The Ryder Cup. A transatlantic battle to find out who are the best. USA vs Europe. Stars and stripes versus an array of different, brightly coloured flags. One country composed of fifty pieces, one group of countries uniting together to do battle. The Ryder Cup is one of the greatest sporting events and it’s back this weekend.
First held in 1921, the cup was started as a competition between American and British golfers. Over the years, the competition has evolved and grown to become USA vs Europe, with the rivalry getting fiercer and fiercer. There have been angry confrontations, accusations of cheating, even outbreaks of violence. Recently, the uglier side of the game has been tempered and the contest is held in good spirits. But the competitive streak and will to win for each team is stronger than ever.
The Ryder Cup has the team here at Creditplus thinking – if you were to take cars from each team and pit them together, who would win? American cars or European cars? Let’s find out just how far we can stretch the golfing analogy.
We’ve chosen 7 cars for each team, representing some of the challenges that will be facing the golfers this weekend. Which team will win?
Every round of golf has to start with an impressive drive. A shot that gets the blood pumping. The tension mounts as you approach the tee, all eyes on you. Do it right and you’ll be full of confidence. Screw it up and you can be facing a golfing nightmare. This needs to be good. More than good. It has to be a stunner.
Team USA: Stepping up to the tee, the Americans have made a bold choice for their Supercar, the Dodge Viper SRT.
Top Speed: 206 mph
Price: £52,200 (converted from US dollars)
The Dodge Viper SRT is a truly beautiful looking car. Taking the classic dodge look and applying it to the aerodynamics of a supercar, the SRT performs just as well on the road as it does on the track. For best results, you need an SRT with the distinctive bonnet air intake and two classic white lines running down the centre of its body.
Team Europe: The Europeans are going with something traditionally European with a modern twist, the Lamborghini Huracán.
Top Speed: 211 mph
The Huracán is the newest model in a long line of established supercars. Lamborghini don’t do things by halves, and the Huracán is no exception. Released earlier this year, the Huracán has already established itself as THE car petrolheads wish they could own. The Huracán name comes from the Mayan god of wind and fire, and also an especially violent bull from the 19th century.
Winner? Lamborghini Huracán – narrowly beats the Viper on speed, absolutely destroys it on price.
Nicely on the fairway, you need to make the most of this next shot. A poor choice here can make the difference between a bogey and a birdie. You want power and performance.
Team Europe: For the next choice, team Europe go with some classic German engineering. No nonsense here, it’s the Audi R8 Quattro.
Speed: 187.03 mph
Acceleration: 0-60 in 4.6 seconds.
The Audi R8 combines the performance of an Italian supercar with the design and engineering you expect from a German automaker. Its speed and styling have made it a favourite amongst the young rich. The R8 was converted into a police car as an example of the dangers of tuning your car incorrectly. Someone didn’t tell the Dubai government, who purchased some of the conversions for their police force.
Team USA: The Americans go for some muscle, something to push themselves that little bit harder, the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.
Speed: 195 mph
Acceleration: 0-60 in 3.8 seconds
The Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is a classic American car brought into the 2010s with a violent kick. Extremely fast, the new Stingray takes the sleek styling of the original and puts one of modern technology’s fastest engines inside. The new Corvette has a seven speed automatic gearbox, and will soon have an automatic eight speed box, so you can focus on looking amazing without worrying about changing gear.
Winner? The Chevrolet Corvette Stingray and its extra muscle take it.
The last shot before you hit the green. You can’t mess this up. You need a simple shot to get the ball near the pin. No gimmicks. No nonsense. Just an easy swing leaving you as close to the hole as possible.
Team Europe: How could the team choose any other car than the one named after the sport – the Volkswagen Golf.
Popularity (no. of cars sold UK 2013): 37,297
The Volkswagen Golf is one of the most popular cars on the market, combining a high level of performance with the practicality of a day to day runner. Now in its seventh generation, the Golf is the car of choice for new drivers serious about motors.
Team USA: The Americans approach this shot with swagger, confidence. They think they have this one in the bag and they’re probably right, the Ford Fiesta.
The Ford Fiesta dominates the car market, having been the most popular car year on year for almost a decade. The ultimate all rounder, the standard model is an affordable, reliable option for most drivers. Those looking for more power can opt for the ST model, to get a bit more sportiness out of their car.
Winner? Whilst our hearts say the Volkswagen Golf, the facts and figures don’t lie and the Ford Fiesta wins this round easily.
So you’ve reached the green and left yourself with a nice easy putt. You can relax a little. You have to relax a little. Take your time with the shot, prepare mentally. If you rush it, you can make the shortest shot on the course the most difficult.
Team Europe: For their next choice, team Europe go with some classic British luxury, the Bentley Continental GT.
Price (based on 2012 model): £62,000
Exclusivity: 3,800 (on the road UK)
The Continental GT combines the luxury expected with the Bentley marque, with the performance of a GT. A perfect balance of power beneath the bonnet and comfort and extravagance inside, the Continental GT is a car for the rich who don’t want to be chauffeured around, they want to drive.
Team USA: The Americans don’t really do subtle. And so they have gone with something big and brash, the Cadillac SRX.
The SRX is Cadillac’s best selling car in the US. Combining luxury with the utility of a SUV, the car is made for those big American roads where petrol is cheap. Also available in a sports package, the car hasn’t quite made the transition over to the UK. When you consider just how big the car is, perhaps its better that way.
Winner? Despite being more exclusive here in the UK, the Cadillac doesn’t quite have the same level of prestige. Think of luxury, you think of European cars. So the Bentley Continental GT takes victory.
Disaster. You’ve had an absolute stinker and landed off the fairway. Either knee deep in thick rough or well and truly trapped in a bunker, you’re going to need something special to get you out of this mess.
Team Europe: The Europeans go classic, choose something iconic that has been dealing with off course troubles for decades, the Land Rover Discovery 4.
Engine: 5 litre V8
Power: 385 BHP
The Land Rover is the ultimate rough and ready vehicle. Built after World War 2 to rival the American jeep, Land Rover’s can be seen up and down the country, often covered in mud and grime from travelling through any terrain. More recent models may have lost the rugged edge of their older counterparts, they still have the power and ability to make off road driving easy.
Team USA: The Americans are confident though. They have their own symbol to fall behind – the Hummer H3.
Engine: 5.3 litre V8
Power: 242 BHP
The Humvee is to America as the Land Rover is to Britain. Used by the military to shepherd marines across battlefields across the world, the tamed Hummer H3 packs the size and sturdiness of a tank and places it on the road. The huge 5.3 litre engine has made this car a target for eco activists, who regularly burn the car in protest at its emissions.
Winner? Engine size is too close to call, but when it comes to power the Land Rover Discovery Series 4 takes the win.
Each team needs someone to catch the others off guard. A shock selection to surprise the opposition. Whether its for morale or a tactical edge, the wildcard picks often throw up a surprise.
Team USA: A true maverick, the Americans turn to a car causing controversy and concern across the traditional gas guzzling motor industry, the Tesla Model S.
Range: 265 miles
Speed: 125 mph
The Tesla Model S is changing the face of American motoring. As reliable as a normal car, as soon as charging points are available nationwide, the Model S could be just as common as any other car. Legal challenges abound to try and neuter the car’s growth, but Tesla are confident that they will change motoring for the greener.
Team Europe: The Europeans are struggling here. Backed into a corner, they are forced to choose one of the few electric cars they have – the Renault Twizy.
Range: 62 miles
Speed: 50 mph
The Renault Twizy’s stats don’t quite match up with the Tesla Model S, but then again it’s not designed to. The perfect city car, its small size makes urban driving a pleasure, and its fully electric engine will help reduce those emissions. Whilst not the most attractive car, for those looking to go green it is ideal.
Winner? The Tesla Model S wins at a completely silent canter. European car makers have a lot to do to catch up with their American counterparts.
To lead the team, you need a car with class and experience. Something to symbolise everything important about your team, that can inspire victory on the course.
Team USA: An iconic American car, something with muscle and class, something to aspire to. The 1960s Ford Mustang.
Team Europe: Tough choice with so many to choose from. In the end, it had to be a British classic – the Jaguar E Type Series 3.
Winner? The final battle is the closest yet. Two fantastic cars with not much to choose from. Both represent their team beautifully. The Mustang is an all American, raw power beneath an impressive body. The E Type combines continental style with British luxury. Almost too close to call, could it be a tie? No, there has to be a winner.
Well of course it had to be. Why wouldn’t we support our home team? And the omens are good, with the top two players in the world heading out onto the course for Team Europe, plus memories of the dramatic win in 2012 still fresh in the mind. Team USA have won more historically (over twice as many!) and will be out for revenge. We still think Team Europe have what it takes to retain the trophy, and will be cheering them on when they hit the links this weekend.
Come on Team Europe!
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