Over the last decade, strict regulations have made cars safer and more efficient. This does, however, bring with it the challenges of cars getting larger and the exterior design dictated heavily by aerodynamics. There were a number of cars that looked better than the rest over the decade—five of which stood out to our team for a number of reasons. These are our picks.
BMW F90 M5
Stephen Coppola - Associate Video Editor
The designers at BMW have had a unique dilemma with the M5 since its conception with the E28 M5—that is, striking the perfect balance between aggression and refinement. The lead designer on the F90 M5 project, Seungmo Lim, accomplished this remarkably with the latest iteration of the M5. He was able to create something that lived up to the legacy—something you can do your best Formula D impression through on-ramps while wearing a suit on the way to your banking job.
Lim and his team also managed to keep the design of this M5 functional. A great example of this is the more aggressive front bumper that features massive sills to channel air to the M5's coolers—especially useful when you realize that the M5 now ships with 600hp.
Darren Tully - Retail Center Associate
Lead designer Mark Fetherston, and his team, had their work cut out for them when designing the successor to the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. Where the SLS AMG was built as the spiritual successor of the 300SL Gullwing, Fetherston forewent the gullwing doors, replacing them with traditional front-hinged doors on the AMG GT.
Like the 300SL from decades long gone, the AMG GT is constructed of 93% aluminum as well as magnesium. This combination allows it to be extremely light for its cartoonish proportions. Speaking of cartoonish proportions, the AMG GT gets its extremely long and low hood due to the front mid-engine design. The center of mass of the engine is actually rearward of the front axle.
The AMG GT, introduced just in 2015, already has six variants: GT, GT S, GT R, GT Roadster, GT C Roadster, and GT3. Just this year, the GT and GT S have undergone a facelift.
Volkswagen MK7 Golf R
Kevin Kaiser - Customer Service Advisor
Phillip Römers is the man behind the design of the unmistakable MK7 Golf as well as countless other defining vehicles at the Volkswagen-Audi Group.
The MK7 follows in the footsteps of generations of iterative design of the Golf. Römers was posed with the difficult task of keeping the spirit and design language of Golfs previous alive in a competitive segment. "You have to preserve the Golf character, but you can't do anything that's too conservative, either," said Römers. He added, "The design has to keep up with the times. You can't just create the new Golf and make it look a certain way."
The MK7 Golf strikes an almost perfect balance of refined style, sportiness, and cargo holding capabilities. It truly is a car that you can go carve canyons with, and then drive to work.
Audi RS6 Avant
Rein Diaz - Retail Center Associate
The world needs more wagons, especially over here in the United States. Luckily, we will be getting the 2020 Audi RS6 Avant—easily one of the best looking wagons of the past decade. Instead of talking about it, in the video below, Stephan Fahr-Becker, lead exterior designer of the RS6 Avant, explains exactly what went into the design of this aggressively styled wagon. We're eagerly waiting seeing the RS6 Avant on the roads around us soon.
Porsche 918 Spyder
Nathan Brown - Event Director
The most expensive car on our list is also one of the best looking. The Porsche 918 went into production all the way back in 2013 and only was sold for two years until 2015, yet nearly seven years later, its design stands the test of time.
Clearly styled off of its predecessor, the Porsche Carrera GT, Chief Designer, Michael Mauer, was able to find the balance between the early 2000s mid-engine supercar and modern Porsche styling. Mauer has been at Porsche since 2004 and is the man responsible for the Macan, Cayenne, Panamera, and the 991 911—some of the styling cues of which can be found across the entire lineup.
Only 202 examples of the 918 made it to the States, so any time you get to see one is something to savor.
This is part three of our "picks of the decade." Previously we featured everyone's picks for "wheel of the decade" and "best engines of the decade."
Do you agree or disagree with our choices? Let us know what car from the last decade looks the best in the comments below.
Writer/Editor at FCP Euro and owner of a daily R53 MINI Cooper, a track-built R53 MINI, and a 1997 Dakar Yellow E36 M3 Sedan. ••• Instagram: @evan.madore