The Red Dot Award winners have been announced, and the winners for the “Cars and Motorcycle” category make up an eclectic group, to say the least. It might be the only time you’ll see a Kia sandwiched between a Ferrari and a Yamaha on an awards list. Nonetheless, a Red Dot Award is one of the highest honors any company can receive in the design world. Products are scored on key points such as “degree of innovation, emotional content, impact, functionality,” among others. So, without further ado, here are this year’s best-looking cars and motorcycles, according to Red Dot.
A wave of vintage aesthetics has taken over the motorcycle design world. The Yamaha XSR900 doesn’t completely eschew the benefits of modern design when incorporating the brand’s own “heritage,” though. It stands out as a neatly packaged balance of old and new, while still riding the surge of cafe racers and scrambler-styled bikes flooding the market.
Kia Optima Sportwagon
Seeing Kia on the list was, admittedly, a surprise, but that easily sums up Kia in recent months. As a brand, it’s starting to find its own identity while playing to its strength in affordability. Between the Optima Sportwagon and the new Stinger sport sedan, Kia has become a brand to watch.
When Ferrari decided to celebrate 50 years of sales in Japan and commemorated the anniversary with the special one-off 488 Spyder-based J50, everyone took notice. Some even called for Ferrari to incorporate the J50’s design into the rest of its lineup. It remains to be seen if Ferrari will give in to the demands, but it’d be smart for the brand to do so.
Mazda Miata RF
The standard Mazda MX-5 was already a beautifully proportioned car with edgy design. Going from a roadster to a hard top, design-wise, is a fairly difficult task to master. Luckily Mazda’s design language and the MX-5 RF’s targa architecture blend together incredibly well. And all in a car that costs a hair over $30,000.
Small SUVs, while admittedly popular, are incredibly ill-proportioned. Which is why so many of them appear oblong at best and are eyesores at worst. Audi’s current design language helps the Q2 in that regard, making it look more like a pumped-up hatchback than a repurposed and reproportioned SUV.