It used to be the case that you could just build a car that looked good as a whole with some nice details here and there, but current automakers are taking things seriously far when it comes to very specific design details that take make a car or truck truly special. From headlights to vents to grilles, these design details are changing the way cars are perceived today. But not all of the design details we came across were favorable. That doesn't mean we don't applaud the effort. Here are some that stood out at the Chicago Auto Show this week.

Toyota Camry Taillight


It looks like Toyota went the extra mile to make sure their bread-and-butter car was no longer bread-and-butter boring. The whole vehicle is a serious eye-catcher and takes their family sedan to never-before-seen heights in terms of design. The taillight is but a small example of pushing the envelope. The inner lens curves down to what looks like a faux vent on the rear quarter panel. We won't call it beautiful, but it gets style points for taking risks.

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Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio Fender Vent and Emblem


Badges and fender vents are nothing new, but Alfa Romeo has done it masterfully on their new Giulia Quadrifoglio sports sedan. We love it because both are simple and well-sized. The Quadrifoglio clover uses simple colors and shapes, and the ellipsoid vent has a nice honeycomb mesh that's way more subtle than anything by BMW or Jaguar. Most importantly, however, is the fact that the vent is actually functional and cools those hot brakes.

Lincoln Continental Grille

lincoln continental

The grille on the new Lincoln Continental isn't the most original one (it mimics Jaguar), but it does do a lot to bring the American premium brand up a couple of notches when you see it in the flesh. The smart use of the Lincoln Motor Company logo outline in the mesh and the brushed finish on everything but the grille frame are great. The jury's still out on the car's door frame-mounted door handles, though.

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Nissan Titan XD Roll Bar Trim


We love a good roll bar, so when Nissan slapped one on their big, bad Titan XD, we noticed. The matte black decorative plate was the nicest touch with the name and Titan logo cut out for effect. Not too bad for something that serves no functional purpose. We like the fact that it's not overdone

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RAM Rebel TRX Concept Fascia


Though the Rebel TRX isn't for sale (it's a one-off concept), it certainly begs to be noticed with one of the manliest fascias in the industry. There's virtually nothing subtle about the use of a monstrous matte black grille, big red tow hooks and headlights the size of a barbeque grille. It's way over the top, and we love it.

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Infiniti Q60 Coupe Headlight


Infiniti might just have one of the most beautiful cars on the market in the form of the slick and sculpted Q60 Coupe. The headlight got plenty of attention, too, with its eye-inspired look that's visible from both the front and the side. In a field of cars where everyone's making complex headlight designs, it's one of our favorites. We think it looks like a pissed-off owl, and that's a good thing.