A mathematical ratio dating back 2,500 years has been used to analyse the aesthetics of performance cars over the last 70 years.
The study conducted by carwow analysed the proportions of 197 of the world’s most powerful cars and then compared them to ‘the golden ratio’ – a mathematic measure for perfect proportions.
The top 10 is dominated by classic sports cars from the 60s and 70s, but it’s the 2019 Ferrari Monza SP1 that takes the top spot as the world’s most beautiful performance car, according to science.
Ferrari states the limited-edition Monza SP is “probably the closest and purest driving experience to Formula 1”. With a top speed of more than 186 mph, and fewer than 500 likely to be produced, it’s rare, fast, valuable, and also the closest performance car in the world to mathematical design perfection.
The Ferrari Monza SP is in fact the only car from the last decade to make the top 10. Seven of the top 10 are from the 1960s, and the remaining 2 are from 1974. And although the winning Ferrari is a modern car, Ferrari states the design of The Monza SP1 uses a ‘modern aesthetic to reinterpret a timeless style’ which once and for all proves the classics really are the most beautiful.
Three other Ferraris also appear in the top 10; the 1967 Ferrari 330 GTC Speciale in third, the 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO in fifth and the 1967 Ferrari 330 P4 in seventh, taking the Italian car designer’s top 10 total to four – the highest of all manufacturers.
The Top 10 Most Beautiful Performance Cars Since 1950 and the % alignment to the golden ratio:
What Is the Golden Ratio and How Is It Used?
Historically used by architects and artists in pursuit of perfection, and famously used in Michelangelo’s painting, The Creation of Adam on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel – The golden ratio is used as a benchmark for ideal proportions and beauty.
By measuring and comparing the distance between different set points on an object and turning this into a ratio, it’s possible to establish how aligned it is to the golden ratio.
Often, the time-honoured ratio is used to analyse the beauty of human faces, but this time it’s the ‘faces’ of cars that have been studied. carwow plotted 14 different points on each front-on view of the cars, for example, the headlights, the wing mirrors and the corners of the windscreen.
Using that data, the research team at carwow then computed and compared the distance ratios between these points, to reveal how closely their design followed the proportions of the golden ratio.