The Angriest-Looking LED Running Lights

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This phenomenon of LED lights is one of my least-liked in current car design. Part of it does come down to the execution, and I can think of several cars that look as though designers were given a crate of stick-on LEDs from a craft store on Friday and told to come up with something interesting by Monday.

Other times, the final design looks great and gives cars a downright angry look when they're creeping up behind you on a highway. Which is why I'm excited for the new Volkswagen Golf R to creep up behind me one night.


I've always thought of a Golf to be a friendly looking car and even in recent GTI and R forms, it's looked aggressive without being too intimidating. That appears to be changing as the Mk VII R gets these great semi-squircular LEDs up front that combine with the shape of the hood and headlights to make it look like the car is staring you down if you're in its way. It's worlds better than the silly LED dots that used to surround the headlamps on the Mk VI.


There are lots of designs that actually do what the marketing people say LED running lights do: create presence and a distinct identity for a car. As much as I would like to roll my eyes at that, it's true in the case of the Golf R. I want this angry car.

So what are some other recent cars that prove LEDs don't have to look silly and can be sinister-looking instead? Show us your pics in the comments.


Photo: Volkswagen