There are times when being an American really sucks. Case in point, our lack of great cars that other nations are lucky enough to receive. Scrolling through Instagram I’m seeing far too many Alpines, and damn I want one. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that we’ll ever get one across the pond. So before I start to cry, let’s get right into the list.
1. Alpine A110
Based off one of the greatest sports cars of the early 70s, the Alpine A110 brings its design into the 21st century. With a 252hp 1.8-litre engine and a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, the A110 really shifts. Add to that a weight of just under 1,600 lbs, and the A110 skips over tarmac playfully while not sacrificing performance. It’s one of the best cars of the past year.
2. Toyota Hilux
Practically indestructible, no, they are indestructible. Top Gear blew up a building with their Hilux poised at the top and yet it still survived, they took a couple to find the magnetic North Pole (and succeeded), hell, May drove one up an active volcano. If that’s not enough reason to want one in the US, I don’t know what is.
3. Holden Maloo UTE
Think of a Chevy SS with the back doors ripped off and a truck bed in its place. Throw in a 6.3-litre, 423hp LS3 engine and rear-wheel drive, and you get the Holden Maloo – basically an updated El Camino. Unfortunately, America never got it. There are companies that will convert a Chevy SS into a UTE but it ain’t cheap!
4. Mercedes AMG A45
Yes, America is going to get the A35 for the 2020 model year, but it’s just not the same as a proper sporty hatchback. The A45 packs a 2.0-litre twin-turbocharged 360hp engine and intelligent all-wheel drive. It was the Focus RS killer we never received, and that’s a shame.
5. BMW 1-Series
Originally a three or five-door rear-wheel drive hatchback, BMW unfortunately dropped the RWD layout in favour of front-wheel drive and more rear cargo space. While we’re not so fond of this change, it’s a shame that we never received the old 1-Series. It looked good, went well, and the RWD setup on such a short wheelbase gave it a character that wasn’t shared with many other cars on the road.
6. Dacia Sandero
James May was a fan of these bare-bones, low value cars for a long time. It’s cheap, it’s plastic, expenses are low and it’s not much more than an engine and four wheels. This simplicity is for some reason very attractive, and for that reason, we wish we had it in the States.
7. Ford Focus ST
This one really hurts because America had this potent little hatch until Ford moved production to China and the President of the United Sates waged a trade war. It’s an updated version of a great inexpensive enthusiast car, but sadly Americans will have to wait 21 to 25 years to import one. Bleurgh!
Want to add a car to the list? Let us know and we’ll add it!