Reasons to move to America. Cars we won’t be seeing in the UK, the Dodge Challenger and Chevrolet Camaro

While we're used to paying almost double what our American cousins pay for cars, (as well as fuel) to add insult to injury, they also get a better choice of cars. Case in point, this is the Dodge Challenger. challenger2.jpg challenger1.jpg challengersilver2.jpg challengersilver.jpg challengerblack2.jpg challengerblack.jpg Want more? Here's a video of it blasting around in the desert. [youtube][/youtube] And here's the official unveiling at the Chicago Motor Show earlier this month. [youtube][/youtube] Isn't it gorgeous? It's retro looks are just lush, and its a true muscle car too with power to match. It will be launched this spring in the USA as the Dodge Challenger SRT8. That means all examples will be powered by a 6.1L HEMI engine with 425hp and 420 lb-ft of torque. It will do 0-60 mph in 4.9 seconds and will reach a max speed of 170 mph. But the best thing is the price, it will only cost $37,995, that works out at only £19,516! Unfortunately there are no plans whatsoever to launch this car in the UK or even to make right hand drive versions. Dodge do of course sell cars in the UK but they aren't the same models as in the USA and the models they do sell are all watered-down boring versions of their much more exciting US range. Take this UK Dodge Avenger for example: dodge-avenger.jpg As you can see its a million miles away from the stylish Challenger and looks just as bland as the Ford Mondeo or Vauxhall Vectra. The biggest engine you can get is 2.4L with a measly 168hp and 167 lb-ft of torque. It will do 0-60 mph in 11 seconds and will reach a max speed of 124 mph. And what can we expect to pay for this machine that couldn't pull the skin of a rice pudding? £17,995. Yes that's only £1521 less than the Challenger! Well it would be if you could buy the Challenger here. Now where is the justice in that? And what about the Chevrolet Camaro? The first time we saw it in the flesh was in the 2007 Transformers movie as Bumblebee: bumblebee5.jpg And here's some official pics of the Camaro Concept: camero.jpg camero2.jpg camero5.jpg camaro5.jpg Take a look at this video of the Camaro driven by General Motor's director of design (just listen to the engine noise). [youtube][/youtube] While the full specs and prices are still to be announced the Chevrolet Camaro is due to be launched in the US in 2009 and is expected to sell at around the $40,000 mark (£20,500) and will probably use a 6L V8 engine delivering approx. 400hp. So what Chevrolet models can we get in the UK for the same price? Well none really. Unless you count the fugly Chevrolet Lacetti which comes with a 1.8L engine for around £13k. But who on earth would want this monstrosity? lacetti.jpg Unlike Dodge and Chevrolet, Chrysler took a bit of a flyer and launched a right hand drive version of the 300C (below) in the UK in 2005. The gamble seems to have paid off as the 300C is now a common sight on UK roads. 300.jpg Its bold styling and reasonably competitive pricing (compared to cars available here with a similar engine size that is, not to the same US models) has much to attribute to its success. Models start at £27k for a 3L V6 model going up to £40k for the 300C SRT-8 featuring a 6.1L HEMI 425bhp engine with a top speed of 168 mph and a 0-62 mph time of 5 seconds. I say "reasonably competitive" pricing, as compared to similarly powered German cars available here, the 300C is a good £10k to £20k cheaper. However, its well known that German models handle better, are more refined and have better build quality. Plus there's the fact that the 300C SRT-8 sells for around $45k in the US which converts to around £23k, that's £17k less than we pay for the exact same car! You could of course import one of these US models over here. But as somebody who has done this twice before, let me tell you its not all plain sailing. As a general rule of thumb expect to add about 40% of the cost of the car to the overall price. So, lets say we pay about £19,500 for a Challenger, by the time we get it here it will cost upwards of £27k. Then there's the problem of getting it serviced or repaired if anything goes wrong. Although there are a few garages around that specialise in American imports you will inevitably end up hundreds of miles from the nearest one. And if you need any spare parts then again be prepared to pay through the nose for them. I still remember paying almost £500 for a replacement mirror and its housing for my Cadillac Escalade. Not to mention how much fun it is driving and parking a left hand drive car in a right hand drive country. Car parks with a entry/exit barrier on the right hand side are always fun! But...if you can put up with all of that then its certainly an experience driving something that turns heads on UK roads. Like I say, I had 2 Cadillac Escalades imported but after a couple of years I had had enough and converted back to right hand drive UK cars. So, it seems if you like your cars raw, powerful, unrefined and with aggressive styling and loads of personality then you need to move to the USA. Otherwise stay here and pay over the odds for dull, bland, boring, grey, unimaginative styled lifeless predominantly diesel (the devils fuel) models and oh yes, pay twice what the Americans pay for fuel too. What I'm listening to right now: Mary J Blige ft Lil Wayne – "Just Fine" Swiss Beatz remix

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14 Responses to Reasons to move to America. Cars we won’t be seeing in the UK, the Dodge Challenger and Chevrolet Camaro

  1. Darren says:

    How nice is that Camaro in white?!?! I want one!!

    It amazed me when I went to the states the price of the mustangs compared to here too, it certainly does make you think about moving to the states!

  2. Kieron says:

    Darren, it is indeed lush in white. I was going to save that picture for an upcoming “more white cars” post but couldn’t resist!

  3. Mark says:

    Chevrolet Camaro >> How sexy is that and yep its a shame we won’t see these babies cruising around the high street in the UK. That sure is a head turner!!! Whats 20k for a car looking like that?

  4. Alex says:

    Hey Kieron, nice list, but there are much more nice cars, you never see them in Europe. For example beautiful cars with elegance and sportive power. They will come in October to Germany, don’t know about UK though.

  5. Kieron says:

    Alex, yes I’m aware of Infiniti and I’ve seen the models that they are bringing to the UK this year/next. Unfortunately to me they’re just an upmarket Nissan and I’m afraid very dull. The styling is just too bland for my taste.

  6. Nice photos here, I would want to see the cars up close, I think photos don’t do some cars justice :)

  7. Bob says:

    “So, it seems if you like your cars raw, powerful, unrefined and with aggressive styling and loads of personality then you need to move to the USA. Otherwise stay here and pay over the odds for dull, bland, boring, grey, unimaginative styled lifeless predominantly diesel (the devils fuel) models and oh yes, pay twice what the Americans pay for fuel too.”

    Yes, there’s nothing as boring as a TVR Cerbera, or as dull and bland as a Noble M15.

    Surely the first sentence should have included the words “abominable build quality”, “interior plastics taken from biscuit trays” and “unable to get more than 18mpg”?

  8. gadget says:

    Love the Camaro but what is that other rubbish – yuk!

  9. The camaro does look awesome on the exterior, but I am not so sure about the interior….

  10. Kieron says:

    TVR’s are alright, when you can get them to work that is. And Nobles are admittedly a nice car. But can you buy either for anywhere near 20k new? More like 45k for the cheapest TVR and 70k for the cheapest Noble. And are you telling me that either can get better than 18mpg? :) BTW who buys a muscle car/sports car for its fuel economy?

    Sure, yank tanks have also long been associated with interiors that are made from recycled green wheelie bins but times are a changing and they aren’t anywhere near as bad as they used to be. Sure, not up to German/European standards but for 20k what more do you want?? Would you rather have a “nice” mid range Mondeo with an interior that uses the highest quality of erm plastic, or a 6.1L Dodge Challenger with masses of personality? I know what I prefer.

  11. Alex says:

    Hey Kieron,

    some people love Infiniti, some don’t. Everybody has a different taste :) . Even though, it’s Nissan their quality is absolutely great, have my own experience. They stepped up to quality cars like Audi or BMW I have to admit. I really like what Dodge and Chrysler released lately but if you see the interior you can see the quality difference between non American cars and American cars. Sorry to say that, but I have many American friends they say, they would love to buy one, but the quality is crap :(

  12. Patrick says:

    I don’t know what are you whining about Kieron.. Most of the US cars are beautifully crafted from outside but inside are pure junk. I would rather buy some avg. European car than US sheit. I would rather wait few years and buy Lotus, Aston, Noble or any other sport EU car of your choice and really enjoy the REAL car.

    BTW Dodge Challenger ROCKS but me personally i would buy it as an car that is more a collection car than something i would drive every day.

  13. Anonodude says:

    Hello, both of the cars are sweet but the interior guys…come on who wants to bey that piece of ****!

  14. Anonodude says:

    Hi, love both cars on outside but inside… well lets just say I find it very disapointing…! Hey Alex, I agree with you about the interior on those cars, where do they find those plastics!?

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