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Home-grown or import, cars on both sides of the Atlantic have their strong points.
Home-grown or import, cars on both sides of the Atlantic have their strong points. Given a choice, it's a close run battle choosing one over the other.
Kicking off with American Cars. Trucks, big SUVs, and V8s are what made Ford, General Motors, and others popular. For American gearheads, V8s rule the roost with their big cubes, and unlimited tuning potential. However, American cars have other benefits, as they're cheaper to buy and easier to maintain. Score one for the American car industry.
On the other side of the pond. European carmakers boast more impressive engineering solutions. At a cost, of course. Most notable, higher running costs, and less forgiving tolerances. On a good day, European sports cars leave their U.S. counterparts trailing in a cloud of dust. Luxury cars too, are in a different league. You won't find acres of cheap plastics in a Bentley Flying Spur.
Neither American nor European cars are the best at everything. Instead, pick and choose the best each car has to offer, and you can't go wrong.
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A Ferrari V8 might sound nicer, but in every other regard, American V8s are better. They are better through simplicity; using a push-rod design means there is less to go wrong. Dependability is why gearheads love V8s.
Under the hood of the Dodge Challenger R/T, you’ll find a bomb-proof 6.4-liter HEMI punching out 485 hp. In most cases, gearheads would be happy with a low 4-second 0-60 mph time. Yet, more is always better, and the Hellcat Redeye delivers a colossal 797 hp.
Make no mistake, $80,000 is a huge chunk of change. Money well spent if you're a Ford fan with a taste for Shelby's GT500 makeover. Most passers-by will think you own a Mustang with some flashy stripes and wheels. Yet, pop the hood, and it becomes clear the GT500 is anything but standard. A modified Predator V8 cranks out 760 hp pushing the Ford to sixty in 3.4-seconds.
By comparison, BMW's M4 CSL at $140,000 seems overpriced with a mere 550 hp available. In reality, you're paying premium prices for the BMW badge. Sure the M4 is as quick and will handle better too. But, the GT500 is going to deliver more smiles per mile for half the cost.
The Ford F-150 continues its stranglehold on cars sales in the U.S. In 2021 alone, shifting 720,000 examples across the range. Outsiders rarely get a look in with gearheads, those that come close tend to be Japanese imports. European brands? Well, they are scarce in numbers and designs.
But, there is little need to look elsewhere, the F-150 Raptor does everything with ease. And it's about to get even better, too. For 2023, Ford is introducing a 5.2-liter V8 like you get in the GT500, only detuned to a mere 700 hp.
Until recently, gearheads craving a mid-engined sports car needed to look at imports. That all changed in 2020 with the arrival of the latest Corvette. The change of engine location has improved weight distribution and handling. Yet, the biggest benefit is a welcome acceptance to the supercar club.
Kicking off with a 495 hp mid-mounted V8 was only the beginning. In 2023, the Z06 name makes a comeback promising a more powerful V8 delivering up a Ferrari-worrying 670 hp. The extra horses in pre-launch testing translate to a 0-60 mph time of 2.6-seconds. Ferrari who?
Tesla is fast becoming a byword for EVs in the same sense every vacuum cleaner is a Hoover. Love or hate them, Teslas are here to stay. Good, but not quite perfect, Tesla's strongest selling point is their pricing. At the entry level, a Model 3 lists for $57,000 and is also still able to beat most sports cars in a drag race.
Outside the U.S., only Volkswagen and China's BYD offer any serious competition. Given the Elon Musk's 3 million plus sales, Tesla is, for the time being, the best affordable volume EV.
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For sheer opulence, any Rolls-Royce commands attention with its elegant looks. On the inside is where the real wow factor is, rivaling any first class airline seat. The Rolls-Royce experience begins with a tailor made specification that has no limits. If gearheads can imagine it, Rolls-Royce will build it for a price.
The arrival of BMW's money transformed Rolls-Royce from luxury barge to executive express. Put your foot down in the Phantom and the 5,700 lb limo surges forward quicker than you'd expect. Powered by a BMW twin turbocharged 6.75-liter V12 cranking out 53 hp, the Rolls hits 60 mph in 4.6-seconds.
Going fast in a straight line is one thing, but going quick over twisty terrain is much trickier. It's a specialty honed on European circuits that lead to the evolution of ever faster cars. The Nürburgring is where every serious carmaker puts their latest models to the test.
Yet, it’s not power that sets the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 apart from its U.S. peers. In a face off with Dodge's Hellcat Redeye, the Porsche's 414 hp seems underwhelming. But, factor in a weight difference of 1,300 lbs, and it is the 714 Cayman that comes out on top.
The Defender is back, albeit wearing a more upmarket body and interior. But, don't let the Range Rover-esque makeover fool you into thinking Land Rover has gone soft. Swapping to unitary construction has improved ride comfort without affecting the off-road ability. If anything, it's better than ever.
We’d skip over the base four-cylinder, instead opting for the 3.0-liter supercharged V6. At the top end, for gearheads with deeper pockets, Land Rover offers a supercharged V8 cranking out 518 hp.
We loathe to say it, but the current trend of sports car makers turning out hot SUVs is tempting. Who wouldn't want a high riding, family carrying SUVs knocking on the doors of 200 mph? Lamborghini, until recently, held the fastest SUV tag at 190 mph. But, brushing the Italian aside comes Aston Martin's DBX707 at 193 mph.
Powered by AMGs twin turbocharged 4.0-liter V8, the DBX707 boasts 697 hp and 663 ft lbs of torque. Impressive as it is, Ferrari looks set to steal the DBX707's thunder with their Purosangue. Due in 2023, the Ferrari packs a naturally aspirated 6.5-liter V12 pumping out 715 hp.
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Hot hatches are perfect for gearheads on a budget. Born in the late '70s, these pocket rockets proved smaller could be better. The golden era might be over, but hot hatches are here to stay and making inroads into sports car territory.
Audi's latest RS3 has more in common with its bigger performance cars. Included in the hot hatch package, you get a 2.5-liter 401 hp four-cylinder engine capable of 60 mph in 3.3-seconds. But, this isn't a case of big engines in a small car, the RS3 is full of clever gadgets to maximize performance.
Raised in a car-obsessed environment from an early age ensured a keen interest in anything car-related. first and foremost an F1 fan, but also an avid follower of other motorsports. Professional background working closely with a well established UK based Supercar manufacturer in recent years.