After being mesmerized by the Viking boat headlights in the Volvo S60 Concept, I started looking around the floor of the Detroit Auto Show paying extra attention to the lights on various production cars. With all the new LED and HID technology available for designers to mess around with, perhaps the headlamp is becoming the hood ornament of our current era. So, what did I find? For starters, there’s the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4. But as sleek as the Lambo’s lights are, I was looking for something more intricate. So I checked out its sister, the Audi R8 V10. The flowing LED line along the bottom of the lamp gives the R8 an aggressive look. It’s gorgeous, but still doesn’t feel like a meticulously sculpted element. So I roamed the floor a bit more until I found myself at the Maserati stand. The newest iteration of the Quattroporte has some pretty basic lights, but the turn signal arrangement under them intrigued me. Though after politely asking to have the amber indicator turned on, I found them to be just a bit too much like the gaudy gold chain you’d find around the neck of certain Maserati drivers. Then it hit me. I knew exactly where I’d have to go.
Yes, BMW. If you know me, you know that I’m all about the good ol’ boxy Bimmers. I have mixed feelings about flame-surfacing and whatnot. But regardless of how you feel about the concave body lines on modern BMWs, you’ve got to admit that their headlight design is stunning. This is one element that I don’t mind being overstyled. Gaze into the lamp of a new 7-Series, Z4, or even a 3-Series, and it’s like admiring a finely-crafted ship in a bottle.