Europe and America’s historical ties run deep; with alliances including everything from conflict to trade and even fashion. But the Atlantic represents a huge chasm in attitudes when it comes to cars with some of Europe’s most successful vehicles of the past decade failing specatacularly across the pond.
The trends are immediately obvious – three of the five best-selling vehicles in the US in 2018 were pickups, with the rest SUVs. The ‘land of the free and home of the brave’s’ attachment to more fuel-hungry, powerful and bombastic cars is simply not reflected on the European continent, where smaller roads, lower average mileage and tighter environmental regulations mean city cars and small hatchbacks curry more favour.
Bringing the two heavyweight continents together, we have mashed up some of Europe’s favourite cars, giving them a much-needed American makeover and providing them with the tools to succeed Stateside.
The Volkswagen Golf has been a staple of Europe’s roads for over 40 years, with the MK1 being released in 1974. If you haven’t owned one yourself, you definitely know someone who has, such is the car’s ubiquity on the continent. Europeans are fans of the car’s distinctive design, reliability, heritage as well as incredible efficiency. Volkswagen sold 42,000 in the US during 2018, compared to a ten-fold increase of 445,000 in Europe.
In contrast, Americans aren’t fans of hatchbacks. There are currently only five 3 door hatchbacks on sale in the American market and with more brands every month announcing that they are discontinuing production due to dwindling popularity, 5 door models are likely to be the next to go.
The results are quite fascinating.