As a Brit, I will admit to taking the piss out of our transatlantic colleagues - to point out their sometimes ridiculous foreign policy (although, yes, we have followed your path on many an occasion), supposed views on race and sexuality (whether these suppositions are correct or not) among other things. Most of these are warranted to some extent - but one constant comic device used to belittle our brethren from across the pond is, in my eyes, unwarranted.
As a 17 year old settled in the northern part of England, I have recently had the pleasure of both passing my driving test, and obtaining my first car - a 1.4 litre Fiat Punto. The announcement of my noble steed's engine capacity to friends and family was met with many a gasp and cries of 'How did you get insured on that?'. I felt like a bit of a boss parked next to 1.0 VW Polos and 1.2 Vauxhall Corsas - happy with the knowledge that I could safely outrun them on the Friday trips to McDonald's to avoid school's godawful excuse for fish and chips.
My overwhelming confidence was shattered 3 days after I obtained my first set of wheels when I watched the episode of Breaking Bad in which Walter Jr. is given a Dodge Challenger SRT8 by his father - a 470hp symbol of American 'bigger is better' culture (which I almost wholeheartedly agree with) - with approximately 5 times the power of my little Italian stallion.
Let me make this clear: I was not jealous of a fictional character who was given a car by his fictional, mega-rich, drug-producing father. Instead, I was more jealous of the American status-quo of the high-capacity V8. The outrageously tacky but at the same time uber-cool muscle car styling. The charmingly brash front end of the Chrysler 300. I could go on and on, and it all fizzles down to a central point: American cars, in general, are so much cooler than their European counterparts.
Let's bring some statistics into this ('Yeah! Science!). The best-selling car in the U.S in 2014 was the Ford F-Series pick-up truck. Compare this to the best-selling car in the U.K in 2014 - the Ford Fiesta. I am quite aware that the Fiesta handles considerably better than the ol' boy, but that doesn't make it cooler. The smallest engine in the F-Series is a 2.7 litre V6 turbo - and, despite 'you Americans' (ensuing fist shaking and glaring is implied) not thinking too much of this, us Brits would be seriously impressed at such a machine. Engine size, on this side of the pond at least, seems to correlate with perceived coolness. Further down the respective sales tables, one observes the lack of any kind of 'fast' car in the UK table(discounting the performance variants of stuff like the 3 series and the E-Class), whereas in the U.S, muscle cars are a frequent showing.
I'm not saying that the U.S makes better or cooler cars than some European companies - I am just saying that the availability, and prevalence of 'cool' cars is so much higher in the States.
So, next time a Briton takes the piss out of your exciting, shouty, fast (if, dynamically, boat-like) muscle cars, I expect one of you many Americans to retort with the fact that, for the most part, we drive slow, dreary, 3 and 4 cylinder hatchbacks that can barely pull the skin off of the proverbial rice pudding.