Intimidating cars

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But when you look behind you on the freeway today, all you'll see is anger.

READ THIS: Rolls-Royce refreshes the Ghost with the Series IIIt's in the pickup trucks with their Peterbilt grilles and macho pretensions that would be hilarious if they weren't attached to a 3-ton unguided missile sniffing your rear license plate.

Over the weekend, I had the good fortune of racing an E34-generation BMW 525i in South Carolina for a 24 Hours of Le Mons event.

(It would have been better if the good fortune had extended to the lifespan of the fuel pump, but that's a story for another time.) I was explaining to a friend why the E34 is my favorite generation of the 5 Series, and I heard myself saying, "Unlike the current Bimmers, it doesn't look angry." "You're right," she replied, "the new ones are, like, really pissed off at something." Then we sat in silent thought for a minute.

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These police cruisers are a little different from the Ford Crown Victorias that cops usually cruise around in.

The styling of modern cars is designed to play on that—to intimidate you, to put you on the defensive.

Even my Accord Coupe, which is such a namby-pamby vehicle that its very name signifies nonaggression, came stock from the factory with LED markers that replicate the eyebrows of an angry caveman.

In traffic, they're pressing on you, honking, waving, flipping you off, just absolutely engulfed in righteous annoyance concerning your refusal to let them cut in ahead when the lane ends.

Every interaction we have with other drivers now is pre-poisoned by a vehicular aesthetic that seems designed to project malice.

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