A number of other awards were handed out to magical machines.
Since 1987, Festival Automobile International has aimed to reward "the most beautiful and cutting-edge automotive projects of the year" across various categories.
This year, it's the glorious-looking Ferrari Daytona SP3 that drove off with top honors as the most beautiful supercar. Rules dictate vehicles in this category must be priced at more than €60,000 ($68,000), something that the SP3 has no problem overachieving at. Coincidentally, Ferrari's Chief Design Officer, Flavio Manzoni, also scooped up an award for his influential and creative work in the automotive sector.
"These two important awards are indisputable proof of the levels of quality and excellence reached by the Ferrari Styling Centre, which I have the privilege of leading, and of the sophisticated formal research carried out on the Ferrari Daytona SP3," said Manzoni.
Clinching the top spot in the coveted 'most beautiful hypercar' category was French brand Peugeot. Judges were impressed by the 9X8, a competition car set to make its debut in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) in 2022. Despite its sleek and aggressive stance, the 9X8 remains true to the brand's design language, with the signature three-bar clawed lights, a sleek stance, and pronounced flanks.
Director of Design at Peugeot, Matthias Hossann, said winning the prize is a very proud moment: "[It] is an acknowledgment of the Design and Peugeot Sport teams' work, who worked together on this project. The quality of the exchanges with the Peugeot Sport team was exceptional, both on a technical and human level."
Peugeot's upmarket sister brand, DS, won the 'most beautiful car' award - open only to vehicles that cost less than €60,000 ($68,000) - with its DS4 premium crossover. Described as "remarkably imposing" by the brand, the DS has a starting price of around $33,400, placing it firmly in the BMW X1/Mercedes GLA class. "This Most Beautiful Car of the Year prize is a reward for the women and men who have shaped DS 4, way beyond the team at DS Design Studio Paris," said Thierry Metroz, Design Director for DS. "[The] shape is unique in the segment with hitherto unseen proportions. The line is athletic, very muscular, compact, and sat on very large wheels. It turns out to be aerodynamic, efficient, and charismatic all at once."
This isn't the first time DS has been recognized in the awards, the carmaker walking away with a prize nearly every year for the past several events. Last year, its DS Aero Sport Lounge concept received the 'most beautiful concept car' award.
This year, however, it was fellow French brand Renault that was victorious in the concept car class, its delightful Renault 5 Prototype finding favor with the judging panel. The all-electric hatchback borrows heavily from the iconic original of the '70s and '80s, sold Stateside as Le Car. Retro touches include the '5' sited behind the front wheels, the wedge-like shape, and the upright front end.
Renault and its partners Nissan and Mitsubishi recently announced their plans to offer an astonishing 35 electrified vehicles by 2030. If this concept is among them, we really hope the French brand's iconic hatchback returns to production with similar styling.
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