As with people like Marilyn Monroe and Princess Diana, some cars and crossovers are just classically beautiful. Detailed body sculpting, chiseled faces, all the finest materials, and maybe a long hood, give cars panache and profile that are coveted among automotive fashionistas. If the top goes back, even better. A couple of closely-related roadsters, a flashy sport coupe, a luxury crossover, and an American icon all came to play. See which you want on your runway.
Mazda MX-5 Miata RF
I adore the Miata’s elegant manual cloth top, but the new RF has a hard top for touring, and with the flip of a switch, converts into an open roof targa. It can even perform this trick at slow speeds. Fastback styling gets pulses quickening – as does a choice of SKYACTIV 1.5- or 2.0-liter gasoline engines, the latter delivering 155 horsepower. Interiors can be upholstered in Nappa leather, but are still models of simplicity. The RF should please Miata enthusiasts while enticing new fans.
Base price: $31,555
Infiniti Q60 Coupe
Like street sex, the third-generation Infiniti coupe is raw and elative. Edgy creases and crevices reflect Infiniti’s expressive design language – especially fetching over 19” alloys and glistening with LED headlights. Slide inside to caress contrast stitched dashboard and door covering. Bluetooth, RearView Monitor, Bose Performance Series Audio, and sport seats lure you in. Step into the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that delivers 208 horsepower or choose the 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 that produces 300 horsepower in 3.0t Premium trim or a boisterous 400 horsepower in the Red Sport 400 edition. Select rear- or all-wheel-drive. Drive one and get busy.
Base price: $38,950
Fiat 124 Spider
In form, it looks like an Italian sports car with modern bodywork that echoes the original Pininfariana design from the ‘60s-‘80s. But, in the ultimate “student becomes the master” moment, the Fiat 124 is essentially a Mazda Miata with new bodywork. The basic chassis and interior are shared. However, the Spider uses a 160 horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine from the 500 Abarth. It’s best shifted with a six-speed manual transmission that enables 26/35-MPG city/hwy, 0-60 mph in 6.3 seconds, and 140 mph top speed. Bose audio, heated leather seats, rear camera, navigation, and blind spot warning are available. An Italian roadster with Japanese genes? Absolutely!
Base price: $24,995
Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport
Corvettes are every boy’s dream car; sexy and suave, fast and rough. Those bulging fenders, muscular rump, and screaming engine take you there. Grand Sport is not the fastest Corvette, but it is especially track-ready with a carbon fiber aero package and standard magnetic ride control that near-magically adjusts the suspension between firm and comfortable in real time. Brembo brakes and 19”-front/20”-rear wheels keep it planted. The 460 horsepower V8 engine, connected to a rev-matching seven-speed manual or paddle-shift eight-speed automatic transmission, provides all the power you need. Iconic hash marks on the hood strike a pose.
Base price: $66,445
Meet the Maserati of crossovers named after a Mediterranean wind. Sculpted styling connects it to the brand’s famous sports cars, but this one rides on an air suspension that adjusts for on- and off-road adventures. Fine Italian leather, wood or carbon fiber trim, and Bowers & Wilkins audio dress the cabin. The Luxury Zegna Package adds silk seat inserts, door panels, and roof lining. If that doesn’t sound decadent, then step into the Ferrari-built 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 engine that delivers 345 or 424 horsepower, depending on model. All-wheel-drive with torque vectoring to sachet through corners comes standard. All of the latest crash avoidance systems keep it between the ditches.
Base price: $72,000