Let me guess, you read that name and you thought about a red car didn't you? That's because though Maranello's products do exist in other colors, most of us know that it would be crazy (maybe even criminal?) not to get a red one because...Ferrari.
On the other hand, there are some cars that scream for something different, basic and elegant. You might say that they have a red door but they'd like it painted black. There are valid reasons to not buy a black car. They absorb heat much more readily than other cars. They also show dust and pollen more easily. Buying a black car is an invitation to spend a lot of time at the local car wash.
But hey, supermodels are high-maintenance too, but you wouldn't refuse to date one just because he or she needed more attention would you?
Black paint jobs on cars are not only like a supermodel when it comes to being high-maintenance; they are also sleek, sexy, and possessed of timeless beauty. And just like supermodels, a lot of the appeal of a black paint job is determined by the subject's body.
Some wear it better than others.
Here's a list of 15 current production cars (along with a couple that may soon be back in production) that wear black very well indeed.
15 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
Back in the day there was a concept racer built by GM and designated as "Sting Ray." The idea was that the rolling front quarter-panels resembled the locomotive undulations of the swimming motion of the fish of the same name. The production line of Corvettes that followed in the early to mid 1960s adopted the look.
The sun set on the Corvette Stingrays in 1968. That was that until somebody decided to revive the name for a 2009 concept car and the Stingray was reborn! And it looks great in black.
It's not all good news however. There are indications that this may be the final year for Corvette, at least as far as being the focus of Chevrolet performance vehicles.
14 Lotus Evora GT430
A little over a year ago, the same behemoth automotive company that now owns Volvo swallowed up the company that owns Lotus.
Indeed, with a top speed of nearly 200mph/320kmph and an eponymous 430hp, "Evora" is clearly Kentish Old English for, "most likely to leave a vapor trail." Yet this presents its supercar performance in a package that makes it a very respectable ornament in anyone's driveway.
That's because the Lotus Evora GT430 looks pretty bloody good in just about any color including black. The one pictured happens to be a nice deep charcoal grey, the sort which would make for a very sharp Savile Row bespoke suit. And as any tailor would tell you, charcoal is just a different shade of black.
13 Audi A3 S Line
The A3 is only available as a sedan in North America) There is also still an A3 hatchback, but it's now called a Sportback. And the Sportback only comes in a plug-in hybrid model (in NA). Still, the car still does have those lines and that Audi interior.
The A3's from the past were diesels, impressively powerful on the freeway and equally quiet on surface roads. The Audi website touts the new Sportback e-Tron as being powered by a 1.4TFSI plus a 75kW electric.
The S Line Sportback is a limited edition based off of the last of the A3 Cabriolets. It is available in the UK for about £27K or so with a 3 cylinder 1Kcc engine, 8 speed auto, and front wheel drive.
When it's all tricked out in black it makes me wonder...can we get this Brexit thing to work in reverse?
12 Fiat 124 Coupe
The rumor mill has been buzzing about a coupe version of the still relatively new Fiat 124. An important reason for that is the close relationship between the 124 and the Mazda MX-5 and the existence of the MX-5 RF most of all.
The latter is the already existing "retractable fastback" model of Mazda's much-loved roadster. It's only natural that Fiat would take the hint and produce their own version sometime soon.
Despite the similarities between these two cars, the Fiat's turbocharged engine produces a bit more power—160hp versus the Miata's natural 155—and across its trim range is a bit less expensive.
Though it is still just a dream at this point, a coupe version of the 124 Spider—especially dressed in Abarth-style black—would be an interesting entrant in this friendly competition.
11 BMW M2
In case you didn't know it, BMW was one of the first manufacturers to put variable valve timing into their cars. This was a while back but the system they used was an electric motor to rotate the camshaft(s) based on the speed of the crankshaft.
It may not seem like much now, but back in the day it was pretty heady stuff. Unfortunately it also gave Bimmers the rep of being very "dealer-centric" and high maintenance.
Remember what we said earlier about auto-related things being high maintenance?
The M2's heritage goes back to the 1970's 2002 model line. In many people's minds that "Bucktooth Bimmer" took root as the definition of the brand, at least outside of (West) Germany. The current model is an awesome beast that even a non-BMW person can fall in love with as it rushes to a cruising speed well over 150mph/250kmh.
And it looks simply wonderful in black...
10 Nissan Xterra
There hasn't been an Xterra for several years now. The last of those was built in 2014. That may be because that was the same year that Renault started putting out a truck that superseded Nissan's Frontier. Renault and Mercedes-Benz have marketed "sibling" versions of that new truck for the past five years.
The Xterra loss was a shame because in its day, it was perhaps the one 4WD vehicle to trump the Jeep Wrangler for most off-road-sex-appeal while being driven on-road. In its original form it came with rear-gate mounted spare and an in-cabin first aid kit.
There are rumors now that the model name plate might be in for another go at the United States consumer market. That's because sales of the crossover and mini-SUV segments in the US and Europe are blowing up.
The photo above is what it looked like the last time we saw it.
9 Dodge Durango SRT
GM and Chevrolet have been the kings of the "land-yacht" SUV market for a while, but there is a strong argument to made in favor of Dodge as being the ruler of the midsize model. Maybe it's because Chrysler was the birth canal of the minivan in the 1980s, or maybe it's because Dodge's parent company has changed hands so many times in the 21st Century. Regardless of the underlying reasons, the tip of that iceberg is the Dodge Durango.
When the Durango gets dressed up in black and has a 6.4L V8 Hemi under the hood, then it's straight outta suburbia!
The Durango's chassis is low to the ground and more of the rear seat and cargo area is usable from outside the vehicle.
8 Land Rover Range Rover
The thing about SUVs is that when they put on tuxedo colors, they seem to be wedded to a hip-hop image. If you roll out a Cadillac Escalade in either white or black, there's a good chance someone nearby will break out beat boxing.
But if there's anything that Marvel Comics movies have taught us it's that secretive government agencies like their SUVs too. Like the Durango, the Land Rover Range Rover is built lower to the ground. That makes it much easier for special agents in suits and sunglasses to hop in and out of. In black, especially Borealis Black with a matte finish, the Double R gives off a stealth vibe that's covert in intelligence but overt in power.
The 557hp 5L V8 will set you back $180,000, but since the Men in Black are paying, who cares?
7 Volvo V90 Cross Country R-Design
Indeed, the 240, 740, 850, 940, V70 and V90 are all classics of the genre. The V70 spawned the original Cross Country wagon in the 1990s, mainly as a response to the growth in popularity of truck based SUVs. That XC-70 (the x stands for "cross") was probably the moment that Volvo dropped the baton in the family hauler race. (This benefitted Subaru and its Outback, which quickly and neatly picked up the stick and ran with it.)
The R-Design is intended to indicate a finish and performance level in the Volvo universe.
The new V90 possesses a good look and a lot of leather. It also bumps up the base V90 from a T5 to a T6 engine with 316hp. The T6 is both turbo and supercharged with the goal of eliminating any lag in acceleration. It is naturally a very safe ride too.
6 Camaro ZL1("SS")
The SS designator in the GM/Chevrolet universe is a pretty special one. There was a time when it signified the fastest car in the universe. In the 21st Century the SS designator has been spread a bit thin over Chevrolet/Holden's offerings.
Old school fans still have a great deal of respect for these two letters.
There is currently a lot of confusion toward the Camaro line in that regard. There are, at present, two SS trim packages. They both offer the same 6.2L 455hp V8. The next step up is the ZL1 which supercharges the horses to 650 and comes with an M6 transmission and Brembo brakes. But the company's website shows no SS badging on either build.
It's too bad because a couple of silver S's against that black paint job would look pretty awesome...
5 Infiniti QX30
Infiniti is the luxury division of Nissan and the interior of the QX30 definitely shows that off. On the other hand, if you are a dog owner, you know that the meeting of dog and automobile interior is never a happy one. Something's gotta give. So keep that in mind as you shop.
The Premium Sport package will set you back $35,000 or so. That's not an incredibly large amount, but remember it's only a 4-banger with just 205hp, so its limited in what it can carry. You maybe be able to comfortably fit yourself and your dog, but that's about it. Still, it featurs good AWD footing for bad weather and looks extremely classy in black.
4 Ford Raptor
Toyota kind of got the whole ball rolling in terms of mixing performance with pickups—at least as far as modern production trucks go—with its TRD and X-Runner models. While the TRDs set the stage, Ford's snarling beauty has really set the high mark since its introduction less than 10 years ago now.
The latest version has stepped down the engine from a V8 to the 3.5L V6 from Ford's EcoBoost line. It is unique to the Raptor with twin turbos that make 450hp and 510lb-ft for pulling so it is still a thriller.
All of the exterior eye-candy (i.e. the special badging and decals) will run you an extra $10,000 or so which brings its price tag to around $60,000. If you're going to spend that kind of dough, be ready to take it off-road. And of course, get it in black.
3 Jaguar XJ
There is perhaps no better definition of the little black dress and formal black tuxedo in car form than the Jaguar XJ. The car can trace its roots way back into the history of the brand and to a lot of people it's still The Jaguar.
The XJ had a less youthful image and was considered the type of thing British royals would drive. But if you wanted to convey elegance, you went for the XJ. Bond would drive an E-type, but the Queen would drive by in an XJ. It was as simple as that.
The Jaguar brand, of course, is now no longer strictly British, though it does count Land Rover as one of its recently acquired cousins. That hasn't removed the class from the XJ, though. Like the black color it wears so well, some things never go out of style.
2 Mercedes G550 4x4
A long time ago, a lot of early automotive testing went on in eastern and northern Africa. A lot of that was undertaken by Germans working for German automotive "start-ups". Yeah, German car makers were startups roughly 120 years go. Imagine that.
Today high priced SUVs seem to be built for the sole purpose of selling them as lifestyle eye-candy. The G550 is definitely one of these. On the other hand, it is also a fully capable vehicle with some ridiculous power numbers: 416hp from a twin-turbo V8. Coupled with unmatched off-road capability that's not bad for $280,000, if you've got that kind of scratch.
If some SUVs give off the Secret Service vibe then this one does it with a driving techno rhythm. Get the black one.
1 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350
Ford Mustangs, thank goodness, are not yet the stuff of ink-jets or FaceBook self-portraits. But there are an awful lot of models of this iconic pony car roaming the streets. Ditto for the competition's models too, of course. We can also be grateful that the tradition of purposeful crafting that started with Carrol Shelby is still celebrated by the blue oval.
The beauty of the Mustang's pedigree is further highlighted by the serpentine badging of the Shelby edition; the red accents of the Brembos and the Cobra emblem itself announce the car's DNA. True, the classic Shelby livery is white racers on navy blue (or red over white, depending on which generation you hail from) but the simplicity of black with just a few hints of cardinal crimson says that the racer can also pull off a tuxedo.
Sources: Wikipedia; BBC