There is a commonly held belief that when it comes to cars, the European manufacturers are the big dogs on the block. Names like Ferrari, Lamborghini, Mercedes-Benz, McLaren, Porsche and BMW to name a few are sometimes unquestionably the leaders when it comes to producing cars that blend performance and style.
The myth of American cars is they are all about power. They are clunky, big, and more like unpolished diamonds compared to their European counterparts. Is this really the case though? In recent years American manufacturers have started to produce cars that perform side by side with some of their European cousins. Companies like Tesla, Dodge, Chevrolet, and Cadillac are coming out with models ready to compete with any of the European giants. To top it off, they consistently do it without charging the absurd prices you see accompanying many of the top of the line cars in Europe.
Let’s start with one of the most hyped and in demand cars on the market, Tesla’s Model S. The standard bearer for electric vehicles doesn’t really have a true competitor in the European market. BMW’s i8 probably comes closest, but it is still a hybrid vehicle. Comparing acceleration times, the Model S goes 0-60 in a cool 3.9 seconds. The i8 barely beats that, by only a tenth of a second at 3.8. Extend it to over a quarter of a mile and the results don’t change much. The Model S only a tenth of a second behind the i8, at 12.5 and 12.4 seconds respectively. So, they are both fast. But again, the Model S is fully electric while the i8 still relies on gas to reach its top speeds. Not to mention that the Model S is a full-size sedan, while the i8 is a true sports car, only capable of carrying two passengers. The Model S couple’s performance and every-day reliability in a way no other electric car can match. A base Model S starts around $69,000, while the i8 its closest competitor comes in at $136,650. Advantage Model S.
When it comes to top performance, American cars are also producing astonishing results. The Dodge Challenger SRT Demon and Chevrolet Corvette ZO6 are two cars that can run with any European supercar on the market. The Dodge Challenger SRT Demon actually happens to be in a class all by itself. 0-60 in 2.3 seconds and a quarter mile time of 9.65 seconds are both the fastest marks for any stock production car in the world. It’s supercharged V-8 engine produces an insane 840-horsepower and 770 lb-ft torque. The car is an absolute beast to put it simply, capable of outperforming any of its European brethren for pure power and speed. You don’t need half a countries GDP in wealth to afford one either. All you need is $83,295 and a Dodge Dealership around to purchase this magnificent piece of American power.
The Chevrolet Corvette Z06 is no slouch either. A 6.2-liter V-8 engine produces 650 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque. 0-60 is 3.0 seconds and a top speed of 200 mph makes it stiff competition for cars like the Lamborghini Aventador or Porsche 911 Turbo S. And what is the price of this Lamborghini slaying monster? Base models start at $79,495, a price more than half of what your cheapest Lamborghini will cost.
Ok, ok, I know. Not everyone wants a race car to drive to the market. Some people are just looking for that perfect combination of performance and comfort. Common knowledge says Europe has the advantage here. Brands like BMW and Mercedes have made this niche their turf, with hugely successful models and performance variants like the M3 and M5 for BMW, and the AMG series for Mercedes. So how do American brands stand up in this regard? Pretty well actually. Take the Cadillac CTS-V for example. At a cool $86,990 it is almost $10,000 less than the BMW M5. 640-horsepower and 0-60 in 3.6 seconds means you are hardly skimping on power and performance. Wireless charging, Bose Centerpoint Surround Sound speakers including Active Noise Cancellation, trim leather seats, dual-zone climate control and keyless access complete the Cadillac CTS-V with a whole handful of luxury.
So, if you didn’t believe it before hopefully, you do now. You don’t have to go across the pond to find the best in performance for cars. American manufacturers are changing expectations with era-defining rides that stack up against the Ferraris, Mercedes, and Porsches of the world. So next time you are in the market for a car to knock your socks off, don’t forget to look right here at home.