A car is the sum of many parts, but not all parts are created equal. The Volkswagen SP2 design concept is a skilled modernization that captures the signature design elements from the original SP2. The shark nose, the hunched shoulders, the set-back greenhouse. It's all there. Certain elements are hardwired into our brain, allowing us to recognize specific vehicles so that we can react to them. Who — other than those of us over-saturated with teaser shots of the 2010 Mustang — doesn't salivate when they see the rounded, inverted trapezoid that signifies a Mustang? What about the scissor doors on a Countach? Each holds a special place in our heart, but what is the best car design element? What stands headgaskets and tailfins above the rest? If we're forced to pick one we'll go with the iconic kidney grilles from nearly every BMW ever built. Has any design element had such a clever, clear and lasting impact? Whether the huge inlets of the Neiman Marcus 7-series or the thin, almost Bauhuas kidneys of a classic 6-series you see them and you instantly know what you're looking at. Throw a pair of round grilles on a Kia and most people will have to look twice before determining it's not a BMW. But that's us. What element is the best? QOTD is your chance to answer the day's most pressing automotive questions and experience the opinions of the insightful insiders, practicing pundits and gleeful gearheads that make up the Jalopnik commentariat. If you've got a suggestion for a good "Question Of The Day" send an email to tips at jalopnik dot com.)
The single best design element of all time is the "long-hood, short, muscular haunches rear of the archetypical sports car.
From the 1920s onward the phallic front, bulging ass has implied power and a commanding presence. Looking at anything from an XKE, Cobra, early Mustang, Ferrari GTO, Miura, what have you, it's an iconic design element of the front-engine, rear drive layout. Even today, it continues to resonate with the California, Camaro, Challenger and GT-R to a certain extent.