What is it about the automobile that we love so much? For many people it’s the freedom a car can provide us. After all, think back to when you first got your license and went out on your own for the very first time. For others, it can be a status symbol that shows how far you have come or how much money you have. You only need to look through a few of those celebrity magazines at the grocery store checkout to find a collection of pictures about music and acting stars and what kinds of cars they have been spotted in. For the real die-hards, there is even the sounds and smells produced by such things as working on your car or heading out to a race. These are just a few of the main reasons why we love the automobile so much.
Of all our reasons to be attracted to the automobile, looks are probably number one. Most of us can probably think a time that we found our eyes locked on to a rather appealing car, whether parked in a lot or driving by on the street. Maybe we just sat and stared for a few seconds or perhaps we even pulled out our camera to snap a picture. A lot of the time, how a car looks is what draws us to them in the first place. The shape of the body, the type of trim, the design of the windows, the type of headlights and even the color – these are all factors which can make a car attractive for us to look at. In this world, some cars are better looking than others.
In terms of looks and appeal, the supermodel (or celebrity) of the car world is surely the sports car. These types of vehicles have had considerable time put in to develop beautiful curves and lines which are meant to be as visually appealing as they are aerodynamic. The following looks at 20 of the sexiest sports cars ever made. From the 1950s to today, there’s a wide range of cars and manufacturers here. They are listed in no particular order because, as they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
20 2003-10 – Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren
Starting off our list is this beautiful creation from the joint design team of Mercedes-Benz and McLaren. The SLR McLaren was influenced by two historical Mercedes designs – the 300 SLR and the 300 SL gullwing coupe, both from the 1950s. What makes this car so sexy? The sleek design and fantastic lines are pretty obvious to anyone looking at it. If you’re someone who isn’t into all that design and artsy mumbo-jumbo then there’s another way to understand why this car is so sexy. Just picture a Dodge Viper that’s been tamed and refined considerably. Then put it in your best suit and send it off to the finest private school. The end product would be what you see here.
19 2007- Present – Maserati Gran Turismo
While this entry by Italian manufacturer Maserati has been criticized for being too quiet, as far as engine and exhaust notes are concerned, in terms of styling it’s definitely a sexy car. That’s because the Maserati Gran Turismo is the poster child of luxury sports cars. See one on the street and you’re likely to stay locked on for a few seconds as you take in the view. As you’d expect from any high-end Italian company, the Gran Turismo has a fantastic design which hides a powerful engine – in this instance a V8 putting out around 450hp. It also comes as a convertible because some people are into the whole topless scene.
18 2004-09 – Ferrari F430
To be honest, despite there being a few terrible designs in their history, most Ferraris would qualify to be on any list of sexiest sports cars. When the Ferrari 360 was slated to end production in the early 2000s, many wondered what car would replace it. There was no disappointment when the company rolled out the F430. Designed by legendary firm Pininfarina, the F430 was even more aerodynamic than its predecessor with all the design features you’d expect of any car featuring the prancing horse. Not sexy enough? Just go around to the rear and look through the window to see the beautiful V8 engine. It’s the equivalent of a see-through nightie.
17 1962-67 AC Cobra
What happens when you take a British-designed roadster and stuff an American V8 into it? You get a legendary sports car which is sure to qualify as one of the sexiest. Also known as the Shelby Cobra, this car is often considered the benchmark of American muscle cars. Small, powerful and with curves in all the right places, this is one of the most sought after cars on the planet. Originals from the 1960s may be hard to come by but there are also Continuation versions built from the 1980s onward which have all the looks that attract so many car enthusiasts.
16 2014-Present – BMW i8
BMW has produced some good looking cars over the years but, in comparison to the likes of Ferrari, Maserati and co., you’d be hard pressed to classify them as "sexy." With the BMW i8, this has changed. In a way, the i8 is probably the sexiest car on this list because of its appeal to a large base. As a hybrid it should appeal to the tree-huggers among us. For the rest of us, the futuristic lines make the i8 look as though BMW, Audi and Lamborghini all sat down together when developing this car. One look and you can see that it’s so radically different from anything else the German company has created that it deserves a spot on the sexy list.
15 1963-65 Aston Martin DB5
While you take in the picture of this English beauty and start reading the description, we suggest you have the theme to James Bond playing in the background. The DB5 was made famous by its appearance in the 1964 film Goldfinger. While putting 007 behind the wheel of any car can pretty much add style and sex appeal, the DB5 gets most of its good looks thanks to Aston Martin’s decision to team up with an Italian design firm. From its iconic grill to the vents and hood scoop to the sloping roofline, the DB5 is just an all-around classy and beautiful design which appeals to car collectors and secret agents alike.
14 1963-67 Corvette Sting Ray
The Corvette is an icon of GM’s sports car history as well as American performance car history. Built since the 1950s, there have been several generations of development and design which continue to this day. The icon of the Corvette lineup is the Sting Ray and the second generation version of this car is probably the most iconic as well as sexiest ever made. With a long sharp nose, hideaway headlights and a roofline which tapered all the way to the rear bumper, the C2 Corvette Sting Ray was a very attractive design which wouldn’t have been out of place in a company like Alfa Romeo or Maserati.
13 2013 – Present, Alfa Romeo 4C
Speaking of Alfa Romeo, we find ourselves face-to-face with this rather attractive design. If the Lotus Elise had a more sophisticated Italian cousin, it would be the 4C. This little two-door sports coupe is powered by a 240hp four-cylinder turbocharged engine which, considering the whole car weighs in at around just 2000lbs, is more than enough. It’s hard, however, to really care about engine specifications and performance data when you can barely get past the rather sexy exterior of the 4C. The car is being sold in the US, although it had to pack on a few extra pounds to meet safety regulations. We’re sure there’s a joke in there somewhere.
12 1967 Ferrari 330 P4
If Speed Racer were real, and not a cartoon, we’re sure he would use the Ferrari 330 P4 for all his racing adventures. The exotic looking 330 P4 looks the part of a 1960s futuristic race car design with its sleek and overly curvaceous lines. Vents, intakes and large curved windscreen protecting the open-air cockpit all add to the appeal of this sports car. Of course, for those who think it’s what’s on the inside that counts, there is a fine tuned 4.0L V12 mounted behind the driver. There’s just one original 330 P4 left and we’re sure a lot of collectors are lining up and waiting for the day they might get a chance to get their hands on it.
11 1955-57 Mercedes-Benz 300SL
With a 220hp 3.0L inline-6 engine, this was, at one time, the fastest production car on the planet. What makes the 300 SL so distinct are its gullwing doors which were added out of necessity and not just for looks. The 300 SL was developed from a race car Mercedes had built in the early 1950s. In order to make the frame as strong as possible and protect the driver, traditional doors wouldn’t work so they opted for the gullwing configuration. In developing the race car into the street legal 300 SL, the gullwing doors were kept and became an iconic part of a very important car in Mercedes’ history.
10 1992-98 McLaren F1
Sticking with the topic of unconventional doors and records for fastest production cars we find ourselves looking at the McLaren F1. This car was the result of the desire to produce the ultimate street car which contained significant technology and designs found in McLaren’s Formula 1 cars. On the outside, this car has the design and lines you’d expect from a high-end manufacturer – especially one with an F1 heritage. Inside, the driver sits in the middle with a passenger on each side. Adding that extra little bit of sex appeal, surrounding the rear-mounted engine is gold foil which acts as a heat shield to protect the car from the temperatures coming from the 6.1L BMW V12 engine.
9 1967-69 Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale
To the untrained eye, this Italian sports car looks like some sort of cross between a Corvette Stingray and a 1960s Ferrari race car. In fact, the Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale is the road going version of the company’s Tipo 33 race car. This sports car shares many design features found in 1960s-era Italian exotic cars. Behind a cabin which makes extensive use of glass you can find a race-bred highly tuned 2.0L V8 engine. This is all contained in a very aerodynamic design which is low lying and extremely curvaceous. With only 18 made, this sexy sports car rarely comes up for sale.
8 2010-Present – Ferrari 458 Italia
Replacing the popular Ferrari F430 in 2009 was the even more popular Ferrari 458. With a 4.5L V8, this Ferrari sounds as sexy as it looks. Of course, most people won’t ever get to drive one and will just have to enjoy the fantastic exterior. Designed by legendary firm Pininfarina, the 458 was meant to incorporate many of Ferrari’s F1 technology into a civilian, street legal car. Designed with aerodynamic efficiency as a priority, this Ferrari made use of technology found in the Enzo and other prototype vehicles designed by the company. In addition to performance, the 458’s clean lines and aesthetically pleasing design make it popular with everyone from F1 drivers to movie stars.
7 1964-69 Ford GT40
In the early 1960s, Henry Ford II and Enzo Ferrari negotiated the potential sale of Ferrari to Ford. To make a long story short, negotiations broke down, tempers were lost and Henry Ford vowed that he would build a car that would knock Ferrari off their perch in world racing. American and British designers (eventually including Carol Shelby) took a Ford V8 and put it in a British Lola chassis. A couple years later and the Ford GT40 had indeed knocked off Ferrari by winning four consecutive LeMans endurance races from 1966 to 1969. History aside, the car looks fantastic and oozes sex appeal from the headlights to the exhaust.
6 2008 Lamborghini Reventon
Quite different from the Ford GT40, and indeed all car designs of the 1960s, the Lamborghini Reventon adds a more modern definition to sexy when it comes to sports cars. At a glance, to the casual observer, the Reventon looks like any other Lamborghini built at the time. A closer inspection shows far more aggressive and sharp lines and an overall design inspired by the most modern fighter jets. The harder lines and sharper angles make the car seem like it’s been carved out of one piece of metal. Large and aggressive vents only amplify this effect and give the Reventon a certain sex appeal you won’t find in most other cars.
5 2004-11 Aston Martin DB9
Aston Martin has a tradition of building elegant, luxuries and sporty cars. Looking for a new design to replace the outgoing DB7, the company turned to legendary designers Ian Callum and Henry Fisker. What they produced was one of the most critically acclaimed cars to come from Aston Martin in recent years. The DB9 is more than pleasing to look at. It has no exaggerated curves or lines and is, instead, rather sleek and clean in appearance. Sure, there are newer Aston martin designs, like the One-77, but the DB9 proves that in the world of sexy sports cars, less can be a lot more.
4 2013-2015 Porsche 918
Our second hybrid on this list, the Porsche 918 shows that being a green performance machine can be sexy. Ok, so sporting a 4.6L V8 isn’t really that environmentally friendly but with the addition of two electric motors this car puts out a whopping 887hp. It also holds the lap record for the Nurburgring at 6 minutes and 57 seconds – now that’s sexy. If all those numbers and performance don’t impress you, just look at it. It has enough of the traditional Porsche designs incorporated to make it look fantastic but it stands out from the rest of the Porsche pack and the stigma that their owners are trying to compensate for some type of shortcoming.
3 1966-72 Lamborghini Miura
Yes, there was a time when Lamborghini didn’t design their cars to look like futuristic shuttle craft. Nonetheless, when the Miura debuted it caused a revolution in car design and set the company on the path to creating a line of high-performance sports cars which continues to this day. The Miura broke with tradition by having a mid-mounted engine. The 4.0L V12 engine was crammed behind the driver but in front of the rear axle. Furthermore, the design of the body, while unfamiliar to the Lamborghinis of today, changed the way companies around the world designed their two-seater sports cars.
2 1962-64 Ferrari 250 GTO
The Ferrari 250 GTO is one of the most sought after cars in the world. Whenever one has come up for sale at auction they bring in tens of millions of dollars. Why? It could be that this particular Ferrari is considered the definitive car of the brand. It could also be that the 250 GTO has a strong racing heritage. More likely, the demand and price commanded by this particular car is down to the fact that only 39 were built. All but three were powered by a front mounted 3.0L V12 engine mounted inside a very clean and curvaceous body.
1 1961-75 Jaguar E-Type
When Enzo Ferrari calls a car that’s not his the most beautiful that’s ever been made, then you know it deserves to be on this list. Yes, a lot of people are quick to say that the E-type looks like a penis. To a degree, they have a point. This particular car has a very long curved nose which gives the vehicle a rather phallic shape. Nonetheless, this car became an icon of the 1960s and is often considered one of the best looking cars ever made. Looking at other cars built after the E-types release you can see the influence this design had on the sports car world.