7 American Cars You Must Drive When You Venture Over The Pond
Think of exotic cars and your mind probably jumps to brands like Ferrari, Porsche, McLaren, Lamborghini and other ludicrously fast, perfectly engineered cars, built in one of Europe’s many motoring capitals. But what about American cars?
While European sports cars might have history behind them, many of America’s top sports cars – from the iconic Corvette to ultra-powerful favourites like the famous Dodge Viper – are even more exciting to drive than the latest European supercars.
Likewise, many of America’s best roads – from desert highways to coastline routes that will impress even the most experienced drivers – rival those found in many of the world’s other driving capitals.
Whether you’re travelling to the United States for a short trip or relocating there for the long term, make sure you try one of these seven cars – from classics to supercars – while you’re there.
Chevrolet Corvette C2
Some cars are so good looking they’re no longer vehicles; they’re works of art. From the Jaguar E-Type to Alfa Romeo’s more recent 8C, certain vehicles stand out as too beautiful to be used as mere machines.
The Chevrolet Corvette C2 – introduced in 1963 as the company’s flagship car – fits this description. Its classic styling and beautiful black leather interior make driving this car an experience that very few other machines can replicate.
From the chrome-plated steering wheel structure to the amazing black leather door covers, everything about the C2 is beautifully designed. From top to bottom, this car is a quintessential slice of 1960s design and styling.
In addition to its beautiful appearance, the C2 certainly isn’t a slouch. With a 5.4 litre V8 engine, it’s fast enough to get you to your destination at a decent pace. With that said, you’ll probably want to take it slow and enjoy driving suck an amazing car.
The only american car I like! pic.twitter.com/Y5FnUOhi8F
— tamara wall (@tammiew) August 17, 2014
Dodge STR Viper
Some cars defy logic. Who could think that putting a giant truck engine into a small, lightweight sports car body could possibly work? The answer is Dodge, who put out the original Viper in 1992 as the company’s leading sports car.
Everything about the Viper is silly, from the 8.4 litre V10 engine powerful enough to power a warship to the gigantic exhausts, which stick out from the sides of the car’s body instead of the back. Why so over the top and crazy? Well… why not?
Despite looking and feeling like a powerhouse of a vehicle, the Viper performs very well even on the curviest of roads. It’s ludicrously fast, incredibly loud, but still light enough in the bends to make its way around a racetrack in an impressive time.
Ford Mustang GT
Step into the film world’s ultimate sports car. The Ford Mustang GT has featured in hundreds of movies and was the first automotive star of Hollywood, largely thanks to its excellent looks and endless cool factor.
The 1968 Ford Mustang GT has been driven by almost every 60s movie star worth remembering, from Steve McQueen (who drove the car in Bullitt) to Sean Connery, who flipped it sideways onto two wheels in 1971’s Diamonds are Forever.
Although the classic Mustang GT is difficult to find these days, Mustangs are widely available throughout the US as rental cars. Pick one up, put your foot down (within the limit, of course) and enjoy the performance that’s made the car truly legendary.
Tesla Model S
There’s more to American motoring than just muscle cars. While the Corvette and Ford Mustang might be the most iconic vehicles to come out of the United States, a new type of sports and luxury car is quickly gaining ground: the Tesla Model S.
Featuring five doors, a luxurious leather interior and enough boot space for even the largest set of golf clubs, the Tesla Model S seems like a worthy choice for busy urban professionals accustomed to the Mercedes S-Class or BM7 7 Series.
This stylish car, however, has one difference: it’s entirely electric. Unlike many other electric cars, however, this one is no slouch: its battery-powered engine cranks out more than 400 horsepower and accelerated from 0-60mph in 5.4 seconds.
Winner of several Car of the Year awards, the Model S is certainly one of the world’s most interesting vehicles. It might not have the cool factor of a Mustang GT, but with zero emissions it’s certainly a cleaner choice for eco-friendly motorists.
Chevrolet Corvette C7
Some cars are so famous they’re allowed to be featured twice. Chevrolet has created the perfect sports car twice: one in 1963, with the Corvette C2 we listed earlier, and again recently with the Corvette C7.
Affordably priced and massively powerful, the current generation Corvette packs an incredibly powerful V8 engine into a car that sells for slightly more than $50,000. Its value, comfort and sheer fun factor are off the charts, all with a reasonable price.
While it might not be as beautiful as the old Corvettes, the latest Corvette C7 comes as a coupe or convertible and looks every bit as fast as it is. The ideal vehicle for an epic road trip around California, Florida or through the Nevada desert.
Pontiac Firebird Trans Am
Another car made famous by Hollywood, the Pontiac Firebird Trans Am featured in several 70s and 80s TV shows. Today, it’s best known as KITT – the talking car that was made famous in the iconic 1980s TV series Knight Rider.
While it might be best known as Hasselhoff’s vehicular sidekick, the Trans Am featured in plenty of other shows. From Alphabet City to Smokey and the Bandit, this iconic 80s sports car was a favourite of Hollywood producers.
Massively dated and comically 1980s? Sure. Available for sale or rent at rock bottom prices? Sure. Worth enjoying for a day or two, just for the retro factor, the next time you’re in the United States? Absolutely.
What do you think of when you hear the word Cadillac? For most of us, we think of slow but comfortable cars most frequently driven by middle-aged white collar types and retirees.
While the Cadillac XTS is certainly comfortable and luxurious, it’s far from the slow, boring Cadillac most people are used to. This ultra-powerful Cadillac comes with an awesome 3.6 litre turbocharged V6 producing more than 400 horsepower.
From the massive leather seats to the entertainment console, which has more high-tech features than your average spaceship, the Cadillac XTS combined speed, luxury and cutting edge technology like nothing else on American roads.
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