5 Amazing American Cars That Never Made It to the UK
The USA and UK feel like very similar countries. However, when it comes to their cars, they couldn’t be more different. While American freeways are packed with SUVs and luxury pickups, British motorways are full of hatchbacks and crossovers.
And it’s not just a matter of which cars are more popular. Many American cars never even make it to British showrooms.
This week, we’ve been picking out our favorite American cars that never made it to the UK.
The American muscle car is defined by an iconic trio: the Camaro, the Mustang and the Challenger. And while the first two are available in the UK, the Dodge has still never made its way to this side of the Atlantic.
While the Mustang has begun to look and feel like a traditional sports car, the Dodge has stayed true to its roots with a huge bonnet and muscular bodywork. It’s a big, basic and brutish American muscle car — and that’s why we love it.
Under the bonnet, you’ve got a choice between a 3.6-litre V6 petrol and a 5.7-litre V8. Seriously, I have no idea why that’s even a choice. You are, of course, going to get it with the petrol-thirsty beast of a V8.
For those who want a little extra danger in their driving, you can upgrade to the SRT Hellcat model, which comes with a 697 bhp 6.2-litre V8. It’s not sensible but it’s a whole lot of fun! Feeling even crazier? Check out the Dodge Demon:
Okay, okay, okay. I know you’re looking at this thinking, “Did he just call the Impala an amazing car?” Yes, I did.
For nine generations, I’d wouldn’t have dared say such a thing. The Impala was an alright saloon but nothing more than that.
But then the tenth generation launched.
The tenth generation Impala’s styling is reminiscent of a muscle car, its interior is really slick, the performance is smooth and it’s really comfortable on the road.
It would make a great addition to the UK market where it could disrupt the dominance of big German manufacturers.
However, the Impala never landed on UK shores and is only sold in the US, Canada, the Middle East, China and South Korea.
Hennessey Venom GT
The Hennessey Venom GT starts life as a British-made Lotus Exige. Powered by a 345 bhp 3.5-litre V6, the Exige will get you from 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds and on to a top speed of 170 mph. It’s a seriously quick car.
So I’m not entirely sure what possessed Texas-based Hennessey Performance to look at it and think, “Yeah, we can make that faster.” That said, I’m so so so glad they did.
They started by removing the tiny V6 out and replacing it with a 725 bhp 6.2-litre V8 from the Corvette ZR1. If that’s not enough power for you, you can upgrade to a couple of twin-turbo versions with either 1,000 bhp or 1,244 bhp!
With the new engine in, Hennessey removed all the old bodywork and designed brand new carbon fiber panels.
Oh, the tires are new too. While Michelin Cup tires are good, they aren’t good enough and they’re ditched in favor of some ridiculous 20-inch Michelin Pilot Super Sports.
The finished car is insane. Stamp on the accelerator and the car rears like a stallion before blasting off towards the horizon. While it doesn’t hold the official world record, the Venom GT has been clocked at 270.49 mph, which is mind-mindbogglingly fast.
Since it’s based on such a quintessential British sports car, it’s a bit frustrating that they were never sold in the UK. Then again, Hennessey only ever produced 13 of them so we probably wouldn’t have got one anyhow!
Ford F-150 Raptor
Modern British cities developed from the ye ole towns that came before them. That means our roads are tight, twisty and small. They’re designed for horses and carts not absurdly large pickup trucks like the Ford F-150 Raptor.
The largest Raptor — the 8.0-ft Styleside — is 6.4 meters long, a full 2.5 meters longer than a Ford Fiesta!
This is a truck that would dwarf the biggest SUVs and 4x4s available in the UK. Climb up into the cab and you can look down and scoff at other motorists in their Land Rovers.
And it’s not just big, the Raptor actually does up pretty well as a performance pick-up with a twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 under the bonnet, delivering 450 bhp to all four wheels via a ten-speed automatic gearbox.
The Lincoln MKS was a single-generation model sold by Lincoln between 2009 and 2016. A luxury saloon, it has a classy exterior design, a huge cabin and a great drive. Like the Impala I mentioned above, the UK market is just waiting for an new marquee to introduce a decent competitor to rival Mercedes, Audi and BMW.
Sadly, that car won’t be the Lincoln. After slumping sales, Lincoln axed the MKS in 2016 and announced it was going to replace it with a revived version of the Lincoln Continental. It’s a sad story for a great car and the MKS truly deserved a better farewell.
One thought on “5 Amazing American Cars That Never Made It to the UK”
Great point, I wondered why we didn’t end up with a few of these on our side of the pond…