Six of the best cars we don’t get in the UK

23rd February 2024
Ethan Jupp

We’re all simple, stupid creatures, in that we don’t appreciate what we have and we covet what we don’t and the same goes for cars. Forbidden fruit: the cars we’re not allowed. From safety regulations, to emissions, to a simple lack of faith that a car won’t be wanted, the reasons for a car not being here are not important. The fact is that like little toddlers with a toy being dangled over our heads, they’re just out of reach and we want them so much more as a result. So let’s get into them, the best cars we can’t have in the UK.


1. Lucid Air

In spite of being a smooth, sleek, attractive super saloon, the Lucid Air is actually a very Punk Rock proposition. Why? Because it’s an example of sticking it to the man. Sort of.  The man is Elon Musk and the folks doing the sticking are the Lucid founders, former employees of Mr Musk who weren’t feeling valued or fully utilised at Tesla. So here we have a gorgeous pebble of a luxury limo designed by the man responsible for the Audi A2, packing over 1,000PS should you desire and capable of over 500 miles of range. What a wonderful thing we so wish would come to the UK.


2. Nissan Z

Oh how we moaned when Nissan revealed the Z then quickly confirmed that it shall not be gracing UK shores. Such a gorgeous sportscar with so much potential feels tailor made for us and yet it’s kept from reach. Why? Of course, because selling a twin-turbo V6 with some 400PS and a manual transmission doesn’t compute where our emissions regulations are concerned. Nor, really, where unit volumes are concerned. The latter is our fault. We just don’t buy enough sportscars.


3. Tesla Cybertruck 

Cybertruck? Best? We’ve not driven the Cybertruck so we can’t comment on how good or not it is. But it is a fairly spectacular object that would make life on UK roads a little more interesting every time we see one. According to our rules and regs, it being here would also make our roads a lot more dangerous, given pick-ups of its size don’t actually comply with passenger car safety regulations in the US. That’s not to say occupant safety is at risk.

As Mr Musk has said, the Cybertruck will “win” any altercations with other cars it gets into. But that says nothing of what it’ll do to other pedestrians and road users.  Imagine, I guess, getting hit by a fridge at 30mph. Still, it counts as forbidden fruit and lord knows, the demand for it is there.Mind you, given how its bodywork reacts to simply being in the outside world, we’re not sure how it’d hold up against our population of militant pigeons and their dangerously potent rear ends.


4. Ford Bronco

For similar reasons to the Cybertruck the Ford Bronco is not UK-bound it seems. Large, in charge, not one to get in the way of as a pedestrian, the Bronco is probably one of the most successful pieces of retro-modern design of the last couple of years. Our want for it hasn’t dwindled in its three years on sale, though we do wish they’d sell it with a V8. That’s the one we’re waiting for. That’s the one that’ll fetch six figures as an import.


5. Cadillac CT5V Blackwing

I must confess, apart from the Lucid which by all accounts is genuinely awesome, I haven’t taken this list too seriously. But when it comes to the Blackwing Caddis, my heart aches for them. Luxurious, handsome saloons with manual gearboxes, seriously trick suspension, deftly set-up chassis and, if you buy the right one, a 6.2-litre supercharged V8. Hell, even the CT4 with its V6 is a sublime car, as I found out by flinging it up and down a few mountains outside San Francisco.

These are the last true old-school super saloons that actually, quite unlike so many American cars, wouldn’t feel out of place in the UK at all. Among increasingly large and heavy BMW M cars and ballooning SUVs, the Blackwings would appear to be a positive breath of fresh air. *Sigh* 


6. Baojun Yep

You might have noticed that a number of cars on this list are of a distinctly American flavour. Fear not. For our final entry, we look to China, to this beast from the East, the Baojun Yep. We’re fairly sure this little thing is small enough to park in the load bed of a Ford F250, making a Suzuki Jimny look like a Mercedes G-Class. It’s all-electric, can go 188 miles on a charge and costs just £9,000. So why can’t we have it? We’re not entirely certain, though it’s possible safety is an issue, only for the occupants rather than everyone around it. Still, what a funky little thing, even if it only has 70PS and a 62mph top speed.

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