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That may be true, but apart from the odd exception they’ve never had particularly friendly faces. Life’s hard for cars, they have to look as though they can cope with all kinds of weather for years on end and with being driven for thousands of miles without so much as an oil change. And they also need to look like they can keep their occupants safe from other angry cars and their even more irate drivers. Cars that pull a grimace reassure us that they’re up to the job.

Because humans are programmed to see faces in inanimate objects, it doesn’t take much for us to recognise when a car looks cross—it could be in the shape of a light or grille, or even in the angle of a bonnet part-line. Here are 20 cars whose design features make them look hot under the collar. A few are on sale right now, but many soreheaded specimens are from years gone by. And they’re not by any means all huge musclebound gas guzzlers. Sometimes, like people, the shirtiest are diminutive. Just ask any 3-year-old.

Aysar Ghassan leads the MA in Automotive & Transport Design at Coventry University

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