lumpy butt. The 458, though, is an undiminished eye-feast. The lines are lean and sexy, the eyes mean, and the racing stripes—no explanation needed. Add in a background of flat-plane-crank V8, and the Ferrari almost makes a case for its cult.
3. Jaguar F-Type Coupe – When it debuted, the F-Type convertible was something to behold: great hips, a magnificent V8 burble, and brooding eyes. That car, though, is no more than Marsha, because: that fastback, that silhouette, that rump. The F-Type Coupe has the best butt in the biz and the shout of Pavarotti’s dragon.
4.Mustang GT Fastback in Bullitt green – A few have said that the new ‘Stang has the face of a Ford Fusion; we say, great for the Fusion. In “Guard Green” (Bullitt Green, to our eyes), and with the multi-spoke, grey-painted wheels from the GT Performance Pack, the Mustang looks mean and understated (a surprise for those who think Mustangs are goofily-modified Fox-bodies). For hazy California nights, brisk Vermont autumns, or a cruise by your old high school, there’s no car, American or otherwise, we’d rather drive.
5.Alfa Romeo 4C – Originally, the American 4C was going to have a face full of terrifying bug-like LED’s. Luckily, we ended up with some pleasing ovals instead, fixing literally the only qualm we had with its design. With a super-low, mid-engine design, the 4C is easily mistaken for a Ferrari or its own late big brother, the 8C. And despite having only a <2 liter 4-cylinder, the 4C’s shout is just as textured and interesting as Porsche’s boxer-six.
6.Porsche 911 GTS – The GT3 is the best-driving 911. But looks-wise? Leave us the clean, wingless lines of the 911 GTS. Lowered over 20-inch, dark grey single-bolt wheels, it’s the ultimate expression of the 50-year evolution of the 911’s teardrop profile. That rakish back, plus the GTS’s standard sport exhaust, make for quite the sensory experience.
7.Dodge Challenger Hellcat – The biggest 2-door sold in the States has never wanted for swagger. The recent redesign sharped things a little bit, and gave the hooded eyes a little more ornament. Then, the Hellcat dropped: 700 horsepower, cool-as-hell bronze wheels, and the permanent smell of roasted Pirellis. Sometimes, sexiness is measured by the pound.
8.Morgan 4/4 – For the anglophiles, and lovers of delicate beauty, let us present: the Morgan 4/4, the wooden-framed sports car. If you love Monty Python, Churchill documentaries, and rain, then the Morgan 4/4 will light your trousers on fire. Super low cowls, a tiny windshield, and gorgeous black wire wheels bring back some of that World War 2 romance, minus the War. It’s not a muscle-car, barely a sports car, and no one’s idea of comfortable, but one glance tells you all you need to know: this is one cool machine.
9.Land Rover Range Rover Autobiography – The Range Rover combines the rich leather and wood of a study, the go-anywhere spirit of a Jeep Wrangler, and the pleasing rectilinearity of the Neutra House. If power’s sexy, the Rover’s got it; if money’s sexy, the Rover’s worth it; if design is sexy, spend half a second looking at the treatment of the rear deck. This is the Papa of luxury SUV’s for a reason.
10. BMW i8 – We’ve always been seduced by the future, whether than meant trailblazing across the western plains or buying a lava lamp. Well, it doesn’t get much more futuristic than an all-carbon fiber, lithium-battery-turbocharged-3-cylinder hybrid sports car. A layered, heavily contoured body makes the i8 super-aerodynamic, and slender LED’s underscore the spaceship effect.
Photos by Aston Martin 2014