The New York International Auto Show is just getting underway, but it already has brought a number of surprises. Among the most unexpected is the outrageously beautiful Mazda MX-5 RF. A Miata hardtop was expected. The introduction of a jaw-dropping targa was not. That got us thinking: what other facelifts have turned already good cars into absolute show stoppers? Here’s a few of our favorites….
1. Every Recent Jaguar
Seriously, have you ever seen a brand do a 180 like the one Jag pulled off? For decades it was slowly becoming the UK’s version of Buick. Then, out of seemingly nowhere, it because Aston Martin, except cheaper and better. Every time Jaguar makes a new model introduction, they somehow manage to raise the bar on just how stupidly attractive a car can be. XE, XJ, XK, XF…they all are stunning shapes from any angle. And let’s not even get started on the F-Type. That’s not a car. That’s pure art. We all owe Jag a small part of our soul for that one alone. Needless to say, it’s definitely, definitely good to be bad.
2. Aston Martin DBS
All Aston’s are beautiful. The DB9, in fact, remains one of our all-time favorite machines. After a few years though, we became increasingly curious to know what a DB9 would look like with a touch more anger. The DBS came along, answered that question, and left our jaws so firmly on the floor we’re still reeling them up. It added aggression to the DB9’s shape without going too far or messing with the base car’s clean lines. As a result, we consider it the most beautiful Aston in recent memory. Which is saying something, considering how lovely the new Vanquish turned out.
3. Ferrari California T
When the reborn California debuted, we had our doubts. It wasn’t particularly pretty, weighed too much, was way too much of a GT car and came with a “you bought that over a 458?” price tag. While it’s still not our favorite Ferrari, the refreshed California righted quite a few of those wrongs and brought along a much more pleasant shape. Gone are the stacked tail pipes, strange tail light configuration and heavy overall design language. Instead, the new California is actually a gorgeous shape, harkening back to classic Ferrari open-top GT cars while still looking exotic. Job much, much better done the second time around.
4. 2017 Camaro ZL1
The Camaro has had its ups and downs when it comes to design. Recent iterations have certainly been decent but the 2017 ZL1 finally is at the love-at-first-sight level. With the significantly smaller tail, ferocious grille and muscular yet sleek profile, it hits all the right nerves. In our humble opinion, it’s the first modern Camaro that showcases just how good looking the chassis can be when given the right lines. Beautifully done, Chevy. Keep it up.