If beauty is pain, there are just some cars worth suffering.
Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Lotus—we're looking at you. But our list of the best-looking cars for 2016 don't make many sacrifices at the altar of attractive shapes—besides copious amounts of money for some. Have four reasonably working limbs? You can drive all of these cars.
As regulations dictate much about the shapes of cars on the road today—lower bumpers for pedestrian crash safety, fewer right angles for fuel efficiency, etc.—there's little room for individuality or interpretation on common design. Frankly, it's hard to tell the difference between some sedans and SUVs from several automakers around the globe.
But all things being equal, some cars look more equal than others. These cars aced (or nearly aced) our style-o-meter, and drew gasps nearly everywhere we took them.
Here are the cars we lusted after in 2016, in no particular order whatsoever.
The low, wide nose of the new Acura NSX doesn't just cut a shape for Acura's halo car—it cuts a shape for supercars to come. It may not share many elements from the original NSX from 20 years ago besides the placement of its engine, but the new NSX reminds us of the old one in a very specific way: both look equally special on the road. The new NSX derives much of its style from aerodynamics, but elements such as the side mirrors and big air intakes are wholly for dramatic effect. Well done.
2017 BMW i8
The BMW i8 still manages to turn heads on the road, even three years after its debut. The fuel-efficient hybrid has supercar looks—even if it doesn't have supercar speed. Although its prohibitively high price contributes to its relative rarity, the i8 still looks special on the road thanks to its flying buttresses in the rear, impossibly low shape, and those butterfly doors. Pull up in one and everyone will think you've arrived from the future.