Some companies are great at designing headlights. From the Porsche 928’s awesome round flip-up headlights to the Tucker 48’s revolutionary center-mounted turning headlamp, a car’s lights have been a tool for automotive designers that can make or break the look of the entire vehicle. With the adoption of LEDs came the concept of “signature daytime-running-lights” that allow cars to be recognized from a distance in rear-view mirrors. Here are nine of the best examples of such lights. Other manufacturers take note, these are recognizable, beautiful, and original. The rest are mostly indistinguishable and look like knock-offs of Audi’s original signature lamps.
1: Audi R8
The car that basically started the signature light craze is still one of its kings. Audi is easily the strongest contender in the signature light game.
2: Bentley Speed6 concept
A great evolution of Bentley’s current (dated) dual round headlight. This concept lamp is beautifully sculpted up close and instantly recognizable of Bentley’s super-luxury history.
3: Cadillac CT6
Cadillac, like Audi, is an example of utilizing similar signature lights across the range. The current Escalade was its best example of vertical LEDs until the CT6 was unveiled. The vertical nature of the lights is also a homage to Cadillacs of old.
4: Ford GT
This one doesn’t need much explaining— its just plain cool and the two lines create a distinctive look rather than another curvy Audi-esque afterthought most manufacturers use.
5: Ford Mustang
///. That means Mustang now. /// is all over the car, inside and out. /// is also the taillights. You will not be confusing those three bars for a Camaro or Challenger in your rear-view mirrors ever. Expect /// to be synonymous with Mustang for generations to come.
6: Infiniti Q50
Surprised? Infiniti is an oft-forgotten carmaker, but there current design language is killing it. The sickle-like lights on new Infinitis are have such good diffusion that they look superb as they taper toward the end of the hook. The taillights feature a similar look and Infiniti’s recent concepts suggest they intend to continue this signature look for future vehicles.
7: Lamborghini Huracan
Yes, since the Aventador, all Raging Bulls have had awesome angular lights. Another example of Volkswagon Auto Group’s domination in the LED game. Check out the Veneno too— its less plebeian than the Huracan and has even wilder headlights, but the commonality of the Huracan makes its lights more recognizable.
8: McLaren MP4-12C
I know, its just the 12C now. I also know that I could have picked the P1 or the 650s because they have the same signature light, but the 12C is just better looking. McLaren’s signature lights mimic their swoosh logo.
9: Porsche 918 Spyder
Really the entire Porsche range. Another great VAG design. Like the /// of the new Mustang, : : is now synonymous with Porsche. Its timeless, its simple, it was a design overlooked by other companies. Very Porsche-like indeed. : : : :
Too bad everytime I think a 918 is creeping up on me its a Macan or a Panamera. If I’m lucky its a GT3 or a Targa.