Compiling a list of the most beautiful European sports cars of all time and then excluding Ferrari from the results still leaves dozens of popular classics renowned for their beauty. However, we think there is room for a few updates, after all, nothing lasts forever. Quantifying what makes a car beautiful is another matter, every decade brings a new trend, the ’70s were all about wedges, the following two decades were about wings and spoilers, some might argue to the detriment of style and appearance.
Time has moved on, both the Miura and E-Type, as beautiful as they are, have newer rivals from their own makers. Modern materials and designs have done the unthinkable, dislodging what was for so many decades the most beautiful cars ever made.
Here is the first modern interloper in what could have been an orgy of classic cars, the Mercedes-AMG GT, a proper fire-breathing coupe with enough grunt from its twin-turbocharged 4-liter V8 to hit 60 mph in under 4-seconds and 190 mph flat-out.
But this isn’t just some stripped-out lightweight sports coupe. From every angle, its fastback sport coupe profile looks stunning, in our opinion better than even the GT-R Black and roadster options. A case of less is more, with no wings interfering with the AMG GT’s clean lines, this is the best looking AMG in the current line-up.
Lamborghini Huracán Performante
If the Miura cemented Lamborghini’s arrival as a serious supercar maker, then the Huracán Performante stamps its authority over pretty much anything else in this segment. Building on the Gallardo’s success would be a tough act to follow, but as the second act goes we think you will agree Lamborghini nailed it, the Huracán is not only the best Lamborghini ever but the most beautiful too.
Beneath a glorious symphony of curves, vents, and grilles lay the Performante’s secret weapon. Lamborghini not only managed to create a beautiful profile, but also fitted a host of clever active aerodynamics to keep the Huracan planted no matter what speeds you’re traveling at. Like all Lamborghinis to date, the Huracán still uses naturally aspirated engines, in this case, a 5.2-liter V10 pumping out 631 wild Italian horses.
Almost 40 years after the E-type vacated its position as the most beautiful production car ever, Jaguar was back with a true successor in both name and appearance, the F-Type might have been a long time in coming, but the wait was worth it.
Like its predecessor, available as either coupe or roadster, each promising different levels of interaction with what is surely the most vocally diverse V8 production engine to date. Even in the prettier coupe the F-Type R’s 567 HP supercharged V8 shouts, bellows, and bangs on the overrun, modern and soundproof the F-Type might be, but that engine just demands gearheads’ attention.
Aston Martin DB9
Picking up where the stunning DB7 left off, Aston Martin’s 2004 DB9 was more than just a warm makeover given another number in the naming series. The DB9 was all-new from the ground up, built on Ford’s VH platform while maintaining a strong visual link to its predecessor.
Created by Ian Callum, the DB9, arguably his best creation to date, was a thoroughly modern affair. Lightweight construction of both chassis and body deserving of a more potent powertrain leading the DB9 name itself, DB8 skipped lest gearheads thought the latest Aston Martin used V8 power in place of Aston’s 5.9-liter V12.
Ford GT40 Mk.1
American funding, British design, and a generous portion of time and expertise from Carroll Shelby transformed a Lola Mk6-based racer into what would become one of the most successful Le Man’s racing cars of all time. The GT40 dates back to Ford’s Advanced vehicle facility outside of London.
Early production types I-III were all built in the UK, racing development and modification taking place at Dearborn, Michigan, where later models would be designed and produced. Despite two separate attempts to build a better Ford GT, the original in our opinion still holds sway in the looks department, even if the newer cars are quicker and easier to drive.
Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione
Alfa Romeo’s comeback model if you like, the 8C Competizione was the brand’s first serious attempt to return to its roots of performance and sports cars, the model launching in 2007.
It would also be the Italian carmakers’ first new model to launch in the US since 1995, the Competizione very much a make or break model with American gearheads. On appearances alone, Alfa Romeo had a winner in the 8C, blending traditional Alfa features with a modern sports car feel, a design that looks just as gorgeous today as it did back in 2007. Under the hood, the 8C uses a development Ferrari’s 4.7-liter V8 kicking out 444 hp
The BMW 507 is proof that beautifully made over-engineered cars are not a guarantee of success, so labor-intensive was the hand-crafted bodywork that manufacturing costs skyrocketed to the point where BMW nearly went bust.
Arguably the most beautiful BMW of all time, nothing since has come close to either the levels of perfection in terms of build or the gorgeous lines that make it so collectible today. Produced over a four-year period with just 252 cars produced, the 507 is perhaps one of the greatest financial failures that today is worth millions.
Pagani Zonda Cinque Roadster
Pagani’s debut back in 1999 signaled the arrival of a new Italian supercar maker, based within a stone’s throw of Ferrari’s Modena headquarters. A new upstart carmaker with a flair for the unconventional would place Pagani and their debut Zonda model in good stead.
Built entirely from carbon fiber where every minute detail is perfectly crafted, each strand or matting of the wonder material lined up precisely with its neighbor, Pagani had tuned even the basic structure into an art form. Interiors, too, bearing more resemblance to a major art display than a car cockpit, a theme that even extends to the Zonda’s 6-liter V12 installation with the most complex and beautiful engine bay ever.
Announced shortly after the UK carmakers’ return to serious production, the P1 was only the second hypercar the brand had attempted, a long-overdue follow-up to the mighty F1 from the early ’90s
The P1 would be more conventional in offering a two-seat cockpit in place of the unique three-abreast layout earlier used, but broadly speaking following a similar carbon-fiber construction process. Designed by Frank Stephenson, the P1 despite low production numbers remains highly collectible, in part due to a 903 hp hybrid power train, but also for the way it looks, arguably the best looking McLaren to date.
Porsche 904 Carrera GTS
Racing really does improve the breed. Porsche, having quit Formula 1 in 1962, needed a new racing series in which to compete. The FIA GT series was seemingly the perfect fit. Under strict homologation rules, 100 production cars had to be made available for private use, without them the 904 GTS wouldn’t exist.
Built as a successor to the successful Porsche 718 racers, the newer car using a familiar ladder-style chassis and mid-engine layout, atop which for the first time Porsche employed a light-weight fiberglass body. Even the most car-phobic of viewers can see a striking resemblance between the 904 Carrera GTS and Ferrari’s 250 GTO.
These women own ostentatious fleets of cars ranging from Aston Martins, to Porsches, to Bentleys, to Lamborghinis.
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