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Rears of the year: the most eye-catching car back ends

Autocar Logo By Richard Bremner of Autocar | Slide 1 of 16: The front end of a car is surely its most important reference point. This is the car’s face, its point of recognition, the canvas upon which the designers must brand a car while simultaneously individualising it, cooling it, crash protecting it and aiding its cleaving of the air. But actually, the bits of other people’s cars we see most often are their back ends. That is, obviously, because we follow the rear end of some sort of vehicle for most of the miles that we drive.Rear ends, then. We’ve picked some of the best on sale today, and a trio of the worst. Plus, some greats from the past. Having trawled through catalogues of cars in the quest for sexy back ends – there, said it – it’s surprising to discover just how many cars, sporting or not, flaunt similar sculptural flourishes.There’ll be a deep back bumper, this sacrificial plastic apron cheaper to replace than creased sheet metal. The numberplate often nests within an inverted trapezoid. Many cars have a black under-bumper zone, which many designers are unable to resist shaping into a diffuser, regardless of whether the car is a supercar with a use for it or a shopper’s hatchback.If it’s a middling to expensive rear end, there’ll be twin exhausts, perhaps four, but only one of them is likely to be functional. There’ll also be some sort of night-time LED lighting ‘signature’, of which there are now so many that it’s hard to remember who has appropriated what illuminating hieroglyphic.Distinctiveness, on the other hand, and sometimes beauty emerge from the proportions of glasshouse to main body, the rear deck height, the muscularity of the wings, the wrap of the screen and the deployment of aero accessories. So here’s our choice, some picked for beauty, some for originality, some for their implied promise.We've picked out the best on sale today, and added some classics from the archives. And then, for contrast, we've picked a few rears you might prefer to avoid.The 100 most beautiful cars in pictures

Autocar's rears of the year

The front end of a car is surely its most important reference point. This is the car’s face, its point of recognition, the canvas upon which the designers must brand a car while simultaneously individualising it, cooling it, crash protecting it and aiding its cleaving of the air. But actually, the bits of other people’s cars we see most often are their back ends. That is, obviously, because we follow the rear end of some sort of vehicle for most of the miles that we drive.

Rear ends, then. We’ve picked some of the best on sale today, and a trio of the worst. Plus, some greats from the past. Having trawled through catalogues of cars in the quest for sexy back ends – there, said it – it’s surprising to discover just how many cars, sporting or not, flaunt similar sculptural flourishes.

There’ll be a deep back bumper, this sacrificial plastic apron cheaper to replace than creased sheet metal. The number plate often nests within an inverted trapezoid. Many cars have a black under-bumper zone, which many designers are unable to resist shaping into a diffuser, regardless of whether the car is a supercar with a use for it or a shopper’s hatchback.

If it’s a middling to expensive rear end, there’ll be twin exhausts, perhaps four, but only one of them is likely to be functional. There’ll also be some sort of night-time LED lighting ‘signature’, of which there are now so many that it’s hard to remember who has appropriated what illuminating hieroglyphic.

Distinctiveness, on the other hand, and sometimes beauty emerge from the proportions of glasshouse to main body, the rear deck height, the muscularity of the wings, the wrap of the screen and the deployment of aero accessories. So here’s our choice, some picked for beauty, some for originality, some for their implied promise.

We've picked out the best on sale today, and added some classics from the archives. And then, for contrast, we've picked a few rears you might prefer to avoid.

© Autocar

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