Why do all modern cars have slab-sided wheel wells?

Something I’ve noticed that is present in pretty much every modern car. Look at the F-type above. Now get your hand out of your pants. Around the wheel wells there is perfectly flat sheet metal for about 1.25-1.5" around the whole wheel well. Contrast with this old gen1 XK8


The wheel wells are just... there. No embellishments, just a break in the bodywork for the wheel. Why is this? Why is it so prevalent these days? Aero? Safety requirements?

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